“And we’ll pretend that people cannot see you. That is, the citizens. And that you are free of your own history. And I am free of my history. We’ll pretend that we are both anonymous beauties smashing along through the city’s entrails [She yells as loud as she can] GROOVE!”
— Amiri Baraka, Dutchman, 1964.
We gathered in the lobby of a recently renovated bathhouse at 1914 W Division Street in Chicago’s Wicker Park. The time was 11:00pm. Upon arrival, ever... [more]
Manus Groenen’s show Cryptographics: A Tribute to the Voynich Manuscript was selected as the winner of ArtSlant’s Curator’s Open, where we asked readers to use our massive database of art to design an exhibition. Now showing at EXPO CHICAGO Art Fair, Groenen’s Cryptographics brings together twelve unique artworks exploring different forms of marking, both linguistic and pictorial. Reflective of the mysterious text his show honors, Groenen’s Cryptographics features... [more]
Just on the basis of massiveness, EXPO CHICAGO’s top-tier art fair on Navy Pier could be expected to have pervasive and rippling effects through the art system of Chicago, and ripple it does. Museums line up stardusted blockbusters to coincide with the fair, galleries arrange collector-centric city tours, and the city’s Cultural Affairs department antes up sponsorship for a gallery crawl shuttle. For the second year running, one of the EXPO ripples will be EDITION Chicago, a kind of... [more]
With the opening words “By art is created that great Leviathan,” Thomas Hobbes launches readers into his seminal work of political philosophy, Leviathan, in which he imagines the State as a great aggregation of the masses into a singular societal body. Drawing its title from Hobbes’ treatise, LA-based artist Glenn Kaino’s exhibition at Kavi Gupta Gallery’s Elizabeth Street location indicates an ambition for superstrata-level political commentary. Despite the impossible loftiness of this reference, the exhibition nevertheless offers... [more]
As Chicago approaches the four day run of its annual art fair, the art world becomes increasingly animated with preparations. This is the moment backstage of an as-yet empty auditorium; red carpets are cleaned one last time as painters touch up their back drops and technicians in black clothes hastily test light and sound sequences. Dancers stretch. Producers sweat, fiddling their mobile devices unconsciously. There is a palpable buzz of anticipation — an energy not yet disseminated into the greater pu... [more]
In the forward-thinking exhibition The Chicago Effect: Redefining the Middle, curators Allison Peters Quinn, Christopher K. Ho, and Megha Ralapati explore the notion of the Middle, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the Hyde Park Art Center (the “Center”). Of course, defining the middle is not an easy task. The mere attempt to define “it” and its ubiquity is confusing—but this exact confusion makes the experience of the show all the more intriguing.
In the instan... [more]
Of the multitude of exhibitions opening this September in Chicago, one stands—or falls—singularly into view. A complete series of work by Maccarone artist Sarah Charlesworth that helped to define the Pictures Generation will be shown for the first time at the Art Institute of Chicago. The series, entitled Stills, features figures falling from great heights, suspended in front of buildings that function more as a frame than as a backdrop—static yet tense. Teasing the weight and... [more]
David Bowie Is, coming to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in just a few weeks, is unprecedented to the extent that it is the first massive solo show the MCA has ever given to a musician. But as James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator Michael Darling discusses below, he was drawn to the exhibition because Bowie emulates the blending of media, the crossing over of disciplines he finds so relevant to contemporary artists’ practices.
Darling was kind enough to sit down with me this month and explai... [more]
An Italian/Polish Fiat, wheels to the wall, is anchored over your head. In the next room, two slabs of marble dominate the space—250 kg from Italy, one ton from China—floating above the floor. They support each other by means of a simple pulley. Further into the exhibition, helium-filled jacks hold up and balance a 4,900 lb. plate of Romanian steel. These three works are given top billing in Simon Starling: Metamorphology, the artist’s first major American museum survey.
