Art Seen: Chicago

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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,[…]

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[…]

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.[…]

SARAH CHARLESWORTH: STILLS // ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO

by Stephanie Cristello The first fall is hard to replicate. Since Milton’s original passage on Lucifer, cast out of heaven, falling unrestrained and without resistance for nine days—the severity of the fall in art has only gained in significance as a motif. The drama and spectacle of the fall has since been used, and reinvented,[…]

FLOW/IM FLUSS // LUFTWERK

In Conversation with Hiba Ali Luftwerk (meaning in English, “air-work”) is a duo that consists of Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero—and if you haven’t experienced their light, sound and (more recently) fluid installations, you’ve certainly passed by them. Starting this week, they will exhibit FLOW / Im Fluss, in collaboration with Chicago Loop Alliance, Goethe-Institut Chicago, Friends[…]

CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE BIENNIAL // INTERVIEW

by Joshua Michael Demaree An Interview with Sarah Herda and Joseph Grima We live in a consumerist age. This, of course, is not a surprise to anyone, especially architects. Perspecta 47, the newest edition of Yale’s student-edited architectural journal, takes this question head on by emblazoning its theme in big gold lettering across its front:[…]

SIMON STARLING // MCA CHICAGO

by Shreya Sethi Simon Starling contends with the very idea of transportation as his subject. Undertaking poetic expeditions that highlight specific global exchanges, the British-born neo-conceptual artist works across multiple disciplines—drawing from extensive research to construct meaning. In Flaga, a red and white Fiat 126 hangs on the wall like a painting. The car—a symbol[…]

HELSINGISTÄ // WESTERN EXHIBITIONS

by Hiba Ali Helsingistä, the title of the exhibition currently on view at Western Exhibitions, means to be from Helsinki. The title anchors the geographical coordinates for the artists, Ari Pelkonen and Valpuri Kylmänen. Versed in the techniques of lithography and woodcut printing, Pelkonen and Kylmänen, have been working alongside each other ever since they met[…]

PRENTICE WINDOWS // JEFF PROKASH PART III

by Joshua Michael Demaree In 2013, when architect Betrand Goldberg’s infamous Prentice Women’s Hospital began to be demolished, the artist and cultural communities of Chicago that had fought to save the Brutalist tower, looked on in dismay. Chicago-based artist, Jeff Prokash, had a different reaction: rather than see the building as lost, he imagined what[…]

NORMAN ZAMMITT // ANDREW RAFACZ

by Shreya Sethi Norman Zammitt’s acrylic paintings of gradated color, currently on display at Andrew Rafacz, were produced in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, around the same time that home computers began gaining popularity. The works, much smaller in scale but similar in style to Zammitt’s Mural paintings, are composed of narrow bands of[…]

PRENTICE WINDOWS // JEFF PROKASH PART II

by Joshua Michael Demaree – Read Pt I here – Earlier this year, Chicago-based artist Jeff Prokash — beyond all expectations — was fortunate enough to become the owner of three iconic elliptical windows from famed architect Betrand Goldberg’s Prentice Women’s Hopsital in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. The Brutalist tower, after a long and ill-fated fight[…]

PRENTICE WINDOWS // JEFF PROKASH PART I

By Joshua Michael Demaree When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those[…]

MARCO BRAUNSCHWEILER // DOCUMENT

by Hiba Ali Photo lapses, late nights, decay, and the accumulation of debris; these circumstances may appear as a randomized assortment, but have one particular quantifier in common: time. An essential aspect of Marco Braunschweiler‘s I want to be an honest man and a good writer, currently on view at Document, is how time and[…]

CHICAGO DESIGN MUSEUM // STARTS/SPECULATIONS

by Ann Meisinger The Chicago Design Museum is a peculiar entity; it is a permanent institution in a semi-permanent location. The space functions as a support base for the design community, and is looking forward to a decidedly non-for-profit future. After several years of itinerant status – doing yearly pop-up exhibitions – the museum opened[…]

MINDY ROSE SCHWARTZ // QT

by Stephanie Cristello CHICAGO, IL. What qualities make an object mysterious? It is easy to assume that the affect is a result of the unknowable, or the more auratic, outside forces of the thing at hand. But one could equally say that it is the thing itself, stripped bare of its abstract potentials, its ability[…]

JIMENEZ LAI // VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE

by Stephanie Cristello You don’t have to travel to Venice to catch a glimpse of the 2014 Biennale of Architecture. On view now through August, Between Two Boxes: The Interstitial Imaginings of Jimenez Lai is currently installed at Clayco and Forum Studio here in Chicago. The Chicago-based designer’s work is featured in the Taiwanese Pavilion,[…]

MISTAKES HAVE HIDDEN INTENTION // DEVENING PROJECTS + EDITIONS

by Hiba Ali Disruptions, fissures, and cracks figure largely in the press release for Mistakes Have Hidden Intention, currently on view at devening projects + editions. The work involves the act of displacement through the arrangement of forms. The artists featured in the exhibition are all affiliated with Scotty Enterprises, a gallery project in Kreuzburg,[…]

PRIVATE DREAM // RICHARD GRAY GALLERY

THE SEEN Staff Last night, Spanish artist Jaume Plensa attended the opening for his solo exhibition, Private Dream at Richard Gray Gallery, presenting new sculptures. Join him Monday, June 16 at 6pm at the Art Institute of Chicago for a free public lecture on his extensive body of artwork in public spaces around the world,[…]