EDITION #16

August 26, 2013 · Print This Article

The scene at Iceberg Projects Saturday.

Art Lovers Gravitate to Rogers Park Galleries

Rogers Park was the place to be Saturday night with killer back to back openings taking place within blocks of one another. The weather couldn’t have been better and both shows had robust turn outs. Unioned Labors at the aptly named Bike Room featured not one but three different collaborative projects from duos. Small and whimsical, this show packed a big punch. Alberto Aguilar & Alex Bradley Cohen filled the space’s hallway with a mural pieced together with delightfully bold and colorful paintings on cardboard and complimented by a playful soundtrack. Inside the gallery itself a video of Aguliar’s & Cohen workin’ it out in the Bike Room’s backyard that shared a similar soundtrack. Amanda Ross-Ho and her father, Ruyell, used one of his playful abstractions that reads “Less is Not More” to adorn one of Ross-Ho’s signature oversized t-shirts. The most somber offering, Frank Piyatec & Judith Geitchman‘s rhythmic black and white text and abstractions were arranged into a giant checkerboard.

Oren Pinhassi, Untitled, 2013.

Naama Arad, Marfa, 2013.

Rhoades Scholar, curated by New Capital‘s Chelsea Culp and Ben Foch at Iceburg Projects, was similarly sparse yet arresting featuring one piece each from young guns Murat Adash, Naama Arad, Marie Alice BrandNer-Wolfszahn, and Oren Pinhassi. Adash also staged a performance where sightseers focused attention on various objects and people in the Iceberg space during the opening. Particularly mind blowing were Arad’s and Pinhassi’s work. Pinhassi’s backpack looked like it was dipped in papier-mâché and wrapped in a chalk-covered blackboard. The mutant backpack was placed open and empty on the floor revealing that crappy red nylon that’s suppose to be water proof but never really keeps anything safe. Despite all this there was definitely something magnetic about this unassuming backpack combining school daze nostalgia with the sculptural sensibility of Rachel Harrison and Kate Ruggeri. Naama’s sumptuous oil pastel drawing also pulled on our heartstrings by pairing a technique learned in grade school with stunning use of color and line. This rug inspired work was not your grandma’s tapestry.

Work by the family Ho.

Definitely recommend going to the ends of the Red Line to check out these shows. Also recommended: beef patties from the Caribbean American Bakery on the way.


Iceberg Projects open by appointment.

The Bike Room open by appointment.

Caribbean American Bakery located at 1539 W Howard Street.

The Weatherman Report

Max Ernst, Humboldt Current, 1951-52. Oil on canvas, 36 x 61 cm. Photo: Foundation Beyeler.

The scene at Iceberg Projects Saturday.

Better Luck Next Time leads to Hilarity, Danger

Fed up with the lack of cable television at the Steuben Lodge, ACRE residents and staff took matters into their own hands last weekend recording live the first ever episode of “Better Luck Next Time,” a newlyweds-style game show for artistic duos. Hosted by Carlos Danger and Vanna Ruffino, collaborators were pitted against each other to see who’s vibin’ the hardest.

Hosts Carlos Danger and Vanna Ruffino.

Carlos Danger valiantly and hilariously lead the unwilling contestants to reveal some of their deepest gripes with one another. Points were awarded on a somewhat unconventional basis after the audience mutinied against the show and its producers, demanding sympathetic half-points for weary contestants. Danger and Ruffino were ultimately able to win over the unruly mob and the pilot was a huge live success.

Live from the Chalet Studio.

Lucky to see this early preview, WWT? has heard that there are plans to put the show into syndication in Chicago.

Dispatch from ACRE

After Tom Friel’s poetic piece on the ACRE experience last week, we know we don’t have to tell you how awesome it is to retreat into the woods for two weeks.

“Please” and “Thank you” rumored to be in use in Steuben.

Colin Dickson’s installation on the property. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Good feelings abound.

What’s sah-rong?

When it feels so right?

EDITION #15

August 12, 2013 · Print This Article

Work by Jen Stark at the Chicago Fashion Outlet.

Art Exhibition Opens at Rosemont Outlet Mall

An opening like no other took place on the last day of July at the freshly minted $250 million dollar Fashion Outlets of Chicago in Rosemont. Featuring 11 artists curated by miami based Primary Projects, the Fashion Outlet and newly formed collective, The Arts Initiative, did it up luxury outlet mall style at the preview of the various murals and installations throughout the mall. With work by Jen Stark, Jim Drain, Cody Hudson, Daniel Arsham and Bhakti Baxter, the art contained within might make this the edgiest mall ever.

