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…]
Seeing John Preus’ show at Rhona Hoffman Gallery is like returning to your first-grade classroom and finding it transformed into a monochromatic playground. In “The Relative Appetite of Hungry Ghosts,” Preus resurrects cast-off tables, desks and chairs from Chicago’s shuttered schools, chops them up and reassembles them into objects that are both sculptural and newly functional. [Read more…]
“Hanging on the railcars/Of this iron beast/Migrants go as cattle/To the slaughterhouse,” singer Eddie Ganz croons in “La Bestia,” a popular corrido ballad played on Central American radio. The song is meant to discourage people from migrating to the United States, which makes sense considering it was commissioned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This piece of contemporary propaganda is a perfect example of the subjects taken up by the work in “Northern Triangle,” a Threewalls-organized exhibition by the Texas-based Borderland Collective hosted at Rational Park. [Read more…]
I hold disdain for the word “standard;” it’s sterile with little gusto and woefully ineffectual when discussing art. However, it serves as a perfect impetus for this exhibition of twenty-five Latino artists with Chicago connections, organized by Edra Soto and Josue Pellot. [Read more…]
By Ruslana Lichtzier
I enjoy thinking about the structure of the museum as a mixtape. Within an expanded taste, different exhibitions are organized with loose connections in an evolving tempo, hopefully with a mutual understanding regarding the role of the institution. Back in the day, mixtapes were a tool of courting; in making one, the mixtape-maker demonstrated how cool they were, how broad, complex, versatile and surprising was their taste. The danger was, and still is, in them exposing themselves as being…well, not cool.
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…]