Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi, both artists in their own right, made a name for themselves—literally, Sonnenzimmer—when they started out in 2006 with their beautifully abstract concert posters. Since then, they have branched out into a wide variety of mediums and formats, from painting to textiles to printed matter. The large-format screenprints that make up “Vector Sculptures” brings the design duo back to their roots as poster makers. [Read more…]
The screen-printed fabric pieces in “At your own risk” are arranged in a narrative, prompting viewers to channel the experience of submerging into a swimming pool. The titles of the work help that story along, from “You, at the edge” to “Submerging.” Hung throughout the Logan Square gallery, the paintings are meant to evoke a sense of danger in the viewer, as partly evidenced from the show’s title. The pieces never let the viewer out of the water, none of their perspectives show the line where the water breaks and the above-ground world begins. In some works, such as “The feeling of being watched,” the shadow of a looming figure can be seen on the pool’s floor. [Read more…]
Jennifer Cronin’s new paintings mark an interesting shift in perspective for the artist. Previously, Cronin’s work was internally focused, largely consisting of self portraits in confined domestic spaces where psychological freight manifested in loose strokes of shadowy color lingering in corners of rooms or hovering above the artist lying in bed. Now she turns her eyes outward, first considering her coworkers in the customer service field who, staring into some other space, momentarily mentally remove themselves from their gray daily grind, the air above their heads inhabited by often luminous images of where they’d rather be. [Read more…]
Street art contains, at its core, something of the re-appropriation of space; public places for public missives, private spaces for public works. It is this living, often violent relationship with the environment in which it is born that separates street art from its more gallery-, museum- and pedestal-inclined cousins. [Read more…]
In his fourth-floor studio at Mana Contemporary, Robert Burnier sits easily with one leg crossed over the other. A small, neon-orange traffic cone protrudes from the wall behind him, politely framed by carefully arranged clippings of paint swatches. Much of Burnier’s recent work has left his studio for “The Ship’s Carpenter,” his current exhibition at Elastic Arts. Small photographs of the works litter the walls, neatly arranged as they might be curated. [Read more…]
If the “buy local” consumer ethos has improved the environment and kickstarted local economies, Chicago’s art collectors would do better to build their collections the same way they fill their fridges. For aspiring and seasoned connoisseurs alike, Chicago is rife with opportunities to purchase affordable, beautiful work by emerging and established local artists. [Read more…]
The Chances Dances collective has been hosting queer dance parties in Chicago since 2005. What began as an inclusive dance night has since grown into multiple monthly events and an organizing body that runs a grant program for queer artists.
Latham Zearfoss and Bruce Wiest founded Chances Dances because they could not find anything like it in Chicago at the time: a safe place for the queer community to be able to go out and have fun. It was originally hosted in the back of Big Horse Lounge, a now-defunct taqueria in Wicker Park. In support of wanting to have a night for what Zearfoss calls “a lot of different bodies and dispositions,” the two intentionally chose a straight venue so the gathering did not come with preconceived notions.