Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago

Review: James Krone/Kavi Gupta Gallery

Galleries & Museums, Media & Genres, Painting, Prints, Sculpture, Video, West Loop No Comments »
James Krone. Installation view of "An Ornithology for Birds," 2016.

James Krone. Installation view of “An Ornithology for Birds,” 2016.

RECOMMENDED

In 1952, the painter Barnett Newman dismissed philosophical aesthetics by saying: “Even if aesthetics is established as a science, it doesn’t affect me as an artist. I’ve done quite a bit of work in ornithology; I have never met an ornithologist who ever thought that ornithology was for the birds.” Newman later turned his quip into a simple analogy “Aesthetics is for the artist as ornithology is for the birds.” Read the rest of this entry »

News: Threewalls in Transition

News etc., West Loop No Comments »
Installation view of Brandon Alvendia's exhibition "The Great Good Place" at Threewalls, November 11 - December 12, 2015.

Installation view of Brandon Alvendia’s exhibition “The Great Good Place” at Threewalls, November 7 – December 12, 2015.

Days after Jeffreen Hayes, newly appointed executive director of Threewalls, announced that the nonprofit arts organization would vacate its longtime West Loop space and lay off its operating staff, questions still remain about the fate of Chicago’s beloved alternative arts space. In an email addressed to the Chicago art community, Hayes cited financial challenges, including rising rents in the West Loop neighborhood, as the reason for these drastic measures. While shocking, the announcement is a chilling reminder that the well-being of even the strongest and most successful nonprofit arts organizations are not guaranteed in the current political and economic environment. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Gordon Parks/Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Galleries & Museums, Media & Genres, Photography, West Loop No Comments »
 Gordon Parks. "Untitled, Mobile, Alabama," 1956. Photograph by Gordon Parks, courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Gordon Parks. “Untitled, Mobile, Alabama,” 1956. Archival pigment print, 16 x 20 inches. /Photograph by Gordon Parks, courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.

RECOMMENDED

I am conflicted about the classification of a photograph as fine art or photojournalism; more often than not the distinction of fine art is assigned in hindsight after the documented event has been deemed culturally significant. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: Michael Robinson/Carrie Secrist Gallery

Collage, Galleries & Museums, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Video, West Loop No Comments »
Michael Robinson. "Mad Ladders," 2015. High Definition film, stereo sound, 16 x 9 aspect ratio, 10 minutes.

Michael Robinson. “Mad Ladders,” 2015. High Definition film, stereo sound, 16 x 9 aspect ratio, 10 minutes.

RECOMMENDED

Presented as a large-scale projection in a blacked-out, custom-built room that converts the gallery into a black-box space, Michael Robinson’s most recent film, “Mad Ladders” transforms the Carrie Secrist gallery floor, and with it, the cinematic landscape. Read the rest of this entry »

Review: ASSISTED/Kavi Gupta

Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Painting, Sculpture, Textiles, Video, West Loop, West Town No Comments »
Tony Tasset. "Cup (2)," 2013. Cast bronze and paint, 4 x 4 x 4.5 inches.

Tony Tasset. “Cup (2),” 2013. Cast bronze and paint, 4 x 4 x 4.5 inches.

RECOMMENDED

Jessica Stockholder’s solo show on the first floor of Kavi Gupta’s Washington Boulevard location features a new body of work which includes her “Assists,” a set of sculpted pieces that might hold up other art. In that show, Tony Tasset’s “Cup,” a cast bronze imitation of Styrofoam, makes a cameo appearance resting on one of them.

Tasset’s work is a stray object from “ASSISTED,” an insightful show occupying the gallery’s second floor that mingles Stockholder’s work with representative examples from artists who have inspired (“assisted”) her. Read the rest of this entry »

Holiday Gift Guide: The Art Edition

Galleries & Museums, Garfield Park, Logan Square, West Loop No Comments »
Ceramics by Noah Signer. Threewalls Seasonal Shop Showcase.

Ceramics by Noah Singer. Threewalls Seasonal Shop Showcase.

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 the rest of this entry »

Review: Jacob Hashimoto/Rhona Hoffman Gallery

Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Painting, West Loop No Comments »
Jacob Hashimoto. “The Scale of Worlds,” 2015. Wood, acrylic, bamboo, paper, and Dacron, 54 x 47 x 8 inches. /Image: RCH l EKH.

Jacob Hashimoto. “The Scale of Worlds,” 2015. Wood, acrylic, bamboo, paper, and Dacron, 54 x 47 x 8 inches/Photo: RCH l EKH

RECOMMENDED

“The Scale of Worlds” typifies Jacob Hashimoto’s “kite” works. Vertical layers of “kites”—multi-sized, circular-shaped pieces made of paper and bamboo—are threaded together and suspended between two rows of pegs, filling a square space on the wall. From afar, the “kites” resemble a patriotic-colored target. Nearing the piece reveals a contained, visual dance of individually painted and decorated circles. Read the rest of this entry »

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.

RECOMMENDED

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

RECOMMENDED

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 »