Robyn Farrell Roulo, Staff Writer
"Six Rooms", A one night exhibition from Harold Arts took place at Longman & Eagle on Saturday, June 5th. For $15, one could sample Belgian ale and wander through the six "skeletal" rooms of the soon-to-open Logan Square boutique hotel. Artwork by Duncan Robert Anderson, Eric Fleischauer, Jessica Labatte and Claire Pentecost adorned the suites and were also available for silent auction. Musicians Dan Bitney and Matt Lux and Joe Adamik/Jim Becker from Califone, provided the sounds for the evening. It was one of the most unique art experiences I encountered this year.
Martin Parr at Stephen Daiter Gallery and The Art Institute of Chicago's "In the Vernacular" poked just the right amount fun at contemporary culture. Rachel Niffenegger "As you pass by and cast an eye as you are now so once was I" at Western Exhibitions converted the gallery into a "hall of heads" in a delightfully chilling manner. I may be biased since I work there, but "Crystalline Modernity", Josiah McElheny's most recent exhibition at Donald Young Gallery tops my "Best of 2010" list.
Art Institute of Chicago, February 2011: "Peter Fischli David Weiss: Questions, the Sausage Photographs, and a Quiet Afternoon". Working with a range of media and playing with the "poetics of banality", the exhibition will be the first Chicago solo exhibition in nearly 20 years.
Three Walls, May 2011: Betsy Odom
Roots and Culture, May 2011: Frank Heath and Brendan Meara
Thea Liberty Nichols, Staff Writer
One of my favorites shows of the year was “Chicago Stories: Prints and H.C. Westermann--See America First”. On view in the Prints & Drawings galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago this past summer, it was a rare chance to view Westermann’s See America First suite of prints in its entirety.
Related to the Ray Yoshida show, and including several of the same artists, the Westermann exhibition tracked the path of printmaking in the city of Chicago, chiefly at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, by highlighting the exceptional work that Westermann and artist Philip Hanson made under the tutelage of Vera Berdich there. If you missed the exhibition, schedule an appointment to view “See America First” at the Goldman Study Center housed within the Prints and Drawings department.
Joel Kuennen, Staff Writer
One of the most impressive gatherings of work in an unbelievable island setting in Japan, the Setouchi Art Festival sets the bar high for what seems to be a new approach to wedding the museum (as an institution) to tourism (as an enterprise). Setouchi won my reluctant heart with this combo and despite the nefarious capitalist elements present, the festival created a new environment for the enjoyment and appreciation of the arts, a frickin’ art archipelago!
Another innovative approach to curation that won my praise this year would be Benjamin Godsill’s Informal Cities at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA) and it’s still up if you haven’t gone yet. Attempting to present an amazing magazine and as a physical art installation could have been a daunting and even impossible task, but Godsill pulled it off with both skill and a presence of mind that promises many more great exhibitions. Keep your eye on this guy, he’ll be back.