EDITION #40

November 17, 2014 · Print This Article

Who Wore it Better!?

It’s the megamax edition y’all. Twins are apparently in, and we’re seeing double. We had so many WWIB? options this week, we couldn’t just pick one. They’re too good!

Will the real Anne Wilson please stand up?


VS

Nailed it!

VS

We’ve been big fans of Miss Pop Nails for a while but we’re having serious envy over this look for Refinery29 in October photographed by David Brandon Geeting. Time to upgrade our look from last summer photographed by Heaven Gallery’s Alma Wieser.

She sells sea shells by the… you know the rest.

VS

Was super interested to learn that Robert Chase Heishman’s new body of photographic work is based on still life paintings by Guantanamo Bay inmates. Learn more about the paintings here and see the paintings at LVL3 where Heishman is exhibiting alongside another triply named artist, Adam Parker Smith, through December 14th.

Hand in Leopard Hand.

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How cute are snow leopard homies Kristina Daignault and Edra Soto?

Are you my boyfriend?

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No? How about you?

Header features a detail from Dan Gunn’s piece To fan No. 2, 2014, Dye and polyurethane on plywood, 22 x 88 inches in his exhibition at Impromptu Airs on view at Monique Meloche Gallery until January 3rd, 2015.

Got any T? email me!
(or get @ me on twitter)

Seriously! We want to hear from you now more than ever as we transition into managing the Bad at Sports blog!


T around Town

Can’t get enough of this new work by Aron Gent at Devening Projects. Recommend that you see this work before the show closes on December 6th.

Performance shot from The Conviction of Pearl Dakota. We were pleasantly surprised by the return of J. Soto to Chicago for their choreographic debut at the Cultural Center. Part of “SPINOFF 2014: Contemporary Dance Made in the Midwest,” Soto’s piece was inspired by trips to the Cook County Clerk in 2012-13. Modern dance with line stanchions? Unlikely combo, but we’re into it.

Who’s that annoying person taking photos during the Hybrid Theory screening by Theo Darst and Jennifer Chan? Oh, that’d be me. At least the artists didn’t go through with their plan to play the entire Linkin’ Park album by the same name throughout the entire screening.

Work by New York based artist Jacques Louis Vidal on view at The Hills Esthetic Center on view through December 14th.

Friend’s of WTT?, artist Eric Fleischauer and AFC’s Corinna Kirsch showing the world how it’s done at The Hills opening for Jacques Louis Vidal’s Nothing is Possible In There is No Future.

Check out the show and look out for the hidden painting by Alivia Zivich in her exhibition Bottomless on view at Night Club through December 5th.

Super sweet new mural outside of the Violet Hour by Jenny Kendler through her residency at the NRDC. We wish that we could show you Kendler’s killer beehive drive fit for the Queen B that she wore at the launch, but the bar was far too dark. Hopefully Chicago Looks got a shot! Instead, you can scan the pollinators on the piece for a free seed packet! Just gotta hold out until Spring.

The Inside/Within auction last Saturday made us wish we had more disposable income. WTT> is taking donations!

This sweet new Paul Erschen’s piece was hotly bid on throughout the auction.

Cutie patrol at the Inside/ Within auction on Saturday, November 15th.

Get your Miami on, Chicago.

This post is click bait if we’ve ever seen it. Get even more hot and bothered than you already are about Miami with McCaughan’s analysis of Muecke’s design. Warning: Not cute if you’re colorblind.

DfbrL8r’s new space on Chicago Ave. via the gallery’s Facebook.

Performance venue returns with 2015 edition of Rapid Pulse Festival

Defibrillator is back with a new space, new curatorial fellows and a new call for artists. On the tails of their announcement that the gallery will reopen at 1463 W Chicago Avenue with an exhibition by German artist Veronika Merklein in February 2015, the gallery has launched a call for the fourth annual Rapid Pulse Festival.

The well-timed announcement pairs nicely with Stephen Bridges Notes on Rapid Pulse 2014 on the MCA Blog. This year the RPF cocurator will be joined by new curatorial fellows Jennifer Mefford and Teresa Silva in addition to Founder, Joseph Ravens, curator Julie Laffin and Assistant Festival Director, Giana Gambino. The deadline for proposals is December 30th at midnight.

