Art Seen: Chicago

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

Some myths are absorbed through tradition, and others are ascertained by feeling through how to describe the structures and subjects of our times. The tactic of mythology, as a form to describe broader experience, acts as a primer for many of the pieces included in Issue 07 of THE SEEN, whose newly commissioned texts explore[…]

Candice Lin

A HARD WHITE BODY, A POROUS SLIP // LOGAN CENTER FOR THE ARTS By Jameson Paige Candice Lin thinks through some of the most troubling scars of human history. Her work approaches the entrenched legacies of colonialism, racism, sexism, etc., with an intersectional attunement that provides relatable entryways into the magnitude of these oppressive structures.[…]

Ariadne’s Thread

THE NEEDLE, THE HAYSTACK, THE THREAD // THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO By Stephanie Cristello Theseus, Prince of Athens, having conquered the minotaur by the means of Ariadne, Daughter to King Minos, who fell in love with him, escaped out of the Labyrinth. —Argument for Ariadne: An Opera (1721)   Two lovers enter a vista—it[…]

Torkwase Dyson

WYNTER-WELLS SCHOOL // THE GRAHAM FOUNDATION By Mary L. Coyne On a day I compared to Miami in Chicago where drawing a breath was a struggle, a struggle made real by his sharp attire a rag + bone ruggedness solitary changes into a black cut-off T and cigarette pants A black body among black sculpture[…]

Screenplay for an Exhibition

A JOHNSON PUBLISHING STORY // REBUILD FOUNDATION By Patrick Landford Stephensen In an interview printed by the Kunstmuseum Basel, Theaster Gates—in regard to the value of the Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) archives featured in his exhibition, Black Madonna—stated, “The value is that the world wants to know more complex understandings of Blackness in the same[…]

Partial Aphasia

ON WRITING ABOUT ART By Ruslana Lichtzier | Dedicated to Jason Morris † In a recent phone conversation with my friend, the artist Lior Modan, we were speaking about this text in the future tense. Lior said that the art writer should remain truthful to the artwork and to the artist who made it. I[…]

AfriCOBRA: Gerald Williams

ISSUE 07: SPECIAL EDITION The political atmosphere in 1968 is one of extended scholarly inquiry, Leftist reminiscence, and subtle—if not blatant—similarity to our present world, exactly fifty years later. Chicago was a hub of political organizing up until this point, both of national and community-oriented grassroots campaigns. However, by the end of 1968— with the[…]

Hand in Hand with the Handless

PROFILE OF THE ARTIST // JASON DODGE By Ryan Filchak Jason Dodge’s sculptural practice adjusts our material world to build moments of narrative, connection, and potentiality through the lens of natural phenomena. The collections of objects involved in Dodge’s practice do not so much stun the viewer into misunderstanding, but instead entice the viewer to[…]

Drawing the Curtain

MIKA HORIBUCHI // ISSUE 07 SPECIAL EDITION Selected by the Editors I. CURTAINS A Painting Duel: in the 4th century, BCE, at the top of an unnamed Grecian mountain, two of the most famous painters in the village, Zeuxis and Parrhasios, were summoned to a contest. The light was at noon; the sun shone directly[…]

A BEAUTIFUL MESS: ABSTRACTION AS STRATEGY // OUT OF EASY REACH

By Kat Lukes In late 2017, the queer media outlet them. released its inaugural video for Sister, Cister, featuring the writer, curator, and activist Kimberly Drew and the scholar, filmmaker, and activist Tourmaline Gossett.1 As Drew and Gossett sit in a pristine nail salon, the two dip their heads towards one another in a kind[…]

NAVIGATING DIGITAL NATURES // THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM

By Patrick Stephenson In the Summer of 2018 inside of a warehouse in the Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago, a small exhibition entitled The Calm Before The Storm had quietly taken shape. While located in an artist-run, live/work space, the bulk of the exhibition is not viewable in the physical space, as The Calm, is an experimental simulated environment. According[…]

DAVID WOJNAROWICZ: FLESH OF MY FLESH // ICEBERG PROJECTS

By Jameson Paige “When I put my hands on your body on your flesh I feel the history of that body” reads the opening of the recurring prose imprinted on multiple works in David Wojnarowicz: Flesh of my Flesh, a small but potent exhibition currently installed at Iceberg Projects. The heaviness of this sentence frames[…]

