Check out our latest post on art21:blog! This time, we talk to School of the Art Institute professor Frances Whitehead about a range of subjects, including redirective practice, the Embedded Artist project, Slow Cleanup in Chicago, and ‘what artists know.’ An excerpt below; read the full post at art21.

What do artists know? A few weeks ago, I spent an afternoon at the Chicago home of Frances Whitehead talking about the philosophical and pragmatic underpinnings of this question. To be sure, the notion that artists have a specialized knowledge — a quantifiable skill set of processes, methodologies, and approaches that they carry with them into the world — makes some people, even artists themselves, a little uncomfortable. But for Whitehead — a sculptor, gardener, professor (she has been on the faculty of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 1985), and self-identified “designist” (a linguistic mashup of the terms artist and designer) — it’s a liberating idea that has allowed her to situate her own practice within an expanded field of inquiry that engages sustainability, public works, and the future of design. (Read full post).

Claudine Isé

Claudine Isé has worked in the field of contemporary art as a writer and curator for the past decade, and currently serves as the Editor of the Art21 Blog. Claudine regularly writes for Artforum.com and Chicago magazine, and has also worked as an art critic for the Los Angeles Times. Before moving to Chicago in 2008, she worked at the Wexner Center in Columbus, OH as associate curator of exhibitions, and at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles as assistant curator of contemporary art, where she curated a number of Hammer Projects. She has Ph.D. in Film, Literature and Culture from the University of Southern California.