In other and somewhat related news: time based work is having a moment. ACRE TV also recently launched a call for Direct Object/Direct Action that is due by November 25th.

Community comes together for very worthy cause.

If you don’t know what Chances Dances is get out from under your rock and watch this video! There’s no arguing with their mission to be the bangingest queer dance party and DJ collective dedicated to building safer spaces and fostering creative expression in and out of the club. If you do know what Chances is and have been to their parties we don’t need to justify why this is a great organization to support. They give us all so much, give a little bit back to them. Oh, and while you’re at it, check out their super cute 10 year exhibition at Lula organized by Aay Preston-Myint.

The anticipation is killing us, so stop it. Seriously. Just donate now and we’ll celebrate together at the 10 year anniversary.

EDITION #39

October 27, 2014 · Print This Article

Arnold Johnson as Putney Swope.

Comedian Shows Funny Movie

Yesterday afternoon we took a trip to the new Black Cinema House space on 72nd and Kimbark to see the 1969 film, Putney Swope. The screening featured an introduction by comedian, Wyatt Cenac, who was wearing a knit sweater like you wouldn’t believe. Cenac’s choice for the screening felt uncanny in the gorgeous new home of the Johnson Publishing House archives, including a very 1970’s light up table from their offices.

BCH Program Manager, Penny Duff, introduces the film with Wyatt Cenac.

After the film was over a robust discussion started on the reception of the film when it was originally released, Robert Downey’s dubbing of Arnold Johnson’s voice, blacksploitation films, hip hop history, education and possible proscriptions for current day cultural production.

Cenac was an excellent moderator, letting others direct the conversation. Amongst other insightful contributions, Pemon Rami, Chicago’s first black casting director and the current Director of Educational & Public Programming at the DuSable Museum, discussed his impressions of the film having seen it in ’69 and again Sunday at the Black Cinema House (he mentioned he was fazed by the “buffoonery” on his recent viewing).

Black Cinema House is hosting more great programming at their beautiful brand spanking new space throughout the rest of the year, including hosting experimental filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu on November 14th. Check out their calendar of events here.

Reading is Fundamental

  • Chloé Griffin presents Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller. Tomorrow night get yourself to Quimby’s to see and hear one of our favorite local writers, Britt Julious discussing the life and legacy of actress, Cookie Mueller, with author Chloé Griffin. Tuesday, 7PM at Quimby’s. Free, our favorite flavor.
  • Inside Views: Micro Publishing at Spudnik Press. Featuring artists Charlie Megna, Veronica Siehl and April Sheridan and the The Perch, this Wednesday evening event is a no-brainer for lovers of community based art making and publications (like ourselves). We’d be loathe not to mention the world premiere of the short animations of Fred Sasaki’s & Fred Sasaki’s Four Pager Guide to: How to Fix You!. The Sasaki guides are already killer, and the film promises to knock you off your socks (and to fix you, of course!). Don’t forget to RSVP!
  • Fred Sasaki’s “Table of Value” prep for Wednesday. Stolen from the writer’s instagram account.
  • What is a work of art in the age of $120,000 art degrees? Sometimes trends are actually important and right now, statistics are #trending. If you haven’t seen the BFAMFAPHD video report yet, let us help you get up to speed. Watch the video, then listen to B@S interview Caroline Wollard. You should probably also read Abigail Satinsky’s questioning “Who Pays Artists?” and possibly also this statistics filled response from the Washington Post. Caught up? Ok, great. Now let’s do the damn thing!
  • We’re pretty sure you know what Mexico-based artist Andrew Birk is talking about in his comment above. But if not, here are the pieces on Grabner and Prince. Talk amongst yourselves.
  • A Poet on Drake’s Poetics. So you know it must be true. Read Dorothea Lasky’s ode to Drake, where she sings the praises of his direct address on the occasion of the Canadian actor turned something like a rapper’s birthday. We feel you, Dorothea. But if you’re looking for some “real” poetry, check out her killer new book of poems, ROME.

