Activist Art, Collage, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Performance, Photography, Sculpture, South Loop, Textiles, Video
Zackary Drucker. “Southern for Pussy,” 2015. Video still.
“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 Named after an unpublished manuscript by intersex pioneer Lynn Harris, “Bring Your Own Body” blends historical documents and contemporary art to provide critical perspectives on the ongoing formation of transgender identities.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 »
Joe Tallarico. “Marold and Haude,” 2014. Watercolor and ink, 11 x 15 inches.
Five decades of the Chicago Imagists tradition are alive and well in “Faces,” the first exhibit of the new year at Jean Albano Gallery. Whether the human face is directly engaging the viewer or part of an entire figure, these faces are far removed from a Rembrandt self-portrait. They evince no naturalism, no idealism, no profound drama, no soul. These are not the faces of people on life’s journey. Read the rest of this entry »
Ceramics, Collage, Craft Work, Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Outsider Art, Painting, Performance, Photography, Prints, Sculpture, Streeterville, Textiles
Installation view of “Pop Art Design” at the MCA Chicago/Photo: Nathan Keay
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.
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Cheryl Pope. “I ONLY NOTICE YOU WHEN I SEE YOU,” 2015. Printed nylon banner, 36 x 60 inches.
The exhibition begins outside on Division Street. There, the ruby red glow of Michelle Grabner’s painting “Untitled” from “Chicago Gingham” emanates outward through the street window and across the snow-covered sidewalk, enticing warmth and springtime nostalgia. Read the rest of this entry »
Collage, Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Michigan Avenue, Multimedia, Outsider Art, Painting, Photography, Prints, Sculpture, Video
Andy Warhol. “Big Electric Chair,” 1967-68
In “Double Take,” Newcity Art commissions two or more critics to consider a single topic or exhibition in order to offer multiple perspectives on complex, timely matters in Chicago’s visual arts.
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Gladys Nilsson. “Big School Picture; Little Paper Mural,” 1992.
In the beginning there was Ivan Albright. Over-ripening the human figure, collapsing its surrounding space and removing it from social context, he prepared the way for the angry contortions of the “Monster Roster” and eventually for the rebellious pranks of the Imagists. And the School of the Art Institute of Chicago was right in the thick of it, with visionary instructors like Ray Yoshida and Whitney Halstead and artist collaborations like the Hairy Who. That’s the story of postwar Chicago art as told by this exhibition of alumni works on paper mounted in celebration of the school’s 150th anniversary. Read the rest of this entry »
Portrait of William J. O’Brien in his studio, circa, 2013. /Photo: Robert Chase Heishman.
Weaving his way gracefully around shelves brimming with colorful sculptures and past an in-progress colored pencil drawing tacked onto the wall, William J. O’Brien guides me into the ceramics section of his large, ground-floor studio. The room smells of clay and incense, and three large tables are packed with drying clay bodies draped in fogged plastic. Read the rest of this entry »
Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Painting, Sculpture, Textiles, Video, West Loop, West Town
Tony Tasset. “Cup (2),” 2013. Cast bronze and paint, 4 x 4 x 4.5 inches.
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 »
Paul McCarthy. “Drawings,” installation view at the Renaissance Society, 2015/Photo: Tom Van Eynde
Do we still need Paul McCarthy? Once a criminally overlooked provocateur whose performances carried a powerful urgency in the late sixties and seventies, he is now firmly entrenched in both the art-historical canon and the global network of high-end art institutions. Read the rest of this entry »
Larassa Kabel. “Scatter,” 2015. Fleece blanket, 60 x 80 inches.
This is the rare exhibition of photorealist drawing that requires explanatory text. Without it, the pieces do not appear to be drawings at all. Usually, an artist’s joy in image-making cannot help but emerge in line, tone and design. But surprisingly, not here, and absent any explanation, the partial portraits of young women are annoying. Why have their mouths been cropped off? So much identity and self-expression have been concealed. Read the rest of this entry »