Courtney R. Thompson

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Robert Taite generates content through painting. Visual data culled through transitions, his paintings seem coy or perhaps indifferent to what Donald Judd described as “specific” in his seminal 1965 essay Specific Objects. While influenced by post war conceptual art, Taite’s own work feels of the moment with a cut-and-paste aesthetic; sources are loose and refreshed often. His practice prompts associations with a continuum of artists playing with architecture and design that irks some purists... [more]
I first wrote about Derek Dunlop’s work on ArtSlant in January 2013, for the group exhibition Reconfiguring Abstraction. I remember initially walking into the exhibition and feeling agitated. I left the space to get some air and caffeine and tried to pin down what it was about the exhibition that was troubling me. When I returned I realized that Dunlop’s paintings were bothering me. And I was starting to like how much they bothered me and how they ultimately bothered the exhibition in a... [more]
I met crys cole when I repatriated to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada via Chicago in the Fall of 2012. She was—and still is—director of an experimental sound festival, send + receive, that I became a part of (I am a current board member). She is also a busy sound artist herself with many collaborative and solo projects that take her outside of North America. Her performances and installations create environments of active listening; an acoustic ecology that involves contact microphones and the... [more]
Photoworks, 1969 - 2011   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Garry Neill Kennedy at PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts March 8th, 2013 - April 20th, 2013
Posted 4/5/13
Formerly exhibited at the Louise and Reuben Cohen Art Gallery of the Université de Moncton, Garry Neill Kennedy’s “Photoworks, 1969-2011” avows the artist’s politics while broadly questioning the nature of the photographic medium. Kennedy is one of Canada’s national treasures, not only as an artist known primarily as a conceptualist painter, but also as an arts educator with his role as president of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) from 1967-1990. Chronicled in his recent MIT... [more]
Materiality and Surface: abstracting form   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Derek Dunlop, Dil Hildebrand, Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline, Holger Kalberg at School of Art Gallery November 13th, 2012 - January 11th, 2013
Posted 1/24/13
Director/Curator Mary Reid’s counterview of contemporary artistic practice in Winnipeg pleasantly interrupted a reverie of city-centric exhibitions asserting legacies and mythologies of local artists and art production. The Winnipeg Art Gallery, of which Reid left her own legacy as Curator of Contemporary Art from 2004-2011, celebrates Winnipeg Now (September 29 –December 30, 2012), while Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is currently midway through My Winnipeg Project: a series of four... [more]
In his 1970 essay “Some Notes on the Phenomenology of Making” Robert Morris wrote, “I believe there are ‘forms’ to be found within the activity of making as much as within the end products. These are forms of behavior aimed at testing the limits and possibilities involved in that particular interaction between one’s actions and the materials of the environment.” In this statement Morris was reconsidering his artworks of the early 1960s—moving from closed to open circuits through works such as... [more]
Hauntology: Derrida and the spectral arc   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Anthony Adcock, Laura Biery, Alexis Chaney, Margaret Crowley, Erica Fagin, Katherine Harvath, Nabira Khan, Scarlett J. Kim, Alexander Kornienko, Stephanie Litchfield, Karla Martinez, Edward Menendez, Mikey Molina, Zoe Petticord, Jennifer Smoose, Megan St. John, Kelly Street, Shane Ward, Serene Yang at DOVA Temporary June 7th, 2012 - June 28th, 2012
Posted 6/13/12
The term hauntology is attributed to Jacques Derrida and his text, Specters of Marx: the State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning, and the New International. It is important to note that this text is a translation of which was an ordered collection of Derrida’s lecture notes following a conference organized in 1993 that asked, “Whither Marxism? Global Crises in International Perspective.” While the writing generated for this event was positioned through the lens of political events that... [more]
I have been reading a lot of artist interviews as of late. The construction of call and response can be meaningful, but more often than not, I am drawn to the intangible. I read Italian art critic Achille Bonito Olivia’s Encyclopaedia of the Word: artist dialogues, 1968-2008. Reading his interviews with endless artists in succession was exhausting and revealed the idiosyncrasies of time and place. Most conversations were mere pages, and I thoroughly enjoyed Google’s inability to clarify the... [more]
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's year-end Graduate Thesis Exhibition, featuring work by more than 130 students, represents SAIC's largest graduating class to date. New this year, guest curators Steven Bridges, Tumelo Mosaka, Pablo Helguera, Julian Myers and Joanna Szupinska transformed the Sullivan and Wabash Galleries into a series of shows-within-a-show. These thematic sections unfold throughout the spaces in a sequence of visual encounters and unconventional... [more]
Self-tau(gh)tologies: complicating the criterion of outsider art   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Henry Darger, Minnie Evans, Rosemarie Koczy, James Lloyd, Martín Ramírez, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Bill Traylor, Alfred Wallis, Scottie Wilson, Adolf Wölfli, Anna Zemankova, Domenico Zindato at Milwaukee Art Museum February 10th, 2012 - May 6th, 2012