The Weatherman Report

Sunday Thoughts by Clay Hickson from the artist’s tumblr.

Happy Dog Resurrects for Film Release

Talk about a #tbt. When was the last time you visited Happy Dog? The former SAIC party rocking spot is way cleaner than you remember and the bathrooms have upgraded from their former horror-movie quality. Oh, and they hosted last Saturday night’s extravaganza for the DVD & VHS release of Lindsay Denniberg’s Video Diary of a Lost Girl.

Monica Panzarino’s video installation featuring Erica Gressman. Photo by Mikey McParlane.

The evening started with performances by Denniberg and self-surgery maven Erica Gressman aka Boogita. The space was scattered with video installations by Monica Panzarino on stacks of TV screens throughout. Happy Dog’s head dog, William Amaya Torres, had gigantic inverse prints of what appeared to be sketchbook pages installed throughout the house. We hadn’t seen work from Amaya Torres since our days at SAIC together. His prints were bold and appealing, they also had the benefit of darkening the space for the screening.

Alongside VDoaLG in the program was first year UIC MFA, Jimmy Schaus, with a 16 minute short titled Kangaroo. Schaus is the protagonist in the surreal dream scape of a film, which vacillates between the main character’s boring everyday life and the business casual demons who haunt him. Kangaroo impressively manages to riff on VHS effects and color distortion without being cheesy. We hope to see more from this budding filmmaker in the near future.

The world premiere of Kangaroo by James Schaus.

Video Diary of a Lost Girl looked better than ever Denniberg’s handmade VHS packages. We highly recommend getting your hands one of these beauts, even if, like us, you don’t have a VHS player. Yes, they are that cute. We’re not really sure where they’re available aside from in-person, but the filmmaker’s website is probably a good start.

T around Town

We loved this exhibition by Daniel Arnold in Paris London Hong Kong, that’s the Billy Goat Tavern in the photo!

The current crop of Art Admin MAs at SAIC hosted mural making an other arts & crafts at the Logan Square Comfort Station just outside of the penultimate neighborhood farmer’s market.

Greg Stimac and his coy grin at his Document opening on Friday night. We’re so in to those we’re gun sculptures that look kind of like legs!

Sense of déjà vu overwhelming at photo exhibition.

We’re not really sure how, but Paul Germanos (the man with the camera and the motorcycle) somehow managed to assemble an impressive array of artists and makers for his exhibition at Antena Gallery in Pilsen last Friday night. Artist sat casually under photos of themselves, and as participators ourselves WTT? couldn’t help by snap a few re-takes.

Marissa Lee Benedict and David Rueter pose in front of themselves at Antena.

Daviel Shy and Hope Esser creatively interpret their photo on the wall. Cute!

Erik Wenzel does the Wenzel in front of his small likeness in the corner.

EDITION #38

October 14, 2014 · Print This Article

New New Art and Event Space Opens in Logan Square

With or without a physical locale, Green Lantern Press has been a force in the Chicago art scene since Caroline Picard started to open up her loft space in Wicker Park to public exhibitions and events in 2005. GLP is responsible for the release of more than 30 titles, including Lise Haller Baggesen’s “Mothernism,” an experimental epistolary novel on motherhood which has enjoyed a sweepingly positive reception since it’s summer release. After a brief stint in France, the prolific Picard is back with a new space on the formerly derelict stretch of Milwaukee Avenue near Fullerton that now is home to, amongst other things, a luxury juice bar. Picard’s space stands out, with glorious accordion front doors that open onto Milwaukee Ave, gender neutral bathrooms with a shower (for residents only!), and a polished wood floor so shiny it’s a little hard to look at.

Jesse Malmed and his box of ideas, jokes and sentiments at the opening of Sector 2337.

