CURRENT ISSUE

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[…]

AN EVENING, CHAPTER 32

R.H. QUAYTMAN // SECESSION by Ezara Spangl >click here to download pdf In R. H. Quaytman’s exhibition at the Secession, the artist—whose 2011 publication Spine requested that no pronouns be used in reference to the artist—has once again staged what Quaytman calls a ‘chapter.’ The chapter functions to explore, explain, and elevate the artist’s self-reflective lyrical[…]

LAURA OWENS // WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

By Terry R. Myers >click here to download PDF One of the added benefits of this well-timed mid-career survey of Laura Owens’ paintings comes from it having been organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art. Lately, we have been reminded that painting can still matter, which it always has—despite, or perhaps because of, the[…]

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-[…]

LANGUAGE OF PERMISSION

ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO // MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES By Paige Landesberg >click here to download PDF Anna Maria Maiolino’s vocabulary is expressed through a combination of form, symbol, and material that articulates the artist’s path through labor, motherhood, and migration. The first room of her recent self-titled retrospective exhibition at the Museum of[…]

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[…]

WHATEVER BODY

COMMODITY LIMITED // ON THE SURFACE OF AN IMAGE By Vanessa Gravenor >click here to download PDF A coughing man on repeat stares forward. His beady eyes have a hollowed-out effect and inform us, the viewers, of his irritation with our presence. The footage of this man, who is called The Assistant, hacks into a[…]

TO SPEAK WHAT HAS NO WORDS

PROSPECT.4 // NEW ORLEANS by Ruslana Lichtzier >click here to download PDF In New Orleans, I found myself wandering in a sultry haze, in an obnoxiously cute city. A condition that is not good for the senses. You cannot keep it cool when you are melting. And yet, when I arrived for the preview events[…]

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[…]

FORMS OF TENSION

EWA AXELRAD // PROFILE OF THE ARTIST By Alfredo Cramerotti >click here to download PDF Ewa Axelrad’s works are connected to specific spaces, functioning as place responsive interventions. Treating the space actively, and emphasizing its context, her work refers to personal stories and collective memory. Devoid of an original context, the artworks are at once[…]

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:[…]

ROCK IN A HARD PLACE:

ART, ROCK, CRITICISM // A SPIRITUAL EXEGESIS 1 By Zachary Cahill “The inner life in its abstraction from the world has as its first differentiation the one that music is connected with, namely feeling, i.e. the widening subjectivity of the self which does proceed to have an objective content but still leaves this content remaining[…]

EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS

NONFOOD // FOOD AS ART AND PRODUCT By Joel Kuennen >click here to download PDF Food, in aesthetic discourse, has its own apex in the culinary arts. The culinary arts are defined by the processing of raw food stuffs into consumable portions, which are in some way better, according to specific cultural and aesthetic norms.[…]

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

By Stephanie Cristello >click here to download PDF You walk into an empty gallery—white walls, fluorescent lights—to encounter a series of electronic diffusers, each containing a molecule formulation designed to trigger certain olfactory receptors. You hover over their dispersions. The scents are familiar, but implacable. They transform as you try to name them, fugitive and[…]

ISSUE 06 // ANNOUNCING PREVIEW TITLES

                              Under the Cover THE SEEN announces the Spring / Summer preview titles launching Issue 06 in print this April 2018, featuring Brendan Fernandes on the cover to align with his recent exhibition, The Master and Form, at the Graham Foundation. The full-color, oversize journal will be produced as a limited-edition 9,000[…]

ISSUE 05 // ANNOUNCING PREVIEW TITLES

Under the Cover THE SEEN announces the Fall / Winter preview titles launching Issue 05 in print this September 2017, featuring Bouchra Khalili on the cover to align with their inclusion in Palais de Tokyo | Singing Stones at The Roundhouse on the DuSable Museum of African American History campus. The full-color, oversize journal will be produced as a limited-edition 9,000 count run available for distribution[…]

LYNETTE YIADOM-BOAKYE // A PASSION TO A PRINCIPLE

click here to download PDF By Bomi Odufunade A Passion To A Principle constitutes Lynette Yiadom-Boakye first institutional solo show in Switzerland. The exhibition, on view at Kunsthalle Basel, identifies many of her signature themes: a figurative painter, her luminous canvases are filled with mostly black figures notable for their unbeknownst ambiguity. She paints these[…]

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[…]

ANSLEM KIEFER // WHITE CUBE BERMONDSEY

click here to download PDF By Dr. Kostas Prapoglou Anselm Kiefer’s most recent exhibition at White Cube Bermondsey in London is at once an allegory and oxymoron between fantasy and raw reality. Entitled Walhalla, after the imaginary Arcadian place in Norse mythology, the show spans the gallery’s entire space, encompassing a newly commissioned site-specific installation,[…]

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[…]

DIANE SIMPSON // HOUSE IMAGES

click here to download PDF By Susan Snodgrass In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard’s well-known meditation on the phenomenology of architecture (published in 1957), the interior space of home offers a storehouse of images and experiences by which to unleash the poetic imagination. “[B]y approaching the house images with care not to break up[…]

JIMMIE DURHAM // AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD

click here to download PDF By Joel Kuennen I am a white male born in the United States.[1] My father was born in Chickasaw County, Iowa, on land stolen from the Ho-Chunk tribe.[2] The Chickasaw never lived there. In some cruel joke, the county was named after a tribe that had lived in the Southern[…]

SMOG, DRONES, STAIRCASES, AND ENERGY DRINKS // ANNE IMHOF

click to download PDF By Vanessa Gravenor Smog, drones, staircases, and energy drinks: these are the objects that dominate Frankfurt-based artist Anne Imhof’s performative installations. These inanimate articles and states are sometimes joined by falcons, horses, and bunny rabbits. Composed almost entirely of immaterial gestures, Imhof’s work exists at the intersection of contemporary dance and[…]