Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago

Review: Tactical Formations/National Veterans Art Museum

Activist Art, Collage, Comics, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Portage Park, Prints, Sculpture No Comments »
National Veterans Art Museum.

John Plunkett. “Battle (Left),” 1981. Graphite on canvas, 40 x 54 inches / National Veterans Art Museum.


“Your mind may be a thousand miles away. But your eyes and ears are right here!” reads the caption of “Night Listening Post” a mixed media piece by Dale Samuelson of the Vietnam Veterans Arts Group. The graphite sketch above the quote shows two soldiers lying flat on their stomachs, staring off into nothing as they listen, blending into the night. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Exhibition of Rare Works by Camille Pissarro Closes Thursday

Galleries & Museums, Michigan Avenue No Comments »
Camille Pissaro. "‘Kew Gardens’ (London)", circa 1892. Watercolor on paper.

Camille Pissarro. “‘Kew Gardens’ (London)”, circa 1892.
Watercolor on paper.

Fall is a vibrant and busy season for art in the city. With EXPO Chicago just behind us, enticing exhibitions can be spotted at many galleries and L’Alliance Française de Chicago (AFC) is in on the festivities. The cultural institution is currently hosting a one-week-only exhibition featuring rare works on paper by French Impressionist Camille Pissarro. Read the rest of this entry »

Opportunity Knocks, and Knocking: The State of the Arts in Hyde Park

Hyde Park No Comments »
Ebony magazine, August 1967.

Ebony magazine, August 1967.

By Luke A. Fidler, Ph.D. candidate, Art History

In 1967, a group of students from Hyde Park High School performed a musical piece called “Opportunity Please Knock” together with members of the Blackstone Rangers gang. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Ania Jaworska/Museum of Contemporary Art

Architecture, Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Prints, Sculpture, Streeterville No Comments »
Ania Jaworska. "Saint," 2015. Screen print on folio paper; 30 x 22 inches.

Ania Jaworska. “Saint,” 2015.
Screen print on folio paper; 30 x 22 inches.


Chicago, priapic King-Hell capital of exceptionalist, heaven-penetrating architecture; birthplace of The Reach, there could be no better place—and no better museum—for Ania Jaworska’s exploration of how our monuments commune with ourselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Alex Bradley Cohen and Steve Ruiz/Roots & Culture

Comics, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Noble Square, Painting, Prints, Sculpture No Comments »
Steve Ruiz. "Deep Street Breathing," 2015. Gouache, ink and ename on paper, 11 x 7.5 in.

Steve Ruiz. “Deep Street Breathing in New Orleans,” 2015.
Gouache, ink and enamel on paper, 11 x 7.5 in.


This two-person show is a perfect exhibition to check out as summer slowly comes to an end. Cohen and Ruiz are two rising, Chicago-bred artists who both use warm, vibrant colors and landscaped scenes to evoke memories of hot days spent outdoors. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: LUMA at 10: Greatest Hits/Loyola University Museum of Art

Activist Art, Art Books, Ceramics, Collage, Craft Work, Design, Digital Art, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Prints, Sculpture, Streeterville, Video No Comments »
"LUMA At Ten: Greatest Hits, "Installation view, including “Silver Clouds” by Andy Warhol and "Paranirvana (Self Portrait)" by Lewis deSoto. / Photo: Loyola University Chicago.

“LUMA At Ten: Greatest Hits,” Installation view, including “Silver Clouds” by Andy Warhol and “Paranirvana (Self Portrait)” by Lewis deSoto./Photo: Loyola University Chicago


Religion is often the apparent culprit in today’s war-torn world, so an exhibition with a spiritual undertone may seem unnerving. Read the rest of this entry »

Portrait of a Gallery: Emanuel Aguilar and Julia Fischbach, Patron Gallery

Gallerist profile, River West No Comments »
Julia Fischbach and Emanuel Aguilar. / Photo: Sara Pooley.

Julia Fischbach and Emanuel Aguilar/Photo: Sara Pooley

As I stroll slowly into Patron Gallery, Emanuel Aguilar walks briskly up to greet me. With partially unpacked artworks leaning against the walls and the smell of fresh paint lingering in the air, the storefront gallery reeks of transition and anticipation. Read the rest of this entry »

Eye Exam: Art’s Anxious Power

Art 50, Galleries & Museums, Michigan Avenue 1 Comment »
Andy Warhol. Mona Lisa Four Times, 1978. The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Edlis/Neeson Collection. © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Andy Warhol. “Mona Lisa Four Times,” 1978. The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Edlis/Neeson Collection. © 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

by Elliot J. Reichert

The hardest part was soon to come, Matt Morris warned me when we met this summer to discuss my transition into the role of Newcity’s Art Editor. Read the rest of this entry »

Art Leader of the Moment: Naomi Beckwith, Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art

Art 50, Curator Profiles, Galleries & Museums, Streeterville No Comments »
Photo: Joe Mazza/BraveLux

Photo: Joe Mazza/BraveLux

By Elliot J. Reichert

In this year’s Art 50, we focus on the power players who shape Chicago’s art landscape. Naomi Beckwith, a Hyde Park native, brings an insider’s knowledge of the city to her role as the Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In just over four years, she’s crafted some of the museum’s most timely exhibitions, including a major outdoor sculptural commission by Yinka Shonibare MBE and the MCA’s current headliner, “The Freedom Principle,” which she co-curated with Dieter Roelstraete. I spoke with her about the art of research, what it means to be a nerd in the art world and what’s next for this rising Chicago art star.

Being born and raised in Chicago, how has this city influenced your work as a curator?
Many people know that I had initially considered a career in the sciences. For my first twenty years, I was academically focused on those disciplines, but two signifiant things changed all that. One was the ethos of this city and its commitment to public spaces, which always included art: festivals, programs, art fairs and museums. I am a very proud child of Chicago Public Schools, which has an amazing field trip program that includes these destinations. This early access to both the formal art space of museums and also informal spaces, like the Hyde Park [57th Street] Art Fair or the African Festival of the Arts in Washington Park, left deep imprints on me. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Front & Center/Hyde Park Art Center

Galleries & Museums, Hyde Park, Installation, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Prints, Sculpture No Comments »
Michelle W. Collazo-Anderson. "Hips, Legs & Feet," 2015. Upholstery fabrics, canvas, exterior house paint, dimensions variable. / Photo: S. Nicole Lane

“Front & Center,” Installation view/Photo: S. Nicole Lane


The Center Program at the Hyde Park Art Center is an opportunity for artists to receive feedback, formulate new work and have a final exhibition in the main gallery over six months. The facilities and staff at HPAC offer a supportive atmosphere for artists to engage in conversation and further their studio practice. The twenty-four artists in the 2015 Center Program span various disciplines and media. The culminating group exhibition is playful and vibrant, as well as informative and candid. Read the rest of this entry »