Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago

Eye Exam: Chicago is an Exquisite Corpse

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The thing that was sent to me in it's intended but unsettling orientation.

The thing that was sent to me in its intended but unsettling orientation.

By Elliot J. Reichert

The above image was sent to me anonymously in the middle of the night. Shocking as it appears, I was relieved to receive it. You see, weeks ago I had contacted a few artist friends to ask them to reflect on the upcoming fall art season in Chicago and to ask one to “take over” the task of appraising it. To my surprise, they were reluctant to describe it, even those who had exhibitions of their work opening in the coming weeks. Later, I realized that their silence was my doing, having asked a question that could produce no coherent answer.

Much like the drawing game made famous by the Surrealists, Chicago’s 2015 fall art season is an exquisite corpse—a thing of grotesque beauty that is the dream of no one, but the creation of many. At first glance, it appears sinister, like the Block Museum’s solo show of newly commissioned works by Chicago artist Geof Oppenheimer. Rumor has it that the sculptor has filled the museum’s ample galleries with austere and foreboding installations resembling the cinderblock constructions of grim institutions, like prison, or perhaps your corporate office. Even more menacing, Irena Haiduk, also Chicago-based and also exhibiting new work, will haunt the eaves of the Renaissance Society’s transformed gallery with the Sirens of Greek mythology, luring visitors unexpectedly into a debate on the revolutionary possibilities of art and social change amidst current political upheaval worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

Give Me Five: Get art for cheap in Little Village

Little Village, News etc. 1 Comment »

new5Josh Rubens and his friends are hard at work putting the finishing touches on their shop before it officially opens for business-the one that’s smack in the middle of their two-flat apartment in Little Village.

The Five Dollar Store is Rubens’ first venture into hosting events at his living space/art studio/gallery. All items in the store-including everything from screen-printed tee shirts to wooden fortune cookies-are $5 and under. “It seemed like a good idea to have art for cheap-especially with all that’s going on in the world,” Rubens says as he takes a moment away from the “shop” while others are drilling, setting up lights and stocking beer onto makeshift shelves. Read the rest of this entry »