Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago

Review: Stanley Tigerman/Volume Gallery

Architecture, Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Media & Genres, West Loop No Comments »
Stanley Tigerman. "Sketch from Book 9, Beginning 1976, Bourges, France," 1976. Ink on paper, 5 x 8.5 inches.

Stanley Tigerman. “Sketch from Book 9, Beginning 1976, Bourges, France,” 1976. Ink on paper, 5 x 8.5 inches.


Stanley Tigerman practices his art (450 buildings) and preaches it too (with seven books and many publications). His quick sketch on a napkin won the competition for the Illinois Holocaust Museum, so it’s not surprising that he is often cited when architects discuss the educational importance of freehand drawing skills. With 821 drawings taken from twenty sketchbooks made over forty years, this exhibition serves as his visual statement on the issue.

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Breaking News: Threewalls Appoints Executive Director, Artistic Director to Depart

Galleries & Museums, News etc., West Loop No Comments »
Jeffreen M. Hayes

Jeffreen M. Hayes

After a nationwide search, Jeffreen M. Hayes has been appointed the executive director of Threewalls, a Chicago non-profit arts organization based in the West Loop, the executive board announced today. Hayes replaces former director Shannon Stratton, who resigned from her position in April to become chief curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. At the same time, Threewalls has indicated that Abigail Satinsky, current artistic director and interim executive director after the departure of Stratton, will be leaving in December for other unspecified pursuits in Philadelphia. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Laura Davis/Threewalls

Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, West Loop No Comments »
Laura Davis. Installation shot of "Wall Gems," 2015.

Laura Davis. Installation shot of “Wall Gems,” 2015.


A page from the artist’s sixth-grade diary. Wood. Wire. Fur from a ladies vintage hat. A twenty-milligram Prozac tablet. These are some of the materials Davis uses in “Legacy of Loneliness,” and they are a good starting point for understanding how the show responds to the historical treatment of female artists. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Nathaniel Mary Quinn/Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Collage, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Painting, West Loop No Comments »

Nathaniel Mary Quinn. “Class of 92,” 2015. Black charcoal, gouache, soft pastel, oil pastel, paint stick on Coventry Vellum paper, 34 x 38 inches, paper; 40.25 x 44 inches, framed. Photo: RCH | EKH


Collage is always born upon an undercurrent of violence; no matter the nature of the dismantling—be it surgical or savage—the end result is without fail an image sutured together from the destruction of others, a Frankenstein’s monster of thoughts, feelings, ideas and icons made melange, a mass grave of optics. Read the rest of this entry »

Portrait of the Artist: Jessica Stockholder

Artist Profiles, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Multimedia, Sculpture, West Loop No Comments »
Portrait of Jessica Stockholder by Steven Rosofsky.

Jessica Stockholder/Photo: Steven Rosofsky

Jessica Stockholder’s work greets me before she does. Colorful and vibrant, it illuminates the dark gray exterior of Kavi Gupta Gallery’s Elizabeth Street location. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Scott Reeder/Kavi Gupta

Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Painting, Sculpture, West Loop No Comments »

Scott Reeder. “Landlord Painting,” 2015


I like a little humor with my art, and even a cursory look at the work of Scott Reeder will tell you that he agrees. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: James Hyde/Volume Gallery and Paris London Hong Kong

Design, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, West Loop No Comments »
James Hyde. "Steps," 2015. Acrylic dispersion on stretched vinyl print, 110 x 86 inches.

James Hyde. “Steps,” 2015.
Acrylic dispersion on stretched vinyl print, 110 x 86 inches.


The best modern design is circumspect if not chaste. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Review: Peter Skvara/Andrew Rafacz Gallery

Galleries & Museums, West Loop No Comments »
Peter Skvara

Peter Skvara. “I Am Sinking / I Have Collided with Surface Craft / Repeat the Distress Position,” 2015. Enamel on stretched mesh, 72 in x 48 inches.


The sea, with its legends of mermaids and serpents, phantom ships and lost continents, has inspired man’s creativity for millennia. From Japan’s Katsushika Hokusai to Germany’s Caspar David Friedrich, the raw power of towering waves and the quiet foreboding of impenetrable fog captivate equally across cultures.  But one need not look to the distant past or far-off shores to find tales of mystery and imagination; our own Great Lakes, a seamen’s graveyard for centuries, will suffice.

Enter artist Peter Skvara, whose new works are tales of misfortune on the high sea embodied in the form of hard-edged geometric abstraction. The six paintings in “Approaches” take their compositions from the colorful language of maritime signal flags: brilliant banners emblazoned with litanies of colored Xs, crosses, dots and stripes that, when strung together in a ship’s rigging, communicate vital information to other vessels.

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News: Chicago Artists Coalition’s “The Annual: An Exhibition of New Chicago Art” to Run Concurrently with EXPO Chicago

Art Fairs, Fall Preview, News etc., West Loop No Comments »
Alfredo Salazar-Caro. "Untitled (for Panther Modern)," 2015. Digital print, dimensions variable.

Alfredo Salazar-Caro. “Untitled (for Panther Modern),” 2015.
Digital print, dimensions variable.

The Chicago Artists Coalition has announced that it will launch a yearly exhibition of new Chicago art to run concurrently with EXPO Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art. “The Annual: An Exhibition of New Chicago Art” will be an unique opportunity for art enthusiasts and collectors to learn more about the work of young and upcoming Chicago artists and collect new works. Each year, the show will be arranged by two guest curators with intimate knowledge of Chicago’s most relevant and rising art makers.

“The Annual will offer a fresh, of-the-moment look at the concerns and practices of today’s emerging generation of Chicago artists and makers,” said Claudine Isé, lead curator of the inaugural exhibition. Artists featured include Kiam Marcelo Junio, Alfredo Salazar-Caro, Susy Bielak, Noël Morical, Macon Reed and Michelle Anne Harris. A comprehensive list of participating artists will be made available in early August. Read the rest of this entry »