Posted 4/30/12
Upon entering the exhibition I was immediately struck by the term self-taught on the blessedly brief wall text. I may have even paused to immediately consider adding this term to a lineage of others such as art brut, naïve art, primitive, folk, and the industry standard catch-all: outsider art. Self-taught remains nuanced as a broader definition than the others and a somewhat more productive term than the last. Where this identifier leaves the viewer is a space for the consideration of an art... [more]
Architect as Trickster   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Stanley Tigerman at Graham Foundation January 26th, 2012 - May 19th, 2012
Posted 3/19/12
It was a serendipitous decision to read Lewis Hyde’s Trickster Makes This World: Mischief, Myth, and Art in the weeks prior to visiting the opening of the Stanley Tigerman exhibition. I’ll admit it’s initially an odd formulation to think of the Chicago architect as trickster. For me, it was the kind of timing where tangential interests in a particular architect’s oeuvre and mythical narrative seemed to open the door on each another without knocking. The more the curator Emmanuel Petit addressed... [more]
- I met Antonia during the first day of international student orientation at The School of the Art Institute in August of 2009 (I’m Canadian and she is Bulgarian). She mentioned she was a painter; I can’t remember what claims I made, but I think we went for drinks shortly after. We were reserved back then, but through the course of our graduate programs there were several studio visits, PDF exchanges, and bizarre excursions to more openings than I can count with some energizing ideological... [more]
The Insight of Incite   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at The Art Institute of Chicago January 3rd, 2012 - February 27th, 2012
Posted 1/30/12
  Today, when words have lost their material base—in other words, their reality—and seem suspended in mid-air, a photographer’s eye can capture fragments of reality that cannot be expressed in language as it is. He can submit those images as documents to be considered alongside language and ideology. This is why, brash as it may seem, Provoke has the subtitle ‘provocative documents of thought.’                         -The Provoke Manifesto (1968), Koji Taki & Takuma Nakahira    With... [more]
it's not i, it's you   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Danielle Gustafson-Sundell at Julius Cæsar December 11th, 2011 - January 29th, 2012
Posted 1/9/12
As I slowly read the seemingly exhaustive list of song titles that begin with the letter “i” as selected by Danielle Gustafson-Sundell it occurred to me how much the “I” is really all about the you. The declarations of love, doubt, and anger currently on view at Julius Caesar all in some sense, sometimes desperately, imply a response or source for their pronouncements. Text-based art or writing as art has its roots in everything from Guillaume Apollinaire’s early twentieth century Calligrammes... [more]
Being O(there)d   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ron Terada at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) November 5th, 2011 - January 15th, 2012
Posted 12/5/11
Walking into Ron Terada’s current exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) was an out-of-country experience. As a Canadian, I was curious about how the MCA was going to convey Terada’s Vancouverite roots and Canuck art heritage in its wall text. Terada is hard to shoehorn in terms of his influences, with many a passive-aggressive wink-and-a-smile to materials, artists, and movements. Is he a card-carrying second generation member of the Vancouver photoconceptual school; rubbing... [more]
The Economies of Transparency   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Sayre Gomez, Andrew Norman Wilson at New Capital November 18th, 2011 - December 17th, 2011
Posted 11/21/11
New Capital’s one-year anniversary show successfully showcases what directors Chelsea Culp and Ben Foch have brought to the cluster of art spaces that make up several blocks on Carroll Street in East Garfield Park. New Capital’s split-level exhibition space, white cube upstairs, exposed brick and raw materials downstairs, proposes a conversation not only between the artists in each space, but the public’s perception of viewing them as distinct, continuous, overlapping, and/or disconnected. I... [more]
Exhibit A: "Crime Unseen"   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Richard Barnes, Corinne May Botz, Christopher Dawson, Deborah Luster, Christian Patterson, Taryn Simon, Angela Strassheim, Krista Wortendyke at Museum of Contemporary Photography October 28th, 2011 - January 15th, 2012
Posted 11/7/11
“Crime Unseen” offers a thoughtful multi-dimensional approach to the genre of crime photography. Artists Richard Barnes, Corinne May Botz, Christopher Dawson, Deborah Luster, Christian Patterson, Taryn Simon, Angela Strassheim, and Krista Wortendyke illuminate the place, space, and time of criminal activity as a way to revisit photography’s often complex role in documenting evidence. Barnes and Strassheim dominate the main floor’s central space with mostly large-format prints that contemplate... [more]
The Immediacy of the Mediation   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Nancy Holt at Graham Foundation October 7th, 2011 - December 17th, 2011
Posted 10/17/11
“The view blurs out rather than sharpens.”  Originally published in Artforum in April 1977, this statement is nestled in Nancy Holt’s diaristic account of the impetus, creation, and labor of her iconic land art project, Sun Tunnels (1973-76), located in the Great Basin Desert, Utah. Originating out of a late 1960s discourse associated with Earthworks, or art that incorporates land as medium, Holt described a desire to create a site of orientation through a mediation of material and the... [more]
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