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Joel Kuennen

20130919202846-tc73 EXPO CHICAGO: The Start of the Circuit   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/19/13

On August 21st, the New York Times published an article entitled, “For Art Dealers, a New Life on the Circuit.” In it, a great lament for the loss of the fat times when dealers had but to sit in their galleries and wait for buyers to walk through the door. Now, they must trot around the globe, hawking their wares like common international businessmen and businesswomen. Reeling back the snark, traveling is tough; it keeps a person on-edge, off-center but it’s an increasing reality for thos... [more]

20130910090256-blackmon70 Fall Preview: Bacchanal Chicago   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/10/13

Chicago has doubled-down in September. The month of openings is now a full-on arts bacchanal. The nascent EXPO has proven itself a powerful nexus, pulling together the disparate art worlds of Chicago into a dense cloud of top-notch openings, performances, events and fairs – many scheduling their openings around the weekend of the 20th to coincide with an amassing of collectors. Yet many galleries chose to open their Winter program on the first weekend of September as usual, perhaps to test... [more]

20130813193902-jim_gentry_2 Small Consultancies and the Working Artist: an Interview with Jennifer and James Wallace of nAscent Art New York   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 8/13/13

Jennifer and James Wallace, co-founders of nAscent Art New York, have made it their mission to champion emerging artists. Not only that, but they have made it their business. In 2007, nAscent Art began as a small auction house to represent emerging artists. Finding it difficult to drum-up buyers let alone a buyer for emerging artists’ works, they decided to employ a different tact in bringing unknown artists to the marketplace and shifted their model to that of an art consultancy. Since 2010, this h... [more]

Generator/Recycler, Producer/Consumer: Interview with Laura Hyunjhee Kim  

San Francisco, Jul. 2013: Laura Hyunjhee Kim won ArtSlant’s first Award in New Media earlier this year and lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Kim is currently exhibiting at SoMArts, San Francisco and recently exhibited with popular French new-media gallery, SPAMM (Super Art Modern Museum). Blurring lines between performance and new media practices, Kim presents a mirrored personality, absorbing and expressing the dominant pressures of a mediated society through producing and reproducin... [more]

20130628080438-pope_car_2 An Artist’s Responsibility   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Cheryl Pope at moniquemeloche gallery June 22nd, 2013 - August 3rd, 2013
Posted 6/28/13

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]

20130515182555-laura_kim What is tumblr Art?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Rachelle Beaudoin, Claire Alexandra Burke, Jon Chambers, Oscar David, Laura Dekker, Jordan Gray, Brian James Griffith, Lucia Grossberger Morales, Wei-Ming Ho, Heejin JANG, Laura Hyunjhee Kim, Lawrence Lek, A. Bill Miller, Jonathan Monaghan, Robert Warren Parker, Katherine Parsons, Patr1ck qu1nn, Fay Ray, Nicholas Sassoon, Chase Starr, Joe Winograd, I-YEH WU, Sarah Zucker at ArtPadSF Art Fair May 17th, 2013 9:06 PM - 10:30 PM
Posted 5/15/13

On Friday, May 17th at ArtPadSF, tumblr is hosting the TUMBLR ARTS SUMMIT. Moderated by Annie Werner, the panel is meant to discuss tumblr as a platform for the arts. Kara Q. Smith of ArtSlant SF, Open Space and Art Practical; Aditya Julka, Co-founder of Paddle8; Jennifer Yin of the Asian Art Museum; Liz Glass of CCA Wattis Institute; Ken Harman of Spoke Art; artist Eric Dyer and I will be present on the panel. The focus seems to be more practical: how does your organization leverage tumblr within... [more]

20130319065105-tumblr_ Contemporary Copyright   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/19/13

How we use images and information is changing, therefore, copyright is changing. The image has migrated away from an object of economic value towards one of heightened cultural capital. Social media has developed in such a way that sharing information has become synonymous with sharing images. Infinite copies of images act as citations to shared opinions and data points. Yet the image is not always tied to the fate of a descriptor, it has also been freed from its referent. The image is loose and free to form its own meaning in the slurry of an image-sopped society.... [more]

20130305182438-img_3030_1 The Overlooked Object: An Interview with Michael Zelehoski at VOLTA   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/5/13

