Holy guacamole fun times! This week Kathryn Born interviews Natalie van Straaten. Mark Staff Brandl talks about Jeff Hoke’s kickass book-website-museum Museum of Lost Wonder. Mike Benedetto gives a DOUBLE FEATURE REVIEW. Lastly there is a special bonus treat at the end of this week’s show, it is a surprise.
Natalie van Straaten has been a professional writer on arts subjects for more than 30 years and founded Chicago Gallery News in 1983. A curator, educator, administrator and organizer, she serves on various arts advisory boards and is a frequent juror in art competitions. She served as Executive Director of the Chicago Coalition for Arts in Education (1983-1986), and co-directed an art gallery for fourteen years.
Shamelessly and apologetically lifted from Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Every now and then, a book comes along that’s almost impossible to categorize, like Hoke’s beautifully illustrated gem, a strange marriage of alchemical lore and psychology, science and “wonder.” Hoke, an artist and a senior exhibition designer at California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium, writes that the eclectic museums and curiosity cabinets of the 1600s inspired him, and that he wants to return us to a time before “science became a belief system unto itself,” a time when artist-alchemist-scientists were able to search for inner truth via mystical experiences and experiments without being ridiculed. Guided by the Greek muses and lured by his lovely color illustrations, readers are beckoned into seven “exhibition halls,” named for the stages of alchemical transformation from base matter to divinely inspired knowledge. Each exhibit also includes a pull-out interactive paper model, such as a “Do-It-Yourself Model of the Universe” in chapter one, where Hoke playfully addresses various creation myths. The chapter on dream states, visions and hypnosis is particularly fascinating. This is a book to linger over; it gradually reveals itself as a sly philosophical meditation on human consciousness, bringing in concepts from Tibetan Buddhism and quantum physics.
Coming soon! Rodney Graham!!!
Duncan and Terri talk to James Elkins about his books, criticism and more! Mike Benedetto provides an utterly hilarious movie review and public service announcement.
From Mr. Elkins’ web site:
James Elkins grew up in Ithaca, New York, separated from Cornell University by a quarter-mile of woods once owned by the naturalist Laurence Palmer.
He stayed on in Ithaca long enough to get the BA degree (in English and Art History), with summer hitchhiking trips to Alaska, Mexico, Guatemala, the Caribbean, and Columbia. For the last twenty years he has lived in Chicago; he got a graduate degree in painting, and then switched to Art History, got another graduate degree, and went on to the PhD in Art History, which he finished in 1989. (All from the University of Chicago.) Since then he has been teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is currently E.C. Chadbourne Chair in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism. He also teaches in the Department of Visual and Critical Studies, and is Head of History of Art at the University College Cork, Ireland.
His writing focuses on the history and theory of images in art, science, and nature. Some of his books are exclusively on fine art (What Painting Is, Why Are Our Pictures Puzzles?). Others include scientific and non-art images, writing systems, and archaeology (The Domain of Images, On Pictures and the Words That Fail Them), and some are about natural history (How to Use Your Eyes).
Current projects include a book called Success and Failure in Twentieth-Century Painting, another called Writing about the World’s Art, and several edited books: a series called “The Art Seminar,” one called “Theories of Modernism and Postmodernism in the Visual Art.,” and edited books on W.G. Sebald, representations of pain in art, and the university-wide study of images.
He married Margaret MacNamidhe in 1994 on Inishmore, one of the Aran Islands, off the West coast of Ireland. Margaret is also an art historian, with a specialty in Delacroix. His interests include freshwater microscopy (with a Zeiss Nomarski differential interference microscope), optics (he owns an ophthalmologist’s slit-lamp microscope), stereo photography (with a Realist camera), playing piano, and winter ocean diving
He was born in Guildford, near London, and went to the Royal College of Art. However, in 1991, the tutors refused to give him the final degree because of his show, called Cave, which consisted of a whitewashed studio space, containing only a blue heritage plaque (of the kind normally found on historic buildings) commemorating his own presence as a sculptor. This bestowed some instant notoriety on Turk, whose work was collected by Charles Saatchi.
His work often involves his own image disguised as that of a famous person. He has cast himself in a series of detailed life sized sculptures as different romantic heroes, including Sid Vicious, Jean-Paul Marat and Che Guevara. Pop, a waxwork model of Turk as Sid Vicious, in white jacket and black trousers, pointing a handgun (appropriating the stance of Andy Warhol’s painting of Elvis Presley as a cowboy), was part of the 1997 Sensation exhibition which toured London, Berlin and New York. A set of what appeared to be classic posters of Che Guevara in a beret, revealed themselves on further scrutiny to be photos of Turk in the same pose.
Ambiguity features throughout his work. What appeared to be a discarded plastic rubbish bag was in fact a bronze sculpture of one. A large industrial skip (normally yellow, battered and with rust) was painted an immaculate gloss black. He turned up at the private view of the Sensation exhibition at the solemn Royal Academy, London, dressed as a down-and-out.
BAS vs. Miami. This week the recap of Bad at Sports’ trip to Miami Basel.
We open with words of advice from BAS. Then we talk to see, review and mumble about the goings on in Miami
People who had something to say this show include:
Lisa Dorin: Assistant Curator at the Art Institute of Chicago
Lisa Boyle: Head Honcho Lisa Boyle Gallery, Bird-Horse-Muffin coach.
Christopher Vroom Collector and Artadia Board President
Todd Simon: collector, President of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Vice-President of Jewish Family Service, and is active on the Boards of the United Way of the Midlands, Young President’s Organization and R.E.S.P.E.C.T.2,
Michael Workman: Bridge guy
Vanessa Chafen: Michael Workman herder.
Jodie Jacobi: Artist
Susan Gescheidle: Gescheidle gallery. She gives us breaking news.
Noah Lang: Trillium Press.
Maura Thompson: Artist
And so much more, lots of talk about hotels and alcohol.
This week Duncan and Richard talk to Tony Feher about his work and installation at The Suburban in Oak Park. The following is shamelessly lifted from the Worcester Art Museum’s site:
American artist Tony Feher has become a leading voice among his generation of sculptors. Rooted in the legacy of Minimalism, Feher’s understated use of humble, forgettable materials that he finds: bottles, jars, plastic soda crates turns the commonplace and mundane into work that is rich with human emotion and fragile beauty.
Next, Terri and Serena talk to Larry Shure about his blisteringly kick ass project Ultra Local Geography a zine focused on the microcosm.
Then, Christian and Emily talk about the galleries in the East End of London.
Hey, we know you are an opinionated bastard, go post on the Blog www.badatsports.com.
Next week. Miami!