Sam Vinz, Claire Warner and Aron Gent under the Friend’s With You inflatables installation at the Chicago Fashion Outlet.

A collision of Chicago’s and Miami’s most noteworthy in the arts, attendees danced the night away under the deft entertainment of DJ Sinatra and many many top shelf bars.

Friend’s With You’s Sam Borkson and fellow artist, Jim Drain, lovingly embrace at the reception.

Curious what was in the gift bag? A hat from Roxy, an iPhone 5 case from Coach (too bad I’m still only on that 4), a “The Arts Initiative” water bottle, a leather cuff from Ports, a security neck pouch from Samsonite, a “Fashion Outlets” pen and even a scarf from The Limited. Totally killer.

Drain’s completed mural.

Definitely recommend (even sans the gift bag).

Reading is Fundamental

  • Wait, I thought it was 2013!? If you like your iPhone and the internet, you would probably enjoy this sweet little read from the Summer 2013 issues of Artforum, 2011: Michael Sanchez on Art and Transmission. This recommendation comes from a bar, but is better than that makes it seem.
  • Trends Totally Trending: Not often is a gossip column the subject of gossip, but What’s the T? was recently featured in Art Info’s “In the Air: Art News and Gossip” spot for EXPO CHICAGO’s partners and special exhibitions. That’s right! WTT? is going IRL. We hope you’re as excited for The Expo Register as we are. Stay tuned y’all.
  • Total badass gets her due: Who knew that Ileana Sonnabend was so completely rad? She asked for a Matisse instead of a wedding ring. I mean, really. Thankfully, this piece by Kelly Crow for the Wall Street Journal sheds light on the major gallerist and collectors fascinating past. Sonnabend fans will be pleased to know that the MoMA just released plans for “Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New,” an exhibition which will feature some of Sonnabend’s most noteable discoveries and longtime friends.

Time to Slip at Gallery 400

We heard a rumomr that the upcoming TIMESLIP film screening is not to be missed. Featuring 11 films by 10 makers, the screening is curated by Jesse Malmed and includes work by Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva, J.J. Murphy and Hollis Frampton.

From the horses mouth: This is going to be great. Time travel in the expanded field. Time-based media in the multiverse. Dream baby, trypp central, 2 Live Crew (seri), ducks, Adam and Eve, Judy Garland, hella headies, the first computer film, time tunnels, and on. And, like your mind, this is FREE. Surprises guaranteed.

Screening from 7:30-8:30, Thursday August 22nd at Gallery 400.

Who Wore it Better, Better?

Ron Ewert and Mike Kloss of the Hills at MCA First Friday last week VS Yuri Stone and Zachary Kaplan at Medium Cool on Sunday.

The Weatherman Report

John Marin, Movement, Sea, Sky, and Ledges, 1940, Watercolor on paper, 15 1/4 × 20 3/4 in

Demdike Stare

Empty Bottle, Full on Bass

A Miami Techno Transplant’s take on the Demdike Stare Concert last Saturday

I’m here reporting from the Empty Bottle, celebrating my Chicago life’s one week anniversary the way I prefer to spend all mildly festive occasions, by melting my brain with whiskey and dark techno. Tonight I’m all excited because I get to see one of my favorite bands live for the first time: DEMDIKE STARE. The duo is well known for merging occult, black magic vibes with droning electronics and sparse, off kilter beats. Demdike Stare have evolved their sound throughout the years from super dark horror movie vibes to dark worldly ragas and, finally, their latest releases reflect maturation of all these sounds with a bit of straight forward dark techno tastefully sprinkled in.

Needless to say, I’m fucking pumped.

I arrive at the venue “Miami time” which turns out to be just when shit starts everywhere. My circadian rhythm must be super on point today and I show up just as the first act, Stave, is going on. The set is some heavy industrial tech vibes. I am feeling it. A cigarette. Duane Pitre is up next delivering on some soothing melodious drone incorporating guitar loops and electronics. Lots of people are talking and not really listening but the vibe is right and everyone’s sonic palette is cleansed.

I’m in the ally evening out my buzz and the walls start to pulse. Demdike-fucking-Stare. I run inside. They spend the beginning of the set evolving drones, feeling out the crowd, reacting. What does the spirit of the crowd say? Probably something like, “TECHNO!” The bass kicks into 4/4 and as the crescendo of the track “Dysology” hits everyone knows its getting serious. The visuals that accompany their live set become more frantic. The main themes of the video include babes and esoteric rituals, everyone approves. Just as my mind is about to transform into pure jelly, the set ends abruptly, like all good things in life. And everyone goes home to dream about robots and witches. The End.

