Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago

Review: Bring Your Own Body/Glass Curtain Gallery

Activist Art, Collage, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Performance, Photography, Sculpture, South Loop, Textiles, Video No Comments »
Zackary Drucker. "Southern for Pussy," 2015. Video still.

Zackary Drucker. “Southern for Pussy,” 2015. Video still.

RECOMMENDED

“Bring Your Own Body: Transgender Between Archives and Aesthetics,” currently on view at Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College, provides a multilayered experience by featuring works of contemporary transgender artists juxtaposed with archival materials to illustrate the multiplicity of transgender identities as they are represented in the art world, pop culture and institutional discourses. Named after an unpublished manuscript by intersex pioneer Lynn Harris, “Bring Your Own Body” blends historical documents and contemporary art to provide critical perspectives on the ongoing formation of transgender identities. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Museum of Contemporary Photography’s 40th Anniversary DARKROOM Benefit to Honor Barbara Kasten, Sonia Bloch

Galleries & Museums, News etc., Photography, South Loop No Comments »
Claude Ailne Miller, Sandro Miller and Carrie Lannon at DARKROOM 2015. /Photo: Jeff Schear.

Claude-Aline Miller, Sandro Miller and Carrie Lannon at DARKROOM 2015/Photo: Jeff Schear

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) announced that its upcoming 40th Anniversary Benefit Auction to take place on February 25 will pay homage to philanthropist Sonia Bloch and acclaimed Chicago artist Barbara Kasten, presenting each woman with the Silver Camera Award in honor of their contributions to the medium of photography. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Grace of Intention/Museum of Contemporary Photography

Architecture, Galleries & Museums, Media & Genres, Photography, Public Art, Sculpture, South Loop No Comments »
Nadav Kander. "Fengine III (Monument to Progress and Prosperity), Chongqing Municipality," 2007.

Nadav Kander. “Fengine III (Monument to Progress and Prosperity), Chongqing Municipality,” 2007.

RECOMMENDED

Frank Gehry said that “architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Vacancy: Urban Interruption and (Re)generation/Glass Curtain Gallery

Activist Art, Architecture, Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Performance, Photography, Public Art, Sculpture, South Loop, Video No Comments »
Emmanuel Pratt in collaboration with Sweet Water Foundation. "Ecology of Absence?" Furniture, shelving and American flag made from reclaimed wooden pallets. /Photo: Rob Karlic.

Emmanuel Pratt in collaboration with Sweet Water Foundation. “Ecology of Absence?” Furniture, shelving and American flag made from reclaimed wooden pallets/Photo: Rob Karlic

RECOMMENDED

The Glass Curtain Gallery is a fitting venue for an exhibition about vacancy and regeneration. Its South Loop neighborhood is on the verge of a residential boom, while the nearby West Loop has been transitioning from a meatpacking district to a trendy area to live and dine.

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Review: Mimi Lauter/Shane Campbell Gallery

Drawings, Galleries & Museums, South Loop No Comments »
Mimi Lauter. Installation view of "A Carnival of 'Musical Echo,'" 2015. / Photo: Evan Jenkins.

Mimi Lauter. Installation view of “A Carnival of ‘Musical Echo,'” 2015./Photo: Evan Jenkins

RECOMMENDED

The works in Los Angeles artist Mimi Lauter’s “A Carnival of ‘Musical Echo'” are a rare combination of frenzied, physical immediacy tempered by meticulous formal complexity, and feature an elusive narrative with roots in modernist literature and biblical allegory. These gorgeous, large-scale pastel drawings seduce with a seemingly endless supply of visual delight and symbolic intrigue. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: North Korean Perspectives/Museum of Contemporary Photography

Galleries & Museums, Photography, South Loop No Comments »
Thomas van Houtryve. "A North Korean woman loads a pistol for firing practice in Pyongyang, North Korea," 2007.

Tomas van Houtryve. “A North Korean woman loads a pistol for firing practice in Pyongyang, North Korea,” 2007.

RECOMMENDED

There is no state-appointed official to guide you on your tour of “North Korean Perspectives.” The inner workings of the Hermit Kingdom, a charming term applied to any country that purposely shuts itself from the rest of the world, have been captured on film for your review. Beware, all is not as it seems.

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Eye Exam: Chicago is an Exquisite Corpse

Activist Art, Architecture, Art Fairs, Art Schools, Collage, Comics, Design, Digital Art, Drawings, Evanston, Fall Preview, Galleries & Museums, Garfield Park, Gold Coast/Old Town, Humboldt Park, Hyde Park, Installation, Little Village, Logan Square, Loop, Michigan Avenue, Multimedia, Museum Campus, Outsider Art, Painting, Performance, Photography, Pilsen, Prints, Public Art, River North, River West, Rogers Park, Sculpture, South Loop, Street Art, Streeterville, Suburban, Ukrainian Village/East Village, Uptown, Video, West Loop, West Town, Wicker Park/Bucktown No Comments »
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 »

News: Museum of Contemporary Photography will Receive $20,000 NEA Award

News etc., Photography, South Loop No Comments »
Students from the Picture Me program with museum staff. Photo credit: Jacob Boll.

Students from the Picture Me program with museum staff/Photo: Jacob Boll

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) at Columbia College Chicago will receive a $20,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to aid MoCP’s Picture Me after-school photography mentorship program for high-school students. Picture Me develops Chicago teenagers as independent artists by cultivating skills to produce creativity. This aim coincides with NEA’s commitment for “advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts,” as Jane Chu, NEA chairman, puts it in the press release. Read the rest of this entry »

News: CTA Unveils Hebru Brantley Artwork in New Green Line Station

News etc., Public Art, South Loop 1 Comment »
Hebru Brantley's original artworks installed as two of the eight panels on view at the new green line McCormick Place station

Hebru Brantley’s original artworks installed as two of the eight panels on view at the new CTA Green Line McCormick Place station

Between studio time, gallery shows and public projects, rising Chicago-based artist Hebru Brantley is quite the busy fellow. His latest project is in conjunction with the city’s brand new CTA Green Line Station at McCormick Place. Using transit investment funds and tax-increment-financing funds, the fifty-million-dollar new station will include the Motor Row entertainment district, a convention center and hotels, and showcases eight public art panels of Brantley’s work. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Motor Row Gallery Opens its Doors with a Group Exhibition

Craft Work, Galleries & Museums, News etc., Painting, Sculpture, South Loop No Comments »
motor-gallery-space-3

Installation view of mixed media work in Motor Row Gallery’s inaugural group exhibition

The new Motor Row Gallery (MRG) has emerged on Chicago’s historic Near South Side in the heart of what is known as the Motor Row District. The fact that the gallery is sheltered in the unsuspecting venue of a U-Haul rental facility, well, that’s just the kind of inimitable type of beauty you’d expect to find in Chicago.

The gallery is cozily embedded inside of a Motor Row Lofts building owned by Suzanne Weaver, who has also been running a U-Haul business with her husband from there for the past two and a half years. Motor Row Gallery is an alternative gallery space curated by Weaver’s friend of thirteen years Pamela Staker with a special focus on pop-up art exhibitions and special events. For instance, Staker and Weaver have future plans to hold art expositions outdoors in the warmer months, making use of the extra U-Haul vans that aren’t rented out. Artists would rent a truck where they could display anything from paintings and sculptures to functional and installation work. Since the space would ultimately belong to the artists, they would have free reign on how they chose to present their work in their creative space.

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