Michael Zelehoski won the ArtSlant Prize in 2009, the first year the competition ran. Since, his career has only been gaining steam, having two solo shows a year and making the rounds of the fair circuit. I sat down with him in his home/studio in Beacon, NY as he readied his installation, WALL ART for Ethan Cohen Fine Arts’ booth at Volta. Joel Kuennen: Where were you at in your career when you won the ArtSlant Prize? Michael Zelehoski: Nowhere, basically. [laughs] I was showing a little bit in local galleries in Western Massachusetts and gett... [more]

Interview with Danh Vo  

Chicago, Dec. 2012: Danh Vo, a Danish, Vietnamese-born artist living in Berlin, won the Guggenheim Foundation’s Hugo Boss Prize this year. His work combines a nuanced approach to relations existent within the conventions of the art world as well as the relationships that are developed with objects, both personal and foreign, in the negotiation of identity. In short, Vo’s ability to imbue otherwise mundane objects with a delicate, sublime sentimentality is what makes this young artist worth watc... [more]

20121209172109-20120607184728-what_a_life_ ArtSlant Prize 2012 - Fringe Frontier   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Veronica Bruce, Timothy Gaewsky, Steven Vasquez Lopez, Susan Meyer at Aqua Art Miami December 6th, 2012 - December 9th, 2012
Posted 12/9/12

Veronica Bruce - 1st Place, ArtSlant Prize 2012 I met Ms. Bruce in a studio that looks more like a construction site than an artist’s studio, in one of Chicago’s many industrial lofts. Her sculptures rose vertically from the wooden floor, dotting the space as piles of material rounded the interior. Bruce’s process is founded in her training as a painter but has since expanded off the wall and into the exhibition space. She retains an acute understanding of composition and col... [more]

20121206194320-photo_1 ArtSlant Prize 2012: Veronica Bruce - Remnants and Shards   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 12/6/12

Veronica Bruce - 1st Place, ArtSlant Prize 2012 I met Ms. Bruce in a studio that looks more like a construction site than an artist’s studio, in one of Chicago’s many industrial lofts. Her sculptures rose vertically from the wooden floor, dotting the space as piles of material rounded the interior. Bruce’s process is founded in her training as a painter but has since expanded off the wall and into the exhibition space. She retains an acute understanding of composition and color while exploring the sculpt... [more]

20121204191102-makoto_saito___prayer__yellow__2011_2012___paul_kasmin_gallery_aaaaaaaaaaazkjy Doing It Right: Art Basel Miami Beach   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 12/4/12

Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) is the mother of American art fairs (you know this by now). Celebrating a decade this year, ABMB has, from the beginning, been a city-wide event. Every year, a new satellite fair/festival/happening/event is added to the already art-packed weekend and yet it seems Miami has an art tolerance on par with your average Baseler’s liver. ABMB became the destination par excellence in the art world, not only as a way to escape the cold and reach a massive collector base in Miami... [more]

20121205211952-rhq_passingthrough2 Susanne Ghez on R.H. Quaytman and the role of the Curator   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
R. H. Quaytman at Renaissance Society January 6th, 2013 - February 17th, 2013
Posted 11/28/12

Susanne Ghez, Executive Director of the Renaissance Society, will step down in January after a prestigious career shepherding this Chicago institution known for its impeccable programming in contemporary art. Ms. Ghez took the helm of the Ren, as it’s affectionately called, in 1974 with a meager budget of $25,000 and built one of the country’s premier, non-collecting institutions with a current yearly budget of $1.7 million. For her final exhibition with the Renaissance Society, she has selecte... [more]

20121030095341-atterbury_thestudy-site The Enclosed World   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Elizabeth Atterbury at Document October 27th, 2012 - December 8th, 2012
Posted 10/30/12

Elizabeth Atterbury, a recent graduate of MassArt, began with a still life picture of a corner of her friend’s apartment in Portland. The Study began a research-like production that ultimately recalls Man Ray’s experiments with the picture plane (rather than process) through his invention of the rayogram, and in the end draws attention back to the work of photography as a representative analogue. Photography Indoors is an exhibition of twelve small images framed discreetly in glass and wood, exhibited in... [more]

20121023105441-00 Realigning Contexts – Tatzu Nishi’s Discovering Columbus   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 10/23/12

Columbus, in a memorialized bold swish of the hips, stands confidently atop a dark, wooden coffee table, glaring off into the corner of a poshly decorated living room. The thirteen-foot tall statue finds an odd home as the axis of this imagined living space. Tatzu Nishi’s Discovering Columbus is this Japanese-born, Berlin-residing artist’s latest work. He has become well-known for his construction of living spaces around architectural ornaments, such as Hotel Gent where a clock tower incised a s... [more]

