What defines a space if not its imagined intentions? Or, more literally, when does the projected image of a site’s ideal function supersede its realization, and become the very thing it projects? Such is the case with Mana Contemporary, an elaborate multi-use art center currently being renovated in Pilsen’s industrial Cermak corridor, which if a shorthand history of shared art spaces were any indicator, would belong to the 19th century Salon in Paris as much as it does to a sleek, ateli... [more]
Artist. Entrepreneur. Potter. Bureaucrat. Singer. Arts Administrator. Host. Urban Planner. Collector. The list could go on and on, but the take away from all these labels might be that Theaster Gates is hard to pinpoint or define. Because his practice combines so many disparate disciplines and mediums, it's counter productive to try and categorize the work he does, and the work he makes. Up until now, that hasn’t been too much of an issue—he’s fit comfortably in the trending, self-ref... [more]
Standardization vs. The Sublime by James Pepper Kelly Jimmy Bunnyluv, El Gato Chimney, David Cooper, Ian Ferguson, Anthony Freda, KLUB7, Julie Murphy, Hernan Paganini, Ruel Pascual, Dave Pressler, Dmitry Samarov, Raudiel Sanudo, Steve Seeley at Vertical Gallery
August 3rd, 2013 - August 31st, 2013
Thought Experiment #1:
A zealot has denounced plurality. He calls for his followers to storm the temple and restore it to holiness by casting out the false idols within. The local elders hear of the plan and, in response, decide to play a trick on them. When the zealot and his followers arrive where the temple once stood, they are surprised to find not one but three identical temples, none of which contain idols.
What does the zealot instruct his followers to do?
Choices can be terrible things.... [more]
As Chicagoans, we are lucky to be exposed to a variety of different forms of public art. Blessed with numerous blank walls, building faces and underpasses, we have a vast “urban canvas” to be transformed into accessible works of art for all to enjoy. Many talented artists have seized the opportunity to turn these spaces into their own creations, and Green Star Movement has played an integral role in marshaling young artists to take part in the transformation of their environment. I ha... [more]
Commercials set to an uplifting loop of an indie song – the violins, the slow crescendo of choir voices, a gratifying and persistent drumbeat – this sound is reified, a ubiquitous, and entirely digestible image of faux-celebration used to market a feeling of happiness. This over-heartened and insufferably “inspirational” attitude strikes an irritating nerve in some, but the trope of the live-for-today individual is often hard to criticize, or even notice, in its calculated... [more]
In his 1973 text,The Anxiety of Influence, Harold Bloom cited a term called poetic misprision. What he was referring to was a process that artists, in his case literary authors, adopted in order to further themselves from their sources and avoid being derivative. As an artistic process, it’s a brilliant explanation of how to deal with appropriation and context in contemporary art – to consciously and deliberately misread your source in order to create new meaning. For The Character and Shap... [more]
Tucked away in River North is R&D Gallery, an exhibition space run by Justin Pauly and Dave Sharma featuring local and international artists who work primarily in new media. Currently on view is Well Played which features the work of Angela Bryant and Diana Gabriel. Serving as the first collaboration between the two artists, this exhibition is curated in a way that shines a light on the distinct qualities of each artists, but then blends to the elements that overlap within the two artists’ s... [more]
Making an Impression by Stephanie Cristello Mike Andrews, Joseph Belknap, Sarah Belknap, Katy Cowan, Chelsea Culp, Alan Fleming, Michael Fleming, Jacob Goudreault, Wyatt Grant, Michael Hunter, Andy Jordan, Sofia Leiby, Matt Nichols, Rachel Niffenegger, Mike Paro, Josue Pellot at LVL3 Gallery
June 29th, 2013 - July 21st, 2013
What does it mean to visibly leave an impression on someone else? 2 of a Kind, currently on view at LVL3, begs the question with an exhibition that focuses on the collaborations of sixteen artists, each paired with another, to realize a piece. The concept of the show is not all that radical – loose, and arbitrary at best – but despite itself, the eight pieces within the exhibition present certain relationships within the works that would otherwise go unnoticed in such a large group set... [more]
Daniel Clowes’ career trajectory has had a weird sort of herky-jerky-ness to it. When he started out making comics in the 1980’s, his narratives were amorphous and meandering, at times borrowing from the Surreal, with paranoid/delusional plotlines and violent, and sexually perverse, graphic imagery. This was married to his early drawings which were highly restrained; in the press walk through of his current exhibition, “Modern Cartoonist: the Art of Daniel Clowes,” on view... [more]
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods: this is a kind way to put it. In reality, Chicago suffers from deep segregation – limiting the potential of a majority of its citizens. Avenues such as Western are lines that mark boundaries between races and income brackets. As one travels west on Division, from Wicker Park, median household income drops by $30,000 upon crossing Western Avenue. With this drop in income, comes a drop in school funding, resulting in neighborhood schools that lack everything... [more]
For the past month and a half the Marwen Lab students and teaching artists have been kind enough to let me attend their meetings and workshops as Sixty prepared to have our first article created by youth. We decided some time ago that we wanted to provide a unique platform for young artists in Chicago to discuss the work they are doing. The students of Marwen Lab immediately came to mind. I’ve worked as a teaching artist at Marwen for the past year and am continually inspired and impressed with the... [more]
Roughly three years ago, New York City gallerist Jeffery Deitch was tapped to serve as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MoCA). It was an interesting selection given Deitch’s prior for-profit, commercial sector experience. What has followed are a series of eyebrow raising exhibitions, such as Dennis Hopper (curated by Julian Schnabel) and James Dean (curated by James Franco). Deitch, while largely lampooned by the press, has also had his supporters, who note that since his te... [more]
Most of you are probably familiar with the Surrealist game “exquisite corpse,” where a composite drawing is created in sequence by a group of artists adhering to some predetermined set of rules (no peeking, for example, and, pick up where the last artist left off).
Local Chicago comics collective Trubble Club recently began an online project entitled Infinite Corpse. Unlike its Surrealist precedent, it harnesses the energy and inexhaustibility of the internet by being limitless in duration. As of t... [more]
Daniel Bauer’s photographs are hard to write about. His images are not easily encapsulated by description. I can more easily relate the experience of viewing them, which is slow and contemplative, or, in Michael Fried’s terminology, absorptive. These are self-contained worlds wholly manifest in every moment, in every detail, yet they also take time––the duration of exposure and the duration of viewing. I could say Bauer employs a modernist sensibility, in the sense that he explores and exploits... [more]
The critical pedagogue Henry Giroux tells us that objects placed in front of us in the public sphere operate as forms of public pedagogy—meaning that they communicate and reinforce certain cultural narratives, hierarchies, and social mythologies. These image | objects seek to teach us about our collective past and present regardless of accuracy or consensus. As cultural reflections and representative image | objects, monuments serve as cultural mirrors and the sites in which they are situated serve as... [more]
The Neo-Futurists are a staple of Chicago theater best known for their modular and ever-evolving signature show, Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, which, after a quarter-century in production, is the longest continuously running show in Chicago. Within a certain milieu, TMLMTBGB is something of a cult hit — It’s frenetic, inclusive, somewhat participatory, absolutely community oriented and just plain fun.
Perhaps less well known are the limited-run productions the Neo-Futurists stage each season.... [more]