Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago

Review: ABG Artists/Andrew Bae Gallery

Craft Work, Digital Art, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Prints, River North, Sculpture No Comments »
Leeah Joo. "Pojagi Dowry," 2015. Oil on canvas.

Leeah Joo. “Pojagi Dowry,” 2015. Oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches.

RECOMMENDED

The primary theme of this exhibition is alienation, the most elegant expression of which are the ghost-like shoes and dresses of paper and wire woven by Keysook Geum. The people wearing them are missing. Read the rest of this entry »

Eye Exam: Charlotte Moorman’s Network for One

Evanston, Galleries & Museums, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Performance, Photography, Prints No Comments »
Charlotte Moorman performs Nam June Paik’s "TV Cello" wearing "TV Glasses," New York, 1971. /Photo: Takahiko Iimura.

Charlotte Moorman performs Nam June Paik’s “TV Cello” wearing “TV Glasses,” New York, 1971 /Photo: Takahiko Iimura

By Chris Reeves

Among the banquet of actions presented in the Block Museum’s “A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s”—violin-smashing, dress-cutting, sandwich-eating—it might be thumbing through a Rolodex that gets to the crux of this exhibition. Read the rest of this entry »

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 Named after an unpublished manuscript by intersex pioneer Lynn Harris, “Bring Your Own Body” blends historical documents and contemporary art to provide critical perspectives on the ongoing formation of transgender identities.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 »

Review: Kathryn Andrews/Museum of Contemporary Art

Galleries & Museums, Installation, Multimedia, Photography, Prints, Sculpture, Streeterville No Comments »
Installation view of "Kathryn Andrews: Run for President" at the MCA Chicago. /Photo: Nathan Keay.

Installation view of “Kathryn Andrews: Run for President” at the MCA Chicago/Photo: Nathan Keay

A nineteenth-century general sits atop a mound of skulls. Set against overlapping neon pink and yellow backgrounds (the aluminum support adding an incongruous sheen), the general and his sword, plumed helmet and squat pose summed up a satirical critique of Whig politics in the 1848 Currier & Ives print from which Kathryn Andrews worked. A plexiglass panel along the piece’s right edge reveals the folded costume of the Joker, worn by Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s “Batman.” American politics has long been the province of murderous fools, but what, precisely, does Andrews offer in her argot of visual culture? What does it mean to repurpose old satire as new satire?

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Review: Phases of Faces/Jean Albano Gallery

Digital Art, Drawings, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Prints, River North, Video No Comments »
Joe Tallarico. "Marold and Haude," 2014. Watercolor, ink and colored pencil, 11 x 15 inches.

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 »

Eye Exam: Two Rules of Bad Mixtapes

Ceramics, Collage, Craft Work, Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Outsider Art, Painting, Performance, Photography, Prints, Sculpture, Streeterville, Textiles No Comments »
Installation view of "Pop Art Design" at the MCA Chicago. /Photo: Nathan Keay.

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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Review: Winter Experiment: SAIC at MMG/Monique Meloche Gallery

Collage, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Media & Genres, Multimedia, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Wicker Park/Bucktown No Comments »
Cheryl Pope. " I ONLY NOTICE YOU WHEN I SEE YOU," 2015. Printed nylon banner, 36 x 60 inches.

Cheryl Pope. “I ONLY NOTICE YOU WHEN I SEE YOU,” 2015. Printed nylon banner, 36 x 60 inches.

RECOMMENDED

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 »

Double Take: The “New Contemporary” at the Art Institute

Collage, Design, Drawings, Galleries & Museums, Installation, Michigan Avenue, Multimedia, Outsider Art, Painting, Photography, Prints, Sculpture, Video 1 Comment »
Andy Warhol. "Big Electric Chair," 1967-68.

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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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: Lee Godie/Kohler Arts Center

Galleries & Museums, Media & Genres, Outsider Art, Photography, Sheboygan, Wisconsin No Comments »
ex_god_2015_0079

Lee Godie. “Untitled,” no date. Gelatin silver print, 5 x 3 3/4 inches. /Photo: John Michael Kohler Arts Center

RECOMMENDED

Crafting an image of oneself for the public world is a fact of daily life. Read the rest of this entry »