The view inside of Praire Production.

Medium Cool and Partly Cloudy.

Shame on you if you didn’t make it out to Sunday’s Medium Cool Art Book Fair, we know you heard about it. Rising like a pheonix, the fair was organized by Ria Roberts and brought out the most delicious coffee-table eye-candy ever seen in the West Loop.

These button’s were seriously trending.

Limited edition poster by Carson Fisk-Vittori

Fashionistas, Chelsea Clup and Ben Foch modeling the necklaces by Vincent Uribe and Noël Morical they picked up at LVL3’s booth.

Trendsetter, Hamza Walker, models sunglasses (obviously) by Josh Reames from the LVL3 booth.


Issue Press‘s booth featuring a “Book Box” vending machine, manned by George Wietor.

Sofia Leiby‘s SCRAP HEAP booth featured scraps and ephemera from Chicago artists’ studios.

EDITION #14

July 29, 2013 · Print This Article

Hope Esser performing “Telegraph Progress” at The Watermill Center’s 20th Annual Summer Benefit.

Celebrites fawn over Chicago artist at Watermill

Reportings coming in this evening from sources from Facebook to Bloomberg indicate that Chicago performance artist and occasional What’s the T? correspondent, Hope Esser, painted The Watermill red at the art center’s celebrity studded annual summer benefit. Esser could be viewed from on high, performing in a red dress with flag sleeves from atop the performance lab’s building. Her figure was made more striking by the red fabric draped rapunzel-like directly under her.

Bloomberg.com revealed celebrities from Abromavic to Gaga to bankers no one care about were seen at the event. The article smartly shouts out Esser as well. Watch out for Esser’s performance in the next Lady Gaga video, featuring Marina Abromavic.

Real collaboration at The Hills.

Drain & Reeder Create “On The Spot” Art Exhibition

This past Monday (yes, an opening on a Monday) evening at The Hills Esthetic Center “Jyson Deeder and Tim Rain” debuted “A Nerdier Red”, “community organized” by Josh Reames, at everyone’s “favorite” Garfield Park “gallery”, The Hills. The collaborative exhibition came together as it opened with Reeder & Drain turning the notoriously useless loft above the gallery into the command center from which the art was generated and then incorporated into the official gallery space.

Reeder & Drain tell it like it is.

Down in the gallery, visitors feed off the artists’ frenzied energy and joined in, painting a huge canvas, random hats and eventually joining in on a “drum circle.”

Visitor’s in various states of gallery attendance.

We highly recommend checking out the fallout from last Monday. Email The Hills Esthetic Center to make an appointment.

The Weatherman Report

Walter De Maria, The Lightning Field, 1977. Long-term installation in
Western New Mexico. Photo: The New York Times.

Reading is Fundamental

  • Some Unrequired Reading: As Jerry Saltz opens his piece on Deitch’s depature from LA MoCA, “It was always only a question of when, never if.” That being said, the internet is ablaze with opinions on the development. If you’re into that sort of thing, more here, here, and here.
  • Gay Marriage is Trending and TotallyFab-u-lous: The Gossip is that The Gossip’s Beth Ditto recently married her partner, Kristin Ogata, in Maui. Ditto and Ogata has my dream wedding: Ditto wore a Gaultier gown and it looks like they made all their guests coordinate. To. Die. For.

    Don’t worry beaus, Buxom babes aren’t the only one getting hitched. Recently, our personal fav queen Latrice Royal made news by becoming ordained in order to officiate over a good friend’s wedding ceremony. Catch this great interview on Latrice’s killer outfit and her controversial opinions on gay marriage on Dragofficial.com.

  • Thought hyperallergic.com was just #selfie fluff? No longer. Recently some seriously drama erupted on the site where I most frequently read “news stories” about emojis and cats. Soon after Peter Schjeldahl posted his Jonathan Swift-esque piece for the New Yorker about cannabalizing the Detroit Institute of the Arts a hyperallergic writer, Hrag Vartanian, shook Schjeldahl to his knees. Ending the article with the terse but powerful, “Peter Schjeldahl should be fired” the T? is sure that Vartanian was no small part of what eventually led the tenured art critic to rescind his opinion on the matter.
  • Notes on the Art of Conversation: We’re really excited about what Claudine Isé has to say about all things art conversational during her Much Much More lecture hosted by the Humboldt Park branch of the Chicago Public Library and Philip von Zweck. Even more educational than reading, this event is not to be missed.