Officially opening on October 16th, Sector 2337 started out strong with a soft opening last Thursday, October 9th, with performances by Carlos Martiel and Jesse Malmed, co-curated by Lin Hixon and Matthew Goulish’s Every house has a door. Martiel’s performance really took to heart the title of the overarching exhibition, “The New [New] Corpse”. A full house witness Martiel’s “corpses” draped in American flags across the pristine gallery floor. After a brief intermission, Malmed’s animated spoken word performance was a singular meditation on the future, technology, jokes of scale, good (including bad) ideas, inspiration and (I think) art. Afterwards, everyone shared a toast and crazy loving vibes with Sector 2337’s proprietors Devin King and Picard.

Hixon and Goulish introducing the performances and the new venue.

A well attended event with strong work? This wasn’t even the official opening! The group show, “The New [New] Corpse”, features an impressive rooster that includes Benjamin L. Aman & Marion Auburtin, Joseph Grigely, Young Joon Kwak, Jason Lazarus, Carlos Martiel, Heather Mekkelson, Aay Preston-Myint, Rachel Niffenegger, Xaviera Simmons, Shane Ward, and Shoshanna Weinberger and will open this Thursday, October 16th from 6-9PM. Sector 2337 is also hosting Jane Jerardi as their November Studio Resident.

Don’t miss it. The New [New] Corpse. Sector 2337. 2337 N Milwaukee Ave (duh!). Thursday, October 16th from 6-9PM.

Trending

  • Time: We never have enough of it, so why are artists always rubbing it into our faces? Although there is something a little bit lovely and poetic about sinking a timepiece into a wall or styrofoam column.
  • Detail of Sabina Ott’s clock column in her [so much more than an] exhibition “here and there pink melon joy” on view at the Chicago Cultural Center through January 4th of 2015.

    Work by Daniel Arsham at the Fashion Outlets of Chicago at Rosemont. On view indefinitely?
  • Beyonce, always. If you’re not interested in the photos of the Queen B shutting down The Louvre that’s cool, we don’t have to be friends. Maybe you have one of these other responses?
  • In the future everything will be chrome, is apparently what Gavin Brown’s son told Rirkrit Tiravanija when the globe trotting art star ended up playing the part of babysitter in rose-colored glasses. He probably isn’t too far off, I heard more than a few students and professors coveting the Zebra aluminum lunch boxes used by the artist for his lunches at the Sullivan center as part of Mary Jane Jacob’s exhibition “A Lived Practice”. According to the artist, the metal containers are nostalgic items, used by his grandmother for her restaurant business in his native Thailand.
  • Groups of lucky students grabbing Tiravanija’s lunchboxes.

    Tiravanija discussing the impetus behind his lunch project with student groups from across Chicago.
  • Meg Leary, the performer, the opera singer, the myth, the legend. Leary has been on a back to back streak performing at the Whistler and Berlin in the span of a week. The artist presented the work of a formative influence, Karen Finley, at the most recent Crimson Glow on the 6th anniversary of the Whistler (can you say delicious and cheap cocktails?). In homage to the controversial performer, Leary prepared waffles and yams for the audience’s consumption while regaling the crowd with odd tales of Leary’s time in NYC with Finley. Leary then brought us all the way back to Miami Basel last Thursday when she performed at Gravy, a new monthly dance party at Berlin sponsored by our friend at LVL3. Leary brought the house down, belting out pop hits like “Call me maybe” that had the crowd chanting “one more song” long after the performer left the stage. All we can say is, we want more!
  • Leary serving waffles during her presentation of Karen Finley at Crimson Glow.

    Full regalia for Gravy at Berlin. Photo by Jono Pivovar.

    Roth’s Complaint: Author sues artist in absurd plot line straight out of his own novels.

    In 2012, Bryan Zanisnik was served a cease and desist letter from the firm that represents well-known author Philip Roth. Both artists share a love of Americana, baseball, and New Jersey (of all things). Unfortunately, the humor of Zanisnik’s silent re-performance of Roth’s The Great American Novel, was lost on the aging author.

    In the aftermath of Zanisnik’s run-in with Roth’s lawyers the artist hasn’t let up, making work that is even more focused on the Roth, his paranoia and the intersection of their shared interests. In his exhibition, The Passenger, closing this Saturday at Aspect/Ratio in the West Loop, Zanisnik weaves the real life Roth and his works deeper into his production.

