Art Seen: National

MARK GROTJAHN // BUTTERFLY PAINTINGS

by Deborah Doering Butterflies – and Grotjahn’s work – may be seen as transformational entities, quite appropriate for new beginnings. Curator Douglas Fogle has selected 15 of Grotjahn’s seminal paintings from public and private collections to illustrate the evolution of the artist’s work, created between 2001–2008, currently on view at Blum & Poe’s inaugural exhibition[…]

NICOLE EISENMAN // DEAR NEMESIS,

by Stephanie Cristello Open Letter to an Enemy: Nicole Eisenman (1993–2003) When Western painters in the mid-late 1800s imagined the exotic landscape of the East, it was filled with caricature and hyperbole. Style comes into question more in this genre than any other, because the paintings are topical – what you see on the surface,[…]

JIM HODGES // WALKER ART CENTER

by Patrick G. Putze Give More Than You Take Once in a blue moon, a retrospective of an artist you know very little about comes along and completely sweeps you off your feet. This is the case of The Walker Art Center’s current exhibition entitled Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take. The exhibition features[…]

PROFILE OF THE ARTIST PT II // DEB SOKOLOW

In Conversation with Joshua Michael Demaree Part II Read Pt I of the interview here. Posted last week was the first of a two part conversation with Deb Sokolow, contemporary art’s own private detective. Her drawings and artist’s books take the form of exposés, revealing imagined pasts of mystery and intrigue. Her compositions skillfully combine[…]

PROFILE OF THE ARTIST PT I // DEB SOKOLOW

In Conversation with Joshua Michael Demaree Part I Deb Sokolow is the closest thing contemporary art has to a private eye. Her drawings, like a good detective, lay out the plots points of a mystery and allows the viewer to put the pieces together. She has a masterful grasp of the interplay between the visual[…]

WRITING INTERNATIONALLY // EXPERIENCING EXHIBITIONS ONLINE

A Panel Discussion Organized by THE SEEN Publishing platforms are changing – the transition from print into online is more rapid now than ever. THE SEEN, Chicago’s International Online Journal of Contemporary & Modern Art, features in-depth global coverage of exhibitions, artists, and events. An independent editorial affiliate of EXPO CHICAGO, the publication is the[…]

MARIA LASSNIG // MoMA PS1

by Tara Plath NEW YORK, NY. Maria Lassnig’s current survey at MoMA PS1 invites viewers to contemplate context, whether by intention or not. This invitation is proposed by the very nature of the self-portraits on view by the Vienna painter, born in 1919 and currently living and working in her native city, as well as[…]

UICA // MERCURIAL SILENCE

by Alexandra Kadlec GRAND RAPIDS, MI. A thin streak of yellow chalk maps an uneven path across the charcoal-gray walls of a darkened gallery room within the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art. It recalls a road, the course of a life; the nonlinear, unpredictable journey we are all fated to experience. That the backdrop of[…]

MONUMENT / ANTI-MONUMENT

by Stephanie Cristello ST. LOUIS, MO. Within the context of public sculpture and installation, a friend and I often talk about the pejorative category of merit-badge art. I have since found myself applying it to almost every context and conversation surrounding public art that I am forced to think about, or address on any higher[…]

JORDAN WOLFSON // DAVID ZWIRNER

by Stephanie Cristello “Every night I rush to my bed with hopes that maybe I’ll get a chance to see you when I close my eyes[1]” “I want to hold the hand inside you I want to take a breath that’s true[2]” You start at the edge of a long hallway, placing one foot in[…]

SCOTT REEDER // MOON DUST

by Amber Renaye Interdisciplinary is in. If you’re involved in the art world and someone asks what you do, they are expecting a list, not a title. Scott Reeder has more lists than anyone – some of his lists have advanced into paintings while hundreds, probably thousands more, fill pages of private notebooks, binders, and[…]

UNITED STATES ARTISTS // MOVING TO CHICAGO

THE SEEN Staff This morning at the Chicago Cultural Center, a number of members of the press collected for the announcement of United States Artists’ move from LA to Chicago, naming Carolina Garcia Jayaram, formerly of the Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) the new CEO of the foundation back in January. Special Events Commissioner Michelle T.[…]