Printer’s congregate to prove printing not dead

This past Saturday the Printer’s Ball, hosted by Spudnik Press with the support of the Poetry Foundation, took over the Hubbard Street lofts, once again proving print media’s vitality with displays, demonstrations, lectures, conversations and empanadas. WTT? was especially impressed with the Riso demonstrations provided by SPARE residency in the Post Family space.

Tony Fitzpatrick in conversation with Printer’s Ball founder, Fred Sasaki. Fitzpatrick regaled the audience with tales of Studs Terkel, Lou Reed, Haiti and Cuban cigars.

Spotted at the Printer’s Ball: Momentarily back from Ox-Bow, Lauren Anderson checks out photos and posters at Johalla Projects.

EDITION #13

July 15, 2013 · Print This Article

#JusticeForTrayvon

“Homage to Trayvon Martin”

by Derrick Adams, Vacant but Occupied 2010, tempera paint, faux brick paneling, glitter, spray paint and hoodie, 24 inches x 28 inches.

Keith Haring Trends Super Hard at Pride

We know PRIDE was a full fortnight ago, but these photos submitted by Hope Esser are just too uplifting not to post.

Girl! Where did you get those leggings!?

UHM, that is a LOT of PRIDE.

Seeing double.
Big thanks & shout out to Hope for the tip!

SPOTTED!

Celeste Rapone, Bonfire 2013, oil on canvas, 63×76″

Mere months after seeing her work at the 2013 SAIC MFA Graduate Exhibition, we spotted Celeste Rapone’s stunning painting, Bonfire, at Jean Albano’s Gallery in River North last friday.

There may be a reason Albano is augmenting her roster with young blood, WTT? has heard that long time artist and living local legend, Karl Wirsum, is leaving Albano for Courbett vs Dempsey.

The Weatherman Report

Marc Chagall, A Wheatfield on a Summer’s Afternoon. Study for backdrop for Scene III of the ballet Aleko, 1942 Gouache, watercolor, and pencil on paper (38 7/10 x 57 1/5 in.) &copy: Archives Marc et Ida Chagall.
jay-z and marina abramovic

“You’re Crazy for This One Jay”

Just when we thought the world was safe from appropriating celebrities (#LoveYouMiley) Jay-Z swags in and tries his hand at the most bodily of professions, Performance Art. This, as you may well know, is NOT his first attempt at a durational performance. HOVA and Yeezus reportedly played Ni**s in Paris a record breaking number of times.* We all did for that matter and in case you were wondering, there are five more works of art from Jay to come. So we can all relax, there’s plenty of newsfeed fodder forthcoming. Word on the street is that there may be images of a Jesus chain in a jar of urine surfacing soon.

Among the more interesting pieces lobbed at the edgiest video shoot of all time are, “I just love the way Jay-Z riffs on what Marina did,” said Roselee Goldberg, the performance art historian and founder of Performa, and this delightful piece of writing.

*Ed. note: Miami artists, Naomi Fisher and Lucas Leyva also performed Ni**s in Paris for 2.5 hours straight in the context of Domingo Castillo’s Duets at Dimensions Variable in 2012.

Seriously though,

Holler at the T? if you have any tips!

Opening Flyer for Logan Hardware.

Inside of the store.

SMALLTIME ARCHIPHILE:

Home Away from Home

I can’t say enough about how much I love Logan Hardware, where you can’t get keys made but you can pick up the 7” that’s out of print. It’s my favorite Chicago record store, not to mention having a free arcade museum. BUT enough about me, this is about them and the new location they’ve moved to. It’s a Chicago Action Figure that gets repeated all over – one-part individual, lots of parts repetition.

The Evens poster

Originally, they were housed in an old Hardware store that was emotive architecturally as it was modern. Peep this flyer that puts the old store front-and-center as where Ian MacKaye’s The Evens were playing on July 1st. The preoccupation with their architectural persona has now officially travelled with them to their new home down Fullerton.

Their opening party flyer was a very simple line drawing of an extremely iconic, yet incredibly ubiquitous Chicago architectural figure – the corner cantilevered Oriel Bay Window or Chicago Window. This floating tube shape affords some awesome reading nooks and views to the two or three residents of the upper floors and an amazing face from the street – junk in the front. Corners like this always remind me that I’m in Chicago and not anywhere else. Another way to understand this is through its gaudy historical type, where mad money was spent to make your building stand out against brick 3-flats.