20121002133941-vo_1 The March of Objects   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Danh Vo at Renaissance Society September 23rd, 2012 - December 16th, 2012
Posted 10/2/12

A familiar eye in luminescent, freshly hewn copper stares up from a wooden cradle against a backdrop of anthropomorphic lions ripped from the palace walls of Sargon II, an Assyrian king who ruled in the 7th century BCE. This is probably the most striking installment of Danh Vo’s We the People in Chicago—an indefinite project brought to Chicago as a collaboration between the Art Institute of Chicago and the Renaissance Society that reconstructs the Statue of Liberty’s façade and installs segments... [more]

20120919085506-courtesy_of_studio_gang_ Chicago’s Moment   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/19/12

What makes EXPO CHICAGO different from the rest? Nicole Berry, Deputy Director of EXPO CHICAGO perhaps said it best towards the end of a chat we had on a sunny day outside a small café near the offices of EXPO in River North. “Hamza Walker said it in an article, ‘Chicago is having a moment,’ which is totally true… Chicago deserves an art fair, a serious art fair of the highest quality and we’re trying to bring that back, but it’s not just about the art fair but about the art community.” The wo... [more]

20120905092311-lostutter_garden CHI Fall Previews: Previews up the Rearview   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 9/5/12

It’s that time of month, Chicago. To say that every gallery in town is opening their doors this Friday is hardly an exaggeration. In light of this, I’d like to take a moment to do a quick preview of what we’re looking forward to this weekend and hopefully give some good cues as to where to head to get your fill of Trader Joe’s wine and chilled PBR’s, and perhaps, just perhaps, to catch a glimpse of some great art, between coiffed heads of course. Corbett vs. Dempsey - Robert Lostutter: Garden of Opiates A stellar gallery since 2004, Corbett vs. Dempsey quickly ga... [more]

20120822161226-activated DINCA Vision Quest 2012: A Physical Manifestation of   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
at Thalia Hall August 16th, 2012 - August 18th, 2012
Posted 8/22/12

Green paint and gold gilt flake from ornamented porticos that overlook the stained floor and darkened stage of Thalia Hall – a century-old Czech Theater in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Largely abandoned for the past two decades, this past weekend it was the site of an IRL, "in real life," experiment. DINCA Vision Quest 2012, according to the program, sought to “translate the blog experience into an amalgamated IRL experience.” presents itself as a simple blog roll, curated b... [more]

20120712180453-62_rw003_russell_west_______happy_hour_2__160x120cm The Hamptons: Blue-Chips and Sunshine   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 7/12/12

The Hamptons buzz and hum in July. City-folk braving the three hour drive for a weekend respite from an overly ripe Big Apple head determinedly for surf and society. Part of the escapist appeal of the Hamptons lies in the art fairs; ArtHamptons (7/13-15), artMRKT Hamptons (7/19-22), and Art Southampton (7/26-30). These are small fairs; many galleries represented are appointment-only specialty venues. But the offerings are usually, and this year appears to be no different, well curated and shaped... [more]

20120531225526-mujica Who's Next? MFA's from Yale, RISD and SAIC   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 5/31/12

ArtSlant's Joel Kuennen decided to ask a few recent graduates from some of the top MFA programs in the US about their practice, what’s influencing them right now, and what the role of art is today. Here's what Jorge Mujica, from Yale University's MFA Painting Program, Amber Heaton from RISD's (Rhode Island School of Design) MFA Printmaking Program, and Dao Nguyen from SAIC's (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) MFA Program had to say.   Jorge Mujica from Yale University's MFA Painting Program Jorge Mujica, Collect... [more]

20120516104903-ohhh Image Becomes Content   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Roy Lichtenstein at The Art Institute of Chicago May 22nd, 2012 - September 3rd, 2012
Posted 5/16/12

On May 22, the Roy Lichtenstein Retrospective, an exhibit that’s been five years in the making, will open its doors. Expertly curated by Sheen Wagstaff and James Rondeau, this exhibit presents, a-chronically, thematic slices from Lichtenstein’s vast body of work; including Art History, Black and White, Mirrors, and War and Romance. It is the largest retrospective on the artist to date, with 160 pieces of work filling the back hall of the Art Institute; a normally open and spacious gallery, it has b... [more]

20120306002738-nocturnal Meditation on a Fuse   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Daniel Bauer, Matias Cuevas, 
Joel Dean, Michael Hunter, Irena Knezevic, Raquel Ladensack at Alderman Exhibitions February 24th, 2012 - March 18th, 2012
Posted 3/5/12