    Work by Bryan Zanisnik on view at Aspect/Ratio.

    The first two pieces you see when you enter the exhibition are diptychs featuring needle points, one of Roth himself and another featuring the cover of his best seller, Portnoy’s Complaint. Each embroidery is paired with a photograph of a characteristic assemblage by the artist, each additionally refers back to Roth, with physical copies of his books placed amongst the still lives. In a way, it seems like Zanisnik has written Roth into the narrative of his own work. Baseball cards are excavated from the gallery walls, and the symbols of the over saturation of American capitalism ring out as true here as in Roth’s American Pastoral.

    Cease and desist that, Roth! The Passenger is on view through October 18th at Aspect/ Ratio, 119 N Peoria, Unit 3D. Catch this gem before the only place you can see Zanisnik’s compellingly narrative obsessive compulsion is in New York museums.

    EDITION #37

    September 22, 2014 · Print This Article

    Reading is Fundamental

    • The L@@K We’re mostly here for the outfits anyway right!? Loved Isa Giallorenzo’s take on outfits and art in her Chicago Looks for NewCity post from EXPO Chicago.
    • Palpitating on ArtFCity Robin Dluzen’s worthwhile rundown on what’s selling and what’s not (sorry Picasso!) in her review of EXPO for AFC. Dluzen’s day job gives her great insider perspective that made her review feel like the most specific and accurate we read during the fair. She’s also a great press lunch date ;).
    • Gracious Goodbye In his final dispatch from EXPO, Matt Morris takes a decidedly sappier tone, thanking the arts community for the true Dialogue he engaged in at the fair and it’s subsidiary events. We love Morris’ stamina, wanting “talk just a little bit more” before the end of the weekend. In fact, we loved all of NewCity’s dispatches, definitely worth checking out Morris on EDITION and Erin Toale on “sticking to the perimeter.”
    • O Miami

      Ms Chicago Looks looking fabulous as always at the Vernissage for EXPO Chicago.
    • A Collection of Collectors If you’re not tired of hearing Duncan’s voices after this Saturday’s Dialogues than you should definitely peep the extended on-air version of his Collectors Interview transcribed and published in the Pier Review.
    • “Did someone say Pier Review?” You asked for it and we hosted it! Here are all four editions of the Pier Review available for download in easy to read PDF’s. If you would still like to nab a physical copy of this gorgeous and stimulating edition designed by Clay Hickson with Tan & Loose Press drop us an email (link’s in the footer).

    T around Town

    The end of summer means the beginning of art exhibitions in Chicago. With the Equinox this Tuesday, summer is officially coming to a close and the Chicago community is returning to the city to roost (or at least those of us who haven’t left permanently after last winter). Like most September’s in the city, this one has been packed with openings and performances to inaugurate the fall season.

    Openings across the city (as well as in Oak & Rogers Park’s) now share the month with EXPO Chicago. With it’s inaugural shine transforming into a timeworn tradition, thousands made the arduous trek across Navy Pier (in gorgeous weather no less) to take it all in. WTT? has been hard at work on the Pier Review, an in-the-flesh newspaper for fairgoers enjoyment in partnership with EXPO, ArtSlant and the home-team, Bad at Sports. This week we’re throwing up some highlights from the past month as well as a few fair favorites. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s gonna be a great season Chicago, we can feel it!

    Danny Giles performance

    If you missed Danny Giles’ performance at Roots & Culture on September 12th we’re sorry, but you can still see go/figure, featuring work by Daniel Giles & Eliza Myrie and a fantastic essay by Meg Onli.

    Eliza Myrie’s graphite diamond in go/figure. Based on her research on the Lesotho Brown Diamond and the woman who discovered it, Ernestine Ramoboa, Myrie used this block of graphite to create the drawings in the instillation, leaving a “diamond” of her own.

    R&C’s Eric May with Michael Rakowitz at the opening for go/figure.

    Edra Soto

    Edra Soto surrounded by friends and admirers at the opening for Say Everything at Lloyd Dobler in Wicker Park.

