Art Seen: Chicago

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CHRISTOPHER MEERDO // DOCUMENT

by Vanessa Gravenor A group of screens lie upon a gray industrial floor, entangled within one another like roots in a rhizomatic structure. Each of the screens project different images of alternate digital worlds. Is this digital culture showing its inherent networked structure? A flat first inquiry. On the walls, one sees other screens deconstructed[…]

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CARLOS BUNGA // STONY ISLAND ARTS BANK

by Anastasia Karpova Tinari In Carlos Bunga’s Under the Skin, a colonnade of cardboard scaffolding fills and divides the high vaulted interior architecture of Theaster Gates’ newly-renovated Stony Island Arts Bank building. The Spain-based artist uses humble materials like cardboard and tape to create architectonic installations, in which the construction and deconstruction of the work[…]

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ASSISTED // KAVI GUPTA GALLERY

by Stephanie Cristello Curated by and including work of artist Jessica Stockholder, whose exhibition Door Hinges is concurrently on view in the lower galleries of Kavi Gupta’s Elizabeth Street location, ASSISTED features sixteen artists, and could easily be a visual essay on form and object-hood. Here, the group exhibition format is approached as a work in and of itself,[…]

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PROFILE OF THE COLLECTORS // NANCY & DAVID FREJ

By Stephanie Cristello In his 1958 text The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard makes the argument that one can “read a house” or “read a room.”[1] For him, a house was an amalgamation of a thousand images — though his proposition was not entirely visual. This “reading” was not limited to visual language (ie. the[…]

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CHARLES RAY // SCUPTURE, 1997–2014

by Terry R. Myers download the printable PDF from Issue 01 No artist of his generation takes up space like Charles Ray, even when he sticks to a single sculpture in a room. Like many of the most important sculptors before him, size, scale and space have been core concerns of his since the late[…]

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AFTERWORD VIA FANTASIA // THE FREEDOM PRINCIPLE

by Stephanie Cristello download the printable PDF from Issue 01 Admirable and amazing are all things of which we do not know the causes.¹ –Francesco de’Vieri, 1586 On July 9, 1975, artist Bas Jan Ader sailed out of the harbor in Cape Cod, Massachusetts to perform In search of the miraculous. He never did return.[…]

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IRENA HAIDUK // SEDUCTIVE EXACTING REALISM

by Natalie Hegert download printable PDF from Issue 01 Waiting is important for this work. Please, have a seat. Make yourself comfortable. While you wait I will tell you a story. Two old sisters who lived in a small house by the sea looked out over the calm waves one day and saw a ship[…]

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HARDCORE ARCHITECTURE

By Thea Liberty Nichols Hardcore Architecture, organized by Marc Fischer of the collaborative Public Collectors, demystifies the punk rock rite of passage of stuffing money and stamps in an envelope and hoping for the best. In an ongoing project begun in 2014, Fischer has been combing through Maximum RocknRoll (MRR) back issues from 1982–89, looking for[…]

THE SEEN Issue 01

Announcing Issue 01: This September

  We’re going to print. After 21 successful online monthly issues, THE SEEN is launching Issue 01 in print this September. The full-color, oversize journal will be produced as a limited-edition 5,000 count run. With Staff Writers reporting from around the world, each issue of THE SEEN features in-depth writing on contemporary art, as well as[…]

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PROFILE OF THE ARTIST // KEIICHI TANAAMI

By Anastasia Karpova Tinari Renowned Japanese designer, illustrator, video, and Pop artist Keiichi Tanaami influenced succeeding generations of interdisciplinary workers, yet his work is still gaining widespread recognition in the United States. A Corbett vs. Dempsey exhibition which closed in June, his third showing and first full-scale exhibition in the Chicago gallery, featured intimately scaled, chock-full collages[…]

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S, M, L, XL // MCA CHICAGO

by S. Nicole Lane Sculpture in relation to the establishment—the blank space, the rectangular confines of the gallery, and the pedestal—have been challenged over the last five decades by artists whose interests lie increasingly in the physical interaction and phenomenology of objects in space. S,M,L,XL, curated by Michael Darling and currently on view at the Museum[…]

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DIEGO RIVERA AND FRIDA KAHLO // DIA

by Robin Dluzen With black-and-white photos of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo side-by-side in studio attire or lip-locked in an intimate embrace, the marketing for Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit at the Detroit Institute of Arts would have one believing that the artists’ romance is at the center of the exhibition. The mainstream[…]

