A recent screening and lecture at the Art Institute titled “Warhol before Warhol” featured five early Warhol films—“Jim Rosenquist at Work,” “Henry in the Bathroom,” “Jill and Freddy Dancing,” “Haircut (No. 1)” and “Elvis at Ferus”—all silent black-and-white meditations that require quite a bit of effort and focus to stick with but pay off in fun ways if you do. [Read more…]
In celebration of its fortieth anniversary, the Museum of Contemporary Photography digs deep into its permanent collection, an archive of more than 14,000 images that captures each stage of growth in the lifespan of the ever-evolving medium. Illustrating the evolution of photography as well as that of the museum itself, “MoCP at 40” is a jam-packed exhibition in which not an inch of wall goes to waste. [Read more…]
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 more…]
“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 Named after an unpublished manuscript by intersex pioneer Lynn Harris, “Bring Your Own Body” blends historical documents and contemporary art to provide critical perspectives on the ongoing formation of transgender identities.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 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 “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.
Andy Warhol’s “Troy Diptych” typifies his interest in celebrity culture. The silkscreen image shows repeated headshots of Troy Donahue, an American actor and singer: one canvas of multicolored headshots is paired with black-and-white ones on a larger canvas. The repetition causes Donahue to lose his charm as a pop star; the image becomes banal, and viewers cannot see past the flat surface of the painting. [Read more…]