    Edra Soto

    Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle and Rebecca Beachy inside of Say Everything at Lloyd Dobler on September 12th.

    Was it this photograph entitled Mom & Dad (2014) by Leonard Suryajaya in the SAIC Expo booth curated by José Lerma or Leo Kaplan of The Hills Esthetic Center in this Instagram photo by Thorne Brandt? And what do those things do to your face anyway?

    The Weatherman Report

    The view from the Mystic Blue on the opening night of EXPO Chicago.

    It wouldn’t be fall without a little bit of LUST, which is just what Ashley Scott brought to the exuberant performance and trunk show for her newest collection, “Drapes of Lust” at MANE Salon on the 12th. Here Scott poses with one of her models, Sarah Weis (left).

    Derek Bagley with his partner, Hayley Barber, taking in the aftermath of the LUST performance at MANE Salon.

    We were pleased to see Katie Hargrave, Nick Lally and Daniel Luedtke at their thoughtful exhibition, EDIT ROAD MOVIE, a musing on the classic tropes of road trips based the artists’ explorations of intentional communities on the road to the ACRE Residency in 2013.

    Custom car visor by Katie Hargrave. EDIT ROAD MOVIE is on view until September 29th at ACRE Projects in Pilsen.

    Well deserved NewCity Top 50 artist, Brandon Alvendia with Angel Essig at the Vernissage last Thursday night.

    Drew Ziegler and Ryan Sullivan pulling off a little “fashion imitating art” at the Vernissage.

    Dance party on the Mystic Blue docked at Navy Pier on Thursday night. Shout out to Vincent’s elbows!!

    We enjoyed chatting and sharing a (clandestine) beer with Ludwig Kittinger of the Vienna collective dienstag abend at their booth sponsored by ArtReview.

    Great paintings, clever booth. Possibly our favorite showing of the entire weekend, Morgan Manduley’s flower shoppe at Yautupec Gallery in EDITION at the CAC was on point. All of the floral arrangements are painted canvas.

    Brett Schultz of Yautupec and Manduley wrapping up one of the painted flowers at their booth.

    Another highlight of the weekend was slipping into the Hancock building to see RETREAT, organized by Theaster Gates in collaboration with his Black Artist Retreat (BAR). The show was really beautiful (especially the first room outside of Valerie Carberry’s main space). The work above is an artifact of a performance by Wilmer Wilson IV from 2012.

    Crumbled artifacts abound at RETREAT. A detail of Tony Lewis’ Untitled (Hancock via Orchard via Oak Park via Bindery via Autumn Space), (2012-present) pairs nicely with the Wilson work.

    Things we can’t get over: 1. Work by Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera and Cara Megan Lewis in their exhibition A Home Coming which opened last Friday night and is on view at Antena until October 11th by appointment. Above is a sculpture/ video work by Lewis.

    A beautifully installed and enticingly seedy piece by Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera in A Home Coming that you will just have to see for yourself.

    Header image features a detail of Ishtar Gate by Michael Rakowitz on view in the IN/SITU program at EXPO Chicago this past weekend. Rakowitz’s gates were fittingly (?) installed at the entrance to the VIP section of the art fair. The entire series is really amazing, read about it on Michael’s website.

    Got any T? email me!
    (or get @ me on twitter)


    EDITION #36 – Minnesota Nice

    August 25, 2014 · Print This Article

    Minnesotan Artists Decent at Sports

    If anyone understands the preciousness of summertime, it’s our fellow neighbors in the Midwest. All across Minneapolis WTT? discovered artists and creatives playing Minnesota “Nice.”

    Tuesday Night Music Club at the Lyndale VFW.

    Our week in Minneapolis started correct when on Tuesday friend and former ACRE resident, Cris Cloud, invited us to the Tuesday Night Music Club, a post-kickball dance party at the VFW by Lyndale and Lake Street (FYI- also the name of a ’93 Sheryl Crow album). Not just any TNDC, this evening was the after party for the annual kickball game between the Kennwood Kickball Club and the team from Uptown who were decked out in full clown regalia.

    Fraternizing with the locals outside TNMC.