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DORIS SALCEDO // MCA CHICAGO

by Giovanni Aloi  Under the Skin Silence—this is the overpowering impression that haunts viewers walking through the galleries of Columbian-born artist Doris Salcedo’s work, which just recently closed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Salcedo’s sculptures reverberate like the calm after the storm—they stand like ruins—memories of events and people that have tragically[…]

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SCENIC OVERLOOK // INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN GILES

by S. Nicole Lane Acclaimed skylines serve as a mirror for a pulsating city; consequently, the people’s identity is boiled down to the tallest building, the brightest lights, and the awe-struck, open-mouthed, rubbernecking tourists. Those who beat along in the urban playground are depicted by its buildings—by the shape of the towers and the way[…]

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SIMULTANEOUS: SERIPOP & SONNENZIMMER

by Caroline Picard Composing Landscapes “We’ve been friends and fans of Seripop since the early 2000’s when we (Sonnenzimmer and Seripop) both began making screen printed posters… Though our aesthetic is notably different, our work tends to be much more pushed back and quiet, they have a similar use of formal exploration and material experimentation that[…]

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WHAT REMAINS // MoCP

by Gregory Maher Fables of Home What is perhaps most striking in the exhibition What Remains, which recently closed at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, is the sense of isolation that surfaces in each of the artist’s work. These photographers, as they grow up and apart from their communities, begin to develop a mythic sense[…]

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ERNIE GEHR // FILM STUDIES CENTER

by S. Nicole Lane “This is a tough program,” quipped Ernie Gehr at the Film Studies Center before screening his latest digital works in HD at the University of Chicago. Gehr, a Structuralist filmmaker who challenges traditional cinema, presented five films: Photographic Phantoms (2013), Picture Taking (2010), Winter Morning (2013), Auto Collider XVIII (2011), and[…]

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DRUNKEN GEOMETRY // DEVENING PROJECTS + EDITIONS

by Ruslana Lichtzier Language is itself a corrupted medium—to think with, and to write about art. While art can reach singularity, in that it can stand by itself, denoting nothing other than itself, language is unbearably caught in the referential; it is a net of the world as it is (which also hints upon why[…]

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MATHIAS POLEDNA // THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY

by Ruslana Lichtzier A Ballad of Wasted Time Notes on Mathias Poledna, coupled with some peripheral questions about the meaning of art. The Renaissance Society is currently exhibiting work by LA-based artist Mathias Poledna with a two-component exhibition: a 6:40 min color film, entitled Substance, and a spatial architectural intervention. The film portrays a Rolex[…]

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NEW CATALOGUE // RHONA HOFFMAN

by Stephanie Cristello This is a Present from a Small, Distant World. The sun is presently setting. It is grey, even-toned, and the sky is gently lit in an un-gradated hue of pale steel blue and pallid violet, faintly dimming. Light to dark. The sun is setting. There is a sunset, but this is not[…]

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ANNE COLLIER // MCA CHICAGO

by Ruslana Lichtzier Open me like a book Anne Collier photographs reinvent the galleries of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as a sacred modernistic white cube, a frequently imagined space, but one rarely accomplished. Amidst the holiday cacophony and the David Bowie Is exhibition, Collier’s show is set apart in silence. At once enigmatic[…]

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VOLATILITY SMILE // INTERVIEW WITH PHILIP VANDERHYDEN

In Conversation with Ruslana Lichtzier — Part 2 — As I prefaced in the first half of the interview, the reason for inviting Philip Vanderhyden to participate in a textual conversation came from a strong sense of confusion on my part.  When I went to visit Vanderhyden’s current show, Volatility Smile, at Andrew Rafacz Gallery,[…]

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VOLATILITY SMILE // INTERVIEW WITH PHILIP VANDERHYDEN

In Conversation with Ruslana Lichtzier — Part I — Surface-Level Obsessor Philip Vanderhyden’s current show, Volatility Smile, at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, caught me by surprise. I came to visit it, assuming that the space will feature Vanderhyden’s well defined paintings, but instead the artist chose to exhibit a 30-foot-long video wall sculpture. In an attempt[…]

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MICKALENE THOMAS // I WAS BORN TO DO GREAT THINGS

by Ann Meisinger Mickalene Thomas’ I was born to do great things, currently on view at Kavi Gupta is her first solo show with the gallery. While the work in the exhibition was clearly conceptualized by the artist, it would seem unfair to call it a “solo,” as Thomas did not create this exhibition alone.[…]