Reviews, profiles and news about art in Chicago

Breaking News: James Rondeau, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, named new Director of the Art Institute

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The Art Institute of Chicago. Griffin Court in the Modern Wing.

The Art Institute of Chicago. Griffin Court.

The Art Institute of Chicago has announced that James Rondeau, current curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, will succeed Douglas Druick as the president and Eloise W. Martin director. Robert M. Levy, chairman of the Board of Trustees, announced the decision early Thursday morning.

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News: Threewalls in Transition

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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 »

News: Remembering Lois Weisberg, former Commissioner of Cultural Affairs and Supporter of Chicago’s Art and Culture

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Lois Weisberg /Photo: City of Chicago

Lois Weisberg /Photo: City of Chicago

Although Lois Weisberg, a long-time proponent of Chicago’s arts and culture, passed away on Wednesday at age ninety, her presence will continue to be felt through the countless programs and initiatives she fostered in the city. Read the rest of this entry »

News: New Leadership at Hilton-Asmus Contemporary

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Arica Hilton and Sven Asmus, partners of Hilton Asmus Contemporary.

Arica Hilton and Sven Asmus, partners of Hilton-Asmus Contemporary.

Arica Hilton announced she is stepping down from her role as curator and president at Hilton-Asmus Contemporary to concentrate full-time on her work as a writer and artist.

This news comes on the heels of a few notable successes for Hilton: a recent solo exhibition in Belgium, an upcoming show in China and a forthcoming book. As Hilton focuses on her personal career, her partner, Sven Asmus, will take the lead at Hilton-Asmus Contemporary and Hilton-Asmus Foto, their affiliate online store devoted to photography.

These personal and professional changes come at a good time for Hilton and for the gallery, which focuses on modern and contemporary artwork of all media. Hilton’s international exhibition prospects are growing. The gallery Qu Art, Hilton’s international representative in Brussels, plans to show her work in the Middle East and Europe, among other regions, she says. And since, according to Hilton, the gallery has “a solid and supportive collector base,” Hilton will devote more time to her art practice and a forthcoming book, “Spirit of Ecstasy—The True Meaning of Wealth!,” expected to debut this spring. Read the rest of this entry »

News: Museum of Contemporary Photography’s 40th Anniversary DARKROOM Benefit to Honor Barbara Kasten, Sonia Bloch

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Claude Ailne Miller, Sandro Miller and Carrie Lannon at DARKROOM 2015. /Photo: Jeff Schear.

Claude-Aline Miller, Sandro Miller and Carrie Lannon at DARKROOM 2015/Photo: Jeff Schear

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) announced that its upcoming 40th Anniversary Benefit Auction to take place on February 25 will pay homage to philanthropist Sonia Bloch and acclaimed Chicago artist Barbara Kasten, presenting each woman with the Silver Camera Award in honor of their contributions to the medium of photography. Read the rest of this entry »

Newcity’s Top 5 of Everything 2015: Art

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Top 5 Art Anniversaries
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (150th)
The Renaissance Society (100th)
Arts Club of Chicago (99th)
Smart Museum (40th)
Loyola University Art Museum (10th)
–Elliot Reichert

Top 5 Visiting Artist Talks 
Hito Steyerl
Agnès Varda
Joan Jonas
Jeff Koons
Thomas Hirschhorn
–Elliot Reichert Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Call Us An Art Museum: Pitchfork at the MCA

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Jessica Hopper and Carrie Brownstein. /Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Jessica Hopper and Carrie Brownstein/Photo: Nathan Keay

Have you been to the Museum of Contemporary Art lately? It’s like the Experience Music Project in there! Read the rest of this entry »

News: MCA Benefit Auction Returns with Big Names, New Works

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Hugh Scott-Douglas. "Untitled," 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery.

Hugh Scott-Douglas. “Untitled,” 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery.

After several years hiatus, the Museum of Contemporary Art will host a benefit auction on Friday, October 23. The event will feature more than 100 works of art by well-known and emerging artists, many of whom have worked with the MCA throughout its history or whose work has been exhibited at the museum in recent years, including Olafur Eliasson, Takashi Murakami, James Welling, Isa Genzken, Doris Salcedo and Sanford Biggers. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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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 »

Breaking News: Douglas Druick, Art Institute of Chicago President and Director, to Retire

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Douglas Druick, 2011.

Douglas Druick, 2011.

Douglas Druick, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago, announced his intention to retire late Tuesday evening. Druick has been at the helm of the Art Institute since 2011 and has served for a total of thirty years at Chicago’s mainstay art museum. In nearly five years, Druick oversaw the Art Institute through major growth and change, including the acquisition of the largest gift of art in the museum’s history, given by Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson earlier this year, record high attendance and recognition as being among the best museums in the world. For these specific achievements and his overall leadership of the institution, Druick topped Newcity’s list of Chicago’s 50 most powerful art figures in 2015.

“It has been my honor to serve as the Art Institute’s president and director,” said Druick. “I have been deeply proud to lead one of the finest museums in the world, and to work for three decades with an exceptional cadre of remarkably talented museum colleagues.” Read the rest of this entry »