Art Seen: Chicago

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[…]

POTENTIAL METAMORPHOSIS: HELENA ALMEIDA // ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

click here to download PDF by Ruslana Lichtzier Helena Almeida, a Lisbon native, has been one of the leading figures of the Portuguese art scene since the late 1960s. She represented her country twice in the Venice Biennale and has exhibited globally, and yet her current exhibition, Work is never finished on view at the[…]

BEYOND BUILDINGS // CHICAGO ARCHIECTURE BIENNIAL

click here to download PDF by Kate Pollasch As it embarks on its second international forum, the Chicago Architecture Biennial opens this fall. Led by Co-Artistic Directors Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, of the Los Angeles-based firm Johnston Marklee, the Biennial boasts a citywide exhibition and programing engagement plan that brings the proverbial architecture world[…]

ARRIVING HERE: CANDIDA ALVAREZ // CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER

click here to download PDF by Susan Snodgrass Painter Candida Alvarez is a storyteller who maps narratives of place, both the interior landscape of the self and the external world with its cacophony of colors, sounds, and images from which she endlessly samples and draws. For Alvarez, place is an intersection of disparate stories and[…]

IN THE FOREST // DAVID HARTT

by Gabrielle Welsh Lonely sights open in the forest, a short film by David Hartt that will be unveiled in an exhibition at the Graham Foundation. An airplane flies across the otherwise silent (even though it is midday) city, construction workers work atop a roof, a pool full of water (yet empty of humans) fills[…]

NEWS: Palais de Tokyo // Singing Stones

THE SEEN Staff Palais de Tokyo: Singing Stones September 12–October 29, 2017 FEATURING: Wilfrid Almendra, Daniel G. Baird, Floating Museum, Dorian Gaudin, Lola Gonzàlez, Bouchra Khalili, Guillaume Leblon, Florian Pugnaire, David Raffini, Andrew Schachman, Cauleen Smith, Thomas Teurlai, and Raphaël Zarka EXPO CHICAGO, The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art, with the Palais de Tokyo[…]

TAKUMA NAKAHIRA // CIRCULATION

click here to download PDF By Ruslana Lichtzier When I first entered Circulation, a solo exhibition by the deceased Japanese artist Takuma Nakahira at the Art Institute of Chicago, my senses heightened. Something in the space felt off. The aesthetics of the exhibit did not align with typical museum standards. Small-scale black and white analog[…]

ASTRID KLEIN & B. INGRID OLSON // PROFILE OF THE ARTISTS

click here to download PDF By Alfredo Cramerotti The conversation between writer Alfredo Cramerotti and artists Astrid Klein and B. Ingrid Olson took place during the preparation for the two-person exhibition at The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in April 2017. Klein (b. 1951) lives and works in Cologne and Leipzig, and has shown[…]

POTENT PUSSY // JUDY CHICAGO

click here to download PDF By Natalie Hegert “It would be ridiculous to say that there’s been no change,” Judy Chicago intones with we’ve-been-through-this-before fatigue, “…but you know I can still open an art magazine and see all male shows. I don’t fucking believe it.” Chicago and I spoke over the phone just weeks after[…]

ROBERT GROSVENOR // THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY

By Caroline Picard Instead of counting sheep at night, I imagine the floor plans of places I’ve lived in an attempt to match scale, function, space, and memory. Invariably I discover blind spots—an impossible void in the middle of an apartment for instance, or the ambiguous depth of a closet—the puzzle of these projected architectures[…]

ANNA SHTEYNSHLEYGER // TRIUMPH GALLERY

In Conversation with Ruslana Lichtzier and Ryan Coffey Anna Shteynshleyger spent most of her life and in and out of institutions. One day, after a weekly therapy session, she found herself wandering through the halls of 26 Court, a downtown Brooklyn building she had often visited. That day, following the office’s doors that lined the[…]

JEFF PROKASH // TRIUMPH GALLERY

In Conversation with Ruslana Lichtzier and Ryan Coffey   Jeff Prokash’s ongoing research project, Objects for a Production in Eleven Acts, examines the resonant nature of objects and spaces as they operate within a singular information system. With each new exhibition, the set objects—which range from FBI files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act,[…]

DAN DEVENING // TRIUMPH GALLERY

In conversation with Ryan Coffey and Ruslana Lichtzier Partly loose, partly calculated, Dan Devening’s works operate within a bare economic circuit, where paintings become “scavengers” (the artist’s terms). You may notice a photographic, bureaucratic remanence; an image of a wall, a lobby, a notebook, some paper schreds. Hiding, obscuring the scene, the works push your[…]