ALIEN SHE // VOX POPULI

by Joshua Michael Demaree The first line of Bikini’s Kill’s Wikipedia page reads: “Bikini Kill was an American punk rock band formed in Olympia, Washington in October 1990.”  It is written in the past tense as if to say: this band was and now it is not.  The sentence is short and sweet, just like[…]

DAVID HARTT // THE REPUBLIC

by Stephanie Cristello Casual Violence A car thrown onto its side. When we visualize this image, we imagine a symbol of revolt. It is an attack on orientation, on forward movement, on progress – but it is also an image inescapably attached to the political domain, to capital and to the state, though the car[…]

ETERNAL HINDSIGHT // NEW MUSEUM

by Tara Plath Currently on display on the fifth floor of the New Museum are a pair of time-bending exhibitions—iterations of past and future that ultimately meet in the middle: the present moment, perhaps even a statement of art today. The first is an empirical study in the New Museum’s Resource Center; Occupied Territory: A[…]

MIRROR STAGE // AN INTERVIEW WITH CONOR BACKMAN

by Stephanie Cristello – Originally published on New American Paintings – We trace history in a similar way we trace source. The significance of certain symbols have a sense of time to them, which is neither part of the object, nor a prescription onto the object – but an affect of belonging, in a condensed[…]

THE FIVE SENSES // SMoCA

by Sarah Hamilton For a very long time, I have advocated for art, and art experiences, that engaged numerous senses – not just the primary one and a half that the term “visual art” aims for. There are plenty of artists out there that do engage numerous senses, striving to create an environment, not just[…]

RUFFNECK CONSTRUCTIVISTS // ICA PHILADELPHIA

by Joshua Michael Demaree Known for her famed silhouette tableaux that hang in museums around the world, Kara Walker is an artist and professor that has yet to complete that all-important art world trifecta of multitasking.  That is, until now.  From February 12 until August 16, Walker’s first curated show, Ruffneck Constructivists, is on view[…]

EXPO CHICAGO GUIDE // WHITNEY BIENNIAL WEEK

by THE SEEN Staff Next week, the Whitney Biennial will open, the Armory Show will be in full swing, and numerous exhibitions and events will be on view in New York City. Below is our guide – stay tuned for our coverage next week, where we will be reporting live and reviewing select exhibitions on[…]

CRANBROOK ART MUSEUM // DRAWING AS THINKING AND PROCESS

By Alexandra Kadlec Drawing is often perceived as the beginning of an expression, as well as the culmination of a concept, a message, and a story. It may also be the precursor to, the draft of, a finished product; we imagine the artist that first sketches the scene that will become the painting. In the[…]

PROFILE OF THE ARTIST // HANK WILLIS THOMAS

by Hiba Ali At its core, the work of Hank Willis Thomas asks his viewers to observe how mass media constructs the myth of race and identity. In his multi-venue exhibition, currently on view Cleveland, Ohio, is his entire early major series, the 82-part photographs within Unbranded: Reflections in Black Corporate America, 1968–2008, on display[…]

LIFELIKE // PHOENIX ART MUSEUM

by Sarah Hamilton Deceptive and delicate, Lifelike keeps visitors on their toes. Currently on view at the Phoenix Art Museum, it is the kind of exhibition that, at first glance, might cause you to blow it off. “Andy Warhol’s brillo boxes? Again?” But much like the work it features, Lifelike deceives expectations.  The show features[…]

Angelina Gualdoni // Asya Geisberg Gallery

by Nadiah Fellah Angelina Gualdoni’s paintings are works that reward a close look. The fragmented scenes captured on her canvases are at once formally complex and materially simple, depicting images that verge on the figurative, while fading into abstraction in certain passages. Gualdoni says of her current work: “I [want] to make the physicality of[…]

Assorted Abstraction, In Three Parts

by Tara Plath The exhibition currently on view at Thierry Goldberg is repetitive, but not redundant. On view through February 2, it features two artists in three parts; each installation exists as a chapter of the untitled series of paintings by John Bianchi and Jeffrey Kessel. Facing out of the gallery and onto the street[…]