As I walked up the stairs into the darkened gallery of Alderman Exhibitions’ new loft space in an old warehouse on Randolph Street, I heard a long hissss and looked up to see a fuse burning in a shaky frame.  I had walked in on the screening of Long Fuse, 2012, by Robert Chase Heishman and Brendan Meara. I perched on the top step and watched the fuse burn over snow, ice, grass, wood, concrete and soil. When was the bam, or kaboom, or, my favorite, kablooey!? When will there be resolution to thi... [more]

20120124014009-c2dc1dancers_jessica_tong_and_jason_hortin Dance, Modern Dance   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/24/12

Bodies pull, collide and fall into unison. People hold hands watching as she takes her time, dancing for them all. A couple stares at each other, their eyes inches away, as an operatic crescendo climbs from the speakers above the stage. For some reason modern dance fell into the cliché for many people. But every time I see it, I watch with amazement as bodies contort to rhythms that seem unremarkable, and I am sucked in by it. The visceral character of dance, the impact of highly trained bodies u... [more]

20120110002642-20111114195353-6318724228_7b7c60714d The Best of 2011   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/10/12

I’m always filled with something bordering on dread when writing a best of list. Dread at the prospect of rereading old reviews, dread at trying to recall what all I saw and mostly the dread at attempting to reflexively judge work that has long disappeared from galleries and, usually, my head. But this year…this year was a good year. GLI.TC/H. Image via flickr user Ignotus the Mage    Firstly, new media work continues to pulse in the underground art scene at established spaces like Enemy and... [more]

20111212181559-248_42_andy_warhol___empire Homo Imago   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 12/12/11

If you looked up at the Aon building, the tallest skyscraper to the north of Millennium Park, between the 51st and 61st floors at any point from 6 PM and 2 AM last Friday,  you could see a faint image of the Empire State Building perched there, flickering like a votive candle. This was Andy Warhol’s eight-hour film, Empire. Curated by Matthew Witkovsky, the Chair of the Department of Photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, this screening of Empire was the first time the film had been shown... [more]

20111203131751-frost_monument_for_jean_genet The Incomplete Instigators   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Steven Frost, David Hartwell at Robert Bills Contemporary December 3rd, 2011 - January 21st, 2012
Posted 12/5/11

This is probably the third Steven Frost show I’ve been to this year. "Exploding Faces, [Confining Spaces]" and "Splay" presented two very different forms of work—collages and performance, respectively. As his past work suggests, Frost’s background lies in the material, fabrics specifically. He brings the attention for detail necessary in fabric work to a very diverse and active sculpture practice that comes to the fore with his newest work now on display at Robert Bills Contemporary. David Hartwe... [more]

Interview with France Cadet  

Chicago, Nov. 2011 -  I sat down this past month for a drink with France Cadet, French artist who has been blurring the lines of the natural and the robotic for the past decade or so. Ms. Cadet was just this year brought on by the Art and Technology faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Previously, she had been volume and robotics professor at Ecole Supérieure d’Art d’Aix-en-Provence and took first prize at VIDA 6.0 in Madrid. She is perhaps best known for her work characterized by refashion... [more]

20111114195353-6318724228_7b7c60714d GLI.TC/H 2.0   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 11/14/11

A year ago, Chicago hosted the first GLI.TC/H conference. The second year was a four-day volley (Nov. 3-6); a full weekend of exhibitions, workshops, real-time performances and a symposium that are being followed by two days of events in Amsterdam (Nov. 12-13) and a Saturday in Birmingham, UK (Nov. 19). While this article focuses mainly on “GLI.TC/H 20111” in Chicago, an upcoming article for ArtSlant will go into more depth on the expansion of the GLI.TC/H conference and Dirty New Media into a g... [more]

20111016075235-05---10 Back to Form   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Sterling Lawrence at Tony Wight Gallery October 28th, 2011 - December 23rd, 2011
Posted 10/31/11

When I came across the promotional images for this exhibition by young artist Sterling Lawrence, I must confess I wasn’t too enthused. Large format gradients, abstracted sculptural gestures, clean lines that lead to conceptual destinations within the hyperbaric chamber of the gallery. It was gallery art. Art made for a gallery. I just wasn’t feeling it… until I was in the gallery itself. Installation view of Sterling Lawrence's "Lie and Wait" at Tony Wight Gallery, 2011. Image courtesy of Tony Wight Gallery and... [more]

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