    Not a party for the faint of clowns.

    In addition to the annual kickball game TNMC’s MC Jacobs was celebrating his last night at the club before leaving MN for China. The night’s sets started off with The Artist Formerly Known As jams and escalated into full booty dancing on the ol’ VFW juke box kinda night. Scantily dressed clowns danced alongside the somewhat dejected Kennwood-ers, who exhibitied true Minnesotan-sportsmanship.

    Possibly the best ever use of Nite Brite.

    When questioned about their lack of costumes in the face of the triumphant clowns, one player retorted, “Do you know how much planning that takes and how much we don’t give a fuck?” A teammate added, “They go hiking for fun.” Either way, the party was worth it and there’s always next year.

    Later that week the T? got in on the game. Having beefed up on our Basketball Bidness all summer on the Stueben courts, it was awesome to ball at the regular Thursday afternoon game played by the Artist Basketball League at Lyndale Farmstead Park. We ran into artist Jesse Draxler near the California studios on the way and he assured us that the game was collegiate. “Sometimes we play 11 year olds,” he said as we parted ways.

    Draxler wasn’t kidding, at the half court game there were four artists and ballers Malachi, 11, and Xavier, 8. What he didn’t mention is that 11 year olds are sharks, just running back and forth steady scoring. Informing me that he “didn’t like art,” Malachi showed me his moves, the low dribble, the layup. Xavier followed suit, dribbling between his legs along the side of the court. Impressive.

    Artist Basketball League’s Thursday game.

    Serendipitously, that day our old tubing buddy, Sara Caron, got in touch right around the time of the game to invite me to the Blue Dress Cup. If you didn’t already know, Blue Dress Cup is an annual competition to determine the Best Artist in Milwaukee.

    We’re pretty sure you don’t have to be from Milwaukee to be the best artist in the city, so why not apply now? We definitely think Malachi has a fighting chance despite his aesthetic apathy (maybe in part because of it). I want to see what happens when Minnesotans meet Wisconsinites meet Illinoisians (?) on the field of battle. See you on September 20th in Milwaukee for the summer and sports’ real final hurrah. Tri-state tournament anyone?

    T around Town(s)

    After visiting Minneapolis recently for Bad at Sports’ participation in Open Field at the Walker, WTT? was excited to return for a longer and more in depth visit to the MN art scene. After a week we don’t know the true definition of “Minnesota Nice”, but we found MN dwellers to be genuinely nice, chill people to hang out with. Oh yeah, and the art wasn’t half bad either. We found the artists we met to be a proud and supportive group with just enough buzz. It’s kind of like being in Chicago, but nicer, and cuter (super compliment) and with better bike trails. Here’s just a sampling of what we saw on our TC getaway.

    First on our Nathaniel Smith sponsored tour was Soo Visual Art Center in Uptown we were caught Lovesickness with Trees: Recent Work by Sophia Heymans and Garrett Perry.

    We had heard about SooVAC and Soo Local from Negative Jam on our last trip, so we checked it off our list first thing. Word on the street is that the Local space is pretty rad, but we unfortunately just missed the closing of Congruent Influence, a collaborative show between Mark Schoening and Drew Peterson. Carolyn Payne was way cool, we talked shop and it seems obvious that Soo’s got big things coming on the horizon.

    Work by Sophia Heymans on view at what the locals call “SooVAC.”

    Work by Garrett Perry on view at what the locals call “SooVAC.”

    SooVAC ED, Carolyn Payne with Nathaniel Smith in the gallery.

    We also managed to battle our way into a few studios during our trip. An old friend from our SAIC daze, printmaker Drew Peterson, invited us to lunch at the teeniest Tiny Diner and then showed us his to his studio in the Powderhorn neighborhood, east of Uptown. We were stunned by the surprisingly painterly pixel paintings of Mathew Zefeldt at his studio at the University of Minneapolis. Right before we left we were able to squeeze in a visit with Nate Young, more on that later.

    We want to tell you all about the beet tagine we had with Drew at Tiny Diner, but this isn’t Instagram.

