Is there a clever conceptual conceit in an exhibition that aims to present works which “challenge traditional ideas—as well as viewer expectations—about the display of art” and then proceeds to not really do too much of either of those things? It seems to be a conceptual failure, a deep and abiding one in a show that, while enjoyable, is rife with them. [Read more…]
You’ve seen her work. She made that group of a hundred headless iron giants on the south edge of Grant Park, called “Agora” (2006). The Warsaw-based Abakanowicz (born 1930) is recognized internationally as an important postwar figural sculptor. She has a special relationship to Chicago, too, not just because of its enormous Polish population, but because her first North American retrospective was at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1982. [Read more…]
In “Double Take,” Newcity Art commissions two or more critics to consider a single topic or exhibition, offering multiple perspectives on complex, timely matters in Chicago’s visual arts.
Lee Ann Norman
Kerry James Marshall mines the major genres of art history—from figuration and landscapes to abstraction and the granddaddy of them all, the history painting—to accomplish a singular goal: inserting black subjects into the art-historical canon without irony, caricature, self-righteousness or shame. “Kerry James Marshall: Mastry,” his first major museum retrospective, reveals some of the major concerns influencing his goal of sparking an artistic revolution. [Read more…]
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?
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.
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)
Top 5 Visiting Artist Talks
–Elliot Reichert [Read more…]
Recently shortlisted for the prestigious Hugo Boss Prize, Los Angeles-based artist Laura Owens debuts a new body of paintings, sculpture and ceramics at Soccer Club Club, the unlikely exhibition space of Drag City, a West Side independent music label. A prolific painter, Chicagoans might recall her mammoth 168-inch-by-132-inch work “Untitled,” a fixture of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s permanent collection. In her painting, Owens consistently deploys a range of tropes including grids, thick hovering lines that double as brushstrokes, gratuitous drop shadows and Peanuts-like cartoon characters wielding tennis racquets. [Read more…]