“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.
“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.
We know PRIDE was a full fortnight ago, but these photos submitted by Hope Esser are just too uplifting not to post.
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.
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, â€œI just love the way Jay-Z riffs on what Marina did,â€ said Roselee Goldberg, the performance art historian and founder of Performa, and this delightful piece of writing.
Holler at the T? if you have any tips!
I canâ€™t say enough about how much I love Logan Hardware, where you canâ€™t get keys made but you can pick up the 7â€ thatâ€™s out of print. Itâ€™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 theyâ€™ve moved to. Itâ€™s a Chicago Action Figure that gets repeated all over â€“ one-part individual, lots of parts repetition.
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 MacKayeâ€™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 â€“ 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 â€“ junk in the front. Corners like this always remind me that Iâ€™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 doesnâ€™t?
Iâ€™ve passed this building an endless amount of times and always wondered about what was happening on the ground floor. Iâ€™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.
Eightball #18, 1997
Daniel Clowes is one of the artists of his generation associated with bolstering comics’ status into the realm of literary inquiry. While Clowes’s widespread popularity is not necessarily intentional, it does allow me to assert that Clowes had a hand in making it possible for comics to be considered required reading while I was in college (no really, thank you). His work is haunted by teenagers and adults adrift in a lonely American landscape. All of whom are currently on the loose in Clowes’s eclectic, career-spanning retrospective, Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes, exhibiting at the Museum of Contemporary Art. On view is an impressive collection of originals spanning all of Clowes’s publications to-date, including: Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron (1993), Ghost World (1997), David Boring (2000), Ice Haven (2005), Wilson (2010), and The Death-Ray (2011).
My initial reaction was not towards Clowes’s work, but rather an irksome canonical attempt. The show is fronted with a wall wide timeline of comics history by cartoonist, Paul Hornschemeier. The assumption being that the MCA’s audience has had little previous exposure to the medium. Even though it’s arguable that Clowes’s imagery is ubiquitously cross-hatched into American pop consciousness. The effect is awkward; awkward like an overbearing posi-parent who is clearly not comfortable with their teenager’s blossoming identity politics, but is supportive nevertheless. While the MCA has hosted comics exhibitions in the past (Chris Ware. 2006, New Chicago Comics. 2011) the timeline epitomizes a friction still present between comics and art institutions’ reluctant willingness to accept them as one of their own.
For viewers with no working knowledge of comics, the timeline is unfortunately ineffective in educating. Hornschemeier scripts a stringent and odd history: foregoing women’s participation in comics, jumping erratically between different nationalities’ connection to the medium, omitting important innovations in print technology, and a puzzling lack of references to Clowes’s influences. Clowes’s retrospective, in part, celebrates the diverse and rambunctious comic centricity of Chicago and the impact of Chicago on Clowes’s work. The city houses a high density of comics creators, enthusiasts, academics, and thinkers – Clowes himself a Chicago native. With so many smart comics folks wandering around you can’t spit without hitting one, I’m left wondering why Hornschemeier was selected for the task of canonization and whether the museum curators sought a second opinion. Thematically, Clowes’s work trends to showcasing his simultaneous self-protecting cynicism and affection of comics’ evolving place within an art context. While the show’s introduction is an embarrassing example of the potential root of Clowes’s uneasiness – it’s certainly not working in his favor.
Comics exhibitions are typically, perhaps even inherently, about process. The work on the walls is unstable and has not yet calcified into it’s final form as a work of art. Clowes’s comics are intentionally built to be read. The focus is on narrative structure and storytelling, as opposed to the flip-side of playing with the visual richness of the medium. Reading desks and large, upholstered nooks with copies of Clowes’s books dapple the space while original pages of his comics span the width of the galleries. The result is claustrophobic in a good way, providing a daunting depiction of the amount of labor involved in comics creation. Clowes’s work is more emblematic of illustration than that of a painter or print maker, albeit his skills as a draftsmen almost render the various changes that occur during printing production invisible: penciling or under drawings are rarely present, Clowes’s adept brush work meticulously cover the initial draft, Â and the gouache painted covers in the show are breathtaking. The flawlessness of the line work and the confidence embedded in Clowes’s drawings almost seem to undermine the self-doubt and alienation present within his stories.
One way of encountering the show as a whole, is through the logic of Clowes’s Ice Haven, a comic originally published in Eightball #22. The story follows the lives of residents in the small midwestern town of Ice Haven as they slowly become enmeshed in the kidnapping of a boy named David Goldberg. Each character stars as the lead in their very own comic strip. Each stylistically unique, Clowes occasionally appropriating from comic strip classics with nods to Charles Schultz’s, Peanuts and to the Flintstones. The move is a kaleidoscopic one, and serves as a metaphor for the inter-connectivity of the characters’ worlds even if the characters themselves are in a constantly tragic state of misunderstanding. Like Ice Haven (sans the kidnapping), the Daniel Clowes retrospective is an intimate microcosm in which each of Clowes’s character contain some small conflicting slice of his psyche. From beginning to end, his characters even seem to inhabit his own lifeline: from the bummed out art school graduate, to the cliche misanthropic middle-aged man. Whether the conflict lies between Clowes and the art world, his tumultuous love/hate relationship with alienation, or contained complexly between the characters in his comics, each contender stands ready to duke it out all the way to the disturbing and bitter end, yet secretly smitten for the other.
Special thanks as always to comics critic Brian Nicholson for being an all around smart guru.
Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago
$12, Tuesdays free for Illinois residents.
A big week in the thick of summer, with posts from all around the country â€” east, west, and my home too: that, large middle part. On the podcast end of things, Amanda Browder talks withÂ artist Michael Scoggins, whoÂ has shown extensively, gained international recognition, and has gallery representation in Atlanta, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Vienna and Seoul. Listen to that convo here.
Current LA resident, Young Joon Kwak, posted a great, in-depth interview with Michael Ned Holte Â Kwak’sÂ current studio/beauty salon, akaÂ Mutant Salon.Â Holte is a writer, curator, and professor of contemporary art history at CalArts. When asked to describe his practice, Holte replied:
Michael Ned Holte: Â What I do now is primarily teaching, writing, and making exhibitions, probably in that order. Â Thereâ€™s a quote from Lucy Lippard in her preface to the reprint of her bookÂ Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972, where she talks about being a critic, and starting to make exhibitions when it was unusual for a critic to curate exhibitions, and she would do projects with artists that seemed sometimes to be breaking boundaries of what it meant to be a critic, but she held to this idea that a critic should be allowed to have an expansive project the way that an artist can have an expansive project. Â So as a teacher, writer, and curator, I can think of those as being a very fluid and expansive project.
If you’re curious about art life in San Francisco, Jeffrey Songco covers the 49 Geary building â€” a 4 story building chock full of galleries. Songco writes:
This month, as always, the galleries are packed with painting and photography.Â Most of the art, if not all, can easily fit into the elevators for a quick transport and install onto the wall above your fