Art Seen: Chicago

CHANEL CHIFFON THOMAS: FRACTURED REALITY // GOLDFINCH PROJECTS

By Amarie Gipson Walking into Chicago’s Goldfinch Projects gallery space, a cluster of paintings greet and orient viewers in the interior of a Black family’s home: an infant sleeping on the chest of a resting father, a smiling mother and her two children, a little Black boy and his father seated at the kitchen table.[…]

THE LAST ACTS // ATLAS UNLIMITED: LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS

By Gabrielle Welsh “She’s here! She’s arrived.” You are greeted by a gallery attendant, no, beckoned in with a yell. Barely four steps into the exhibition hall, you do not have an option to politely wave your hand, nor retreat back into the lobby of the space. An eccentric young man pulls you into a[…]

GAYLEN GERBER // ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO

By Noah Hanna In 1953 Marcel Duchamp distributed candy to the guests of a Bill Copley exhibition in Paris. The individually packaged treats were wrapped in foil and bore the statement: ‘A Guest + A Host = A Ghost.’ Though Duchamp was no stranger to wordplay in his work, nor was this small performative gesture[…]

ASHA SCHECHTER // SHANE CAMPBELL LINCOLN PARK

By Jacob Stewart-Halevy In 1963, the artists Konrad Lueg and Gerhard Richter sat on brown woolen couches beneath kitsch paintings in a furniture store in Düsseldorf. Pretending to be bored watching television, they were Living with Pop, or at least making fun of those who did. The performance was an important moment in postwar art.[…]

DOUBLE EDGED ADORNMENT // EBONY G. PATTERSON

By Caroline Picard Currently on view at Monique Meloche Gallery is new work by Ebony G. Patterson, …for those who bear/bare witness…, a solo show that explores the slip between human visibility and invisibility within our societal and material conditions. Patterson’s primary tool is aesthetic: intricately layering textiles and garden imagery, she creates a sensual[…]

LET ME CONSIDER IT FROM HERE // THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY

By Ryan Filchak Once a street is well equipped to handle strangers, once it has both a good, effective demarcation between private and public spaces and has a basic supply of activity and eyes, the more strangers the merrier. —Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities Curated by Solveig Øvstebø, this latest exhibition[…]

BETHANY JOY COLLINS: UNDERSONG // PATRON GALLERY

By Amarie Gipson “Language is the foundation of civilization. It is the glue that holds a people together. It is the first weapon drawn in a conflict.” -Arrival (2016) In the work of Chicago-based artist Bethany Collins, language is both the subject and material. Language is a prism through which she explores American history and[…]

DAVID HOCKNEY: TIME AND MORE, SPACE AND MORE… // RICHARD GRAY GALLERY

By Noah Hanna In the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland hangs David Hockney’s 1995 photograph, Photography is Dead, Long Live Painting. The image depicts two purple vases of sunflowers, one captured from life, the other its rendering in watercolor. I have always been particularly fond of this work, a sort of Joseph Kosuth[…]

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-[…]