In 1897, the Art Institute of Chicago began hosting an annual juried “Chicago and Vicinity” exhibition. As the 1985 catalog explained: “Though the format has changed, the purpose has remained essentially the same: to provide a forum for the best new art being produced in the Chicago area—1600 entries, 136 works, thirteen prizes.” But that turned out to be the last iteration. Big money was flowing into the contemporary art market and museums were not going to attract these investments with a quality-focused, locally specific curatorial practice begun in the nineteenth century. [Read more…]
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 more…]
Alex Chitty once said in an interview that she arranges found objects in her work so “they seem to have always belonged together.” On display in Shane Campbell Gallery’s domestic project space, her sculptures look very much at home. [Read more…]
Mono-ha (“school of things”) is a group of contemporary Japanese artist-philosophers who manipulate things just enough to make some of their physical properties a noticeable object of contemplation. Instead of craft, they cultivate awareness, and indeed the craft on display in the Kishio Suga exhibit would barely meet the standards of a high-school shop class. [Read more…]
As I stroll slowly into Patron Gallery, Emanuel Aguilar walks briskly up to greet me. With partially unpacked artworks leaning against the walls and the smell of fresh paint lingering in the air, the storefront gallery reeks of transition and anticipation. [Read more…]
Long heralded as a mecca for alternative practices, collectivity and socially engaged art, Chicago increasingly finds itself among the most visible international art destinations precisely because of its distinct character and openness to change and growth. What makes this city fertile ground for launching new talent and sustaining confirmed genius? A complex and ever-changing network of curators, collectors, administrators, critics, dealers, educators and other enthusiasts cultivate Chicago’s artistic vitality and diversity. The Art 50 is Newcity’s annual snapshot of Chicago’s art ecosystem. This year, we track the power players who shape the terrain in which we thrive.
The Art 50 was written by Elliot J. Reichert, Maria Girgenti, Abraham Ritchie, Kate Sierzputowski and B. David Zarley.
Cover and interior photos by Joe Mazza/Brave Lux on location at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago [Read more…]
The works in Los Angeles artist Mimi Lauter’s “A Carnival of ‘Musical Echo'” are a rare combination of frenzied, physical immediacy tempered by meticulous formal complexity, and feature an elusive narrative with roots in modernist literature and biblical allegory. These gorgeous, large-scale pastel drawings seduce with a seemingly endless supply of visual delight and symbolic intrigue. [Read more…]