EXPANDING NARRATIVES: THE FIGURE AND THE GROUND // SMART MUSEUM OF ART

By Christina Nafziger In this intimate review of Expanding Narratives: The Figure and the Ground at the Smart Museum of Art, we will walk as ‘figure’ throughout the exhibition, ‘ground,’ exploring these two terms in not only the most literal sense—meaning through portraits and landscapes—but also through their evolution conceptually. In the first two sections[…]

OTOBONG NKANGA // MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART CHICAGO

Glimmer and Shine by Gabrielle Welsh We are a carbon-based life form, as the scientists say, but how a human body could turn to diamond I do not know, unless through some spiritual factor, perhaps the result of genuinely endless suffering. —Ursala K. Le Guin, The Island of Immortals Diamonds—like most precious minerals—are brought to the surface[…]

DAWOUD BEY

VISUALIZING MEMORY By Susan Snodgrass >click here to download PDF Throughout a career that has spanned over forty years, Dawoud Bey has continuously redefined the photographic portrait—from his early black-and white images of the faces of Harlem, to large-scale color Polaroids of urban youth, to symbolic portraits commemorating the young lives lost in the 1963[…]

HANK WILLIS THOMAS

UNBRANDED: REFLECTIONS IN BLACK AND A CENTURY OF WHITE WOMEN Selected by Stephanie Cristello Foreword by Janet Dees and Tamar Kharatishvili >click here to download PDF For over fifteen years, conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas has consistently explored the representation of stereotypes within mass media and American consumer culture, particularly as it relates to African-[…]

PHILIPPE PARRENO

TWO AUTOMATONS FOR ONE DUET // ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO By Natalie Hegert >click here to download PDF Floating fish balloons are a mainstay in Paris-based artist Philippe Parreno’s current work—unable to be bound to any medium, the artist explores the object in the relationship to the space of an exhibition. Utilizing scientific technology in[…]

INFORMATION THEORY

MICHAEL RAKOWITZ: BACKSTROKE OF THE WEST // MCA CHICAGO By Jordan Martins >click here to download PDF Deeply enmeshed political milieus that hover around the Middle East often share space with action figures, cheap packaging, and radio hits. Across these disparate histories and cultural productions, Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz has deployed clever substitutions and subtle[…]

MUSICAL GRAMMAR

ALEJANDRO CESARCO: SONG // RENAISSANCE SOCIETY By Stephanie Cristello Download PDF here> When a piece of classical music is played, we intuitively attach its melody to the name of the composer—not the pianist who performs its variation. For example, on this present flight to Hong Kong, where I am listening to Chopin’s Sonata No. 2[…]

THE MASTER AND FORM

BRENDAN FERNANDES // THE GRAHAM FOUNDATION By Gabrielle Welsh >click here to download PDF Brendan Fernandes wants to make you move. The Canadian, Chicago-based artist choreographs the audience just as he does the professional ballerinas performing in his pieces. The viewer, put into a position of power—as choreographer/curator— must realize their control of the object:[…]

ELLEN ROTHENBERG // SPERTUS INSTITUTE

by Pınar Üner Yılmaz If you had to leave your home for good, what would you take with you? Would you take your favorite books? The scarf that your grandmother knit for you, your favorite necklace that your best friend gave you, your red shoes, most comfortable pillow, love letters, spices that you cannot find[…]

MICHAEL RAKOWITZ : BACKSTROKE OF THE WEST // MCA CHICAGO

by Jordan Martins Deeply enmeshed political milieus that hover around the Middle East often share space with action figures, cheap packaging, and radio hits. Across these disparate histories and cultural productions, Chicago-based artist Michael Rakowitz has deployed clever substitutions and subtle comparisons in his work, to either shift contextual meanings, or simply to demonstrate the[…]

Storytelling Series: Daniel G. Baird and Stephanie Cristello

Artist Talk Sunday, November 19 | 2:00pm Chicago Athletic Association Hotel Drawing Room Library Fresh off his installation in the EXPO CHICAGO exhibition Singing Stones, organized by Palais de Tokyo and hosted at the DuSable Museum’s Roundhouse in Hyde Park, Daniel G. Baird joins us at Chicago Athletic Association hotel on November 19 for a live Storytelling[…]

Chicago Art Book Fair

Visit Us Chicago Athletic Association 12 S. Michigan Ave. THE SEEN is pleased to participate in the inaugural Chicago Art Book Fair November 16–19, 2017 at the Chicago Athletic Association. Issue 05 in print will be available, as well as past editions Issue 01–04. With Staff Writers reporting from around the world, each issue of THE SEEN features in-depth[…]