    The Weatherman Report

    Work by Drew Peterson, from his series Waterworks 2013-14.

    Our favorite work, a sweet and sold(!) fire butt by Garrett Perry.

    Peterson’s Waterworks series in his studio.

    Peterson has been busy since we both left SAIC. This and the other unique screen prints he showed me are destined for the artist’s solo show in the fall.

    Peterson in his studio, the type of tight and well organized space you’d expect from a seasoned screen printer.

    Mathew Zefeldt’s studio at the University of Minneapolis. The artist is working on his upcoming show at the Minneapolis Institute of the Art, opening October 16th. We heard there’s wallpaper involved. Excited.

    Zefeldt looking svelte in his studio.

    Not only were these paintings clearly a glorious mindfuck, they also include the last two video games I remember playing as a child. I fucking loved killing Nazis in Wolfenstein.

    Despite the digital feel of the paintings, Zefeldt doesn’t even touch photoshop. This “mood board” is his way of testing out aspects of the painting before committing them to canvas.

    We had a chance to visit some of the major cultural institutions, most notably the Walker (can’t get enough!) and the Minnesota State Fair, where you can see sculptures made of butter and “The Miracle of Life” barn (too real for this city mouse). We partook of all of the mini donuts and cookie buckets we could muster at the fair and had our minds freaking blown away by the awesomeness of the Walker. The Flux exhibit was pretty cool but the Radical Presence exhibition was well, radical (as you might expect), featuring 36 artists and over 100 works spanning the 1960’s to the present there were a ton of blockbusters, lots of Chicago favorites. It’s an exhibition that really can change the way you think about art. Oh yeah, and OMG! The Clock! Who even needs the east coast? We have everything we need right here in the middle.

    No caption necessary. At the Minnesota State Fair.

    There were more items and artifacts from Lorraine O’Grady than we’ve ever seen it one place. It was resplendent.

    A image from O’Grady’s series Mlle. Bourgeoise Noire.

    Detail of sculpture/video work Jacolby Satterwhite on view in Radical Presence at the Walker.

    Installation view of work in Radical Presence.

    Video by Kalup Linzy at Radical Presence.

    Saturday night, David Petersen Gallery had an opening that we were tipped off too by our buddy Nathan Coutts from Midway. Probably the most chi-chi thing we did in MN, the exhibition, What Was The Question was replete with NY artists, Joshua Abelow, Sadie Laska, MacGregor Harp and Adrianne Rubenstein mingling with the Minneapolitians. We were particularly fond of Rubenstein’s beach umbrellas and I don’t think we were the only ones.

    The turnout for What Was the Question at David Petersen.

    Midwest meets Midwest. Andrea Hyde and Cory Schires at the Petersen opening Saturday night.

    Aforementioned paintings by Adrianne Rubenstein.

    B@S fan Nate Lee with Rubenstein and Joshua Abelow at What Was The Question.

    Last but super not least, we were lucky to meet up with Nate Young on his way back from the Black Artist Retreat in Chicago on our way back to the city. Everyone in Minneapolis was pointing us to The Bindery Projects in St. Paul, the space that Young runs with his wife and fellow artist, Caroline Kent. Young was MN nice enough to open up the space for us so we could see Zachary Fabri’s solo show, Video is Dead (he’s also in Radical Presence at the Walker). The spacious and industrial alternative space has two large exhibition spaces, installed with images and a game board/ assemblage of dice and painted chicken bones in one room and a video called The Execution of Lady Jane Grey, which was shot outside the Apollo on the day Michael Jackson died in the other. We also got to check out Young’s studio in the background and even explore the old factory building a bit before emarking on the long ride home.

    Installation view of Fabri’s show at Bindery Projects.

    Detail of Morgan Freeman image from Fabri’s ongoing series, Aureola.

    The formidable Young in his studio.

    Work by Nate Young in his studio.

    Our last minute trip to The Bindery Projects was definitely the most clutch way to close our trip to the Twin Cities. We’re happy to finally wind down in Chicago, but this summer we’ve learned there’s good T to be had all over the Midwest. Until next time, Wisconsin, Twin Cities!