What first reads like an astral constellation is in fact a photograph whose blackness is broken only by the erratic swarm of dead insect bodies. Greg Stimac’s Santa Fe to Billings (2009) documents the choreography of the countless lives his windshield intersected on a drive between locales. The momentum of each smash is evident—guts smear and spray across the surface, recording innumerable tiny accidents. To create this piece, Stimac placed an 8 x 10 inch sheet of Plexiglass on the hood of... [more]
Mies van der Rohe is such an historic presence. The aftershock of his innovation is still palpable, reflecting as it does the evolution of an “international style after World War II.” It is hard to imagine, therefore, how one might absorb his architecture into daily life—much less install an exhibition under one of his roofs. That is the challenge posed by the Elmhurst Art Museum, an institution that purchased van der Rohe’s prototype for suburban life, the McCormick Hou... [more]
The Realized, Unrealized, and Unrealizable: Everything Loose Will Land at the Graham Foundation by Gan Uyeda Peter Alexander, Carl Andre, Archigram, Michael Asher, Denise Scott Brown, Judy Chicago, Craig Elwood, Frank Gehry, Craig Hodgetts, Andrew Holmes, Coy Howard, Robert Irwin, Peter Kamnitzer, Ray Kappe, Robert Kennard, Alison Knowles, Leonard Koren, Morphosis, Ed Moses, Bruce Nauman, Maria Nordman, Elizabeth Orr, and others, Peter Pearce, Cesar Pelli, Noah Purifoy, Jeff Raskin, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Miriam Shapiro, Paolo Soleri, L.A. Fine Arts Squad, Bernard Tschumi, James Turrell, Studio Works, Feminist Studio Workshop at Graham Foundation
May 1st, 2014 - July 26th, 2014
In the sprawling exhibition Everything Loose Will Land, currently on view at the Graham Foundation, curator Sylvia Lavin deftly tells the story how the worlds of art, architecture, and urban design came together in fantastical and bizarre ways throughout the 1970s. The title comes from a supposed quotation by Frank Lloyd Wright: “Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.” The exhibition is packed with architectural models, building plans, sculptures, fil... [more]
Chicago has a special claim to a Bauhaus lineage. It makes sense that the legendary German school of design relocated to the city in 1937, given that Chicago’s own selfhood story mixes industrial utopianism, innovative architecture and design, and a persistent can-doism—all qualities that mesh well with Bauhaus philosophy. Beyond the idealist affinities, though, it is hard to resist adding the prominence of the advertising and marketing industry in Chicago to the list. After all, desp... [more]
What Tony Tasset’s Spill Paintings lack in their pictorial realization they make up for in engaging other senses. It is impossible to talk about these paintings solely through optics, since they depend so much on their synaesthetic effects. Viewing the works elicits a phantom experience—you see their scent, visualize their sticky texture, picture the taste of their innumerous drips and pools, all the while imagining the faint echo of the catastrophic incident that could have brought... [more]
Tip the world over on its side to find art and architecture collide by Troy pieper Peter Alexander, Carl Andre, Archigram, Michael Asher, Denise Scott Brown, Judy Chicago, Craig Elwood, Frank Gehry, Craig Hodgetts, Andrew Holmes, Coy Howard, Robert Irwin, Peter Kamnitzer, Ray Kappe, Robert Kennard, Alison Knowles, Leonard Koren, Morphosis, Ed Moses, Bruce Nauman, Maria Nordman, Elizabeth Orr, and others, Peter Pearce, Cesar Pelli, Noah Purifoy, Jeff Raskin, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Miriam Shapiro, Paolo Soleri, L.A. Fine Arts Squad, Bernard Tschumi, James Turrell, Studio Works, Feminist Studio Workshop at Graham Foundation
May 1st, 2014 - July 26th, 2014
Few objects in Everything Loose Will Land are as they seem. The Graham Foundation in Chicago is the third stop for this show of 1970s art and architecture that characterized the cultural ecology of Los Angeles at the time. The works on display explore space and structure in ways directly influenced by artists’ place and time, their work, in many cases, transforming the conceptual boundaries of design.
Curator Sylvia Lavin, Professor of Architectural Theory and History at UCLA, organized the show... [more]
A career retrospective that looks like a massive, unwieldy group show. Work made over the past thirty plus years, much of which looks like it was made yesterday, some of which looks like it was made tomorrow.
Isa Genzken is one of those rare artists who seems to have begun her career fully formed. Even the earliest work on view in her retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has the presence and bearing that usually comes with the sureness of age. She’s the kind of artist, li... [more]