I guess I have a love affair with a classy window and a sultry shape, but who doesn’t?

I’ve passed this building an endless amount of times and always wondered about what was happening on the ground floor. I’ve never had my prayers answered where one of my favorite places decides to move in. Thank you Chicago Architectural Ether.

Logan Hardware is located at 2352 W. Fullerton.

EDITION #12

July 1, 2013 · Print This Article

The scene on Milwaukee Avenue this weekend.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival Roundup

As if Logan Square wasn’t already the best neighborhood in Chicago (sorry haterz), this weekend’s Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival was the perfect combination of art, craft and deliciousness. The festival had everything: boneless rib sandwiches, hot dogs, cheese burgers, italian sausages, cheese fries, funnel cakes, Wisconsin cheddar curds, corn dogs, chicken strips, cheese sticks, cheese curds, nachos and potato skins. Here are a few of the highlights:

All of the things!

Lisa Lindvay somehow managed to make Doritos gorgeous at one of the SLAC storefront exhibitions

We loved Natalie Krick’s clever use of the dressing rooms in the abandoned clothing store where one of the SLAC exhibitions took place.

WTT? is a longtime GDBD fan, so we were of course delighted to see member Jamie Steele’s work, Lady (2013) at MAAF.

The extremely lovely and extraordinarily talented Nadine Nakanishi at her booth for Sonnenzimmer.

Photo courtesy of J. Herrington

Finding Sustenance at CAC’s Starving Artist

Starving Artist. It’s a charged phrase that elicits reaction from our guts – whether artist, admin or educator – so it was no mistake Chicago Artists Coalition (CAC) chose it as the banner to hold over their annual artist+chef mash-up, raising funding and awareness for its mission to build a sustainable marketplace for artists and creative’s.

Photo courtesy of J. Herrington

Billed as “the experiential artist and culinary event of the year,” CAC pairs a handful of chefs from foodie institutions across the city with esteemed visual artists to inspire one another in creating edible “installations” to be enjoyed by the crowd and new works of art to be auctioned off the night of the event. 2013 saw collaborations between Jordan Martins and Abraham Conlon (Fat Rice), Sabina Ott and Bill Kim (bellyQ), Theaster Gates and Erick Williams (MK), Cody Hudson and Jared Wentworth (Longman & Eagle), and Marissa Lee Benedict with Benjamin Newby (Hennessy Black.) Additionally, Claire Ashley and Andrea Morris transformed CAC’s main gallery into an ethereal, celestial-like space, perfect for the obligatory after-hours dance party.

Photo courtesy of J. Herrington

Now in it’s third consecutive year, Starving Artist has proven to be a perfect concoction of collaboration. By partnering with taste makers (pun intended) throughout the food industry, which has its very own devout following for the artistry of the chefs they love, CAC has found a way to cross-pollinate audiences, capitalizing on shared aesthetics while aiming to develop new audiences for the arts. So far it’s a sweet – and savory – success.

Photo courtesy of J. Herrington

The Weatherman Report

Georges Seurat, A Sunday on La Grande Jatte — 1884, 1884-6 Oil on canvas (81 3/4 x 121 1/4 in.) The Art Institute of Chicago, Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection.

Totally #Trending

Getting your nails did: If you haven’t signed up for an mani appointment at Dzine’s Imperial Nail Salon (my parents’ living room) at the MCA we don’t even know you.

The always fashionable Etta Sandry‘s nail sensation.

Chelsea Culp’s manicure even has chains! I die.

Cardboard: From cats to art fairs, card board is totally trending.

Colin Dickson‘s formal yet functional Donald Judd-esque cardboard cat scratcher in the window of “The Whisker.” We can haz cats while waiting in line?!

Aron Gent’s cardboard palace for Document & Threewall‘s joint booth at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival.

Orange: No further proof needed than the ongoing and extreme popularity of the negroni slushies from Parson’s Chicken & Fish.

Mobile negroni slushie’s at MAAF this weekend. Photo via Parson’s Facebook.

You Spin Me Right Round

Rotating cermaic pot by Chealsea Culp & Ben Foch on view at Rainbo Club in Wicker Park. Is it weird that an art opening at a bar feels more like an art opening than most art openings?

SPOTTED!

LS Alderman, Rey Colón, checking out a photo by Garrett Baumer at one of the SLAC’s pop-up art exhibitions on Milkwaukee.

Robert Chase Heishman‘s work at the MAAF Document/Threewalls booth VS an Urban Outfitter’s backsplash. I think we all know who the winner of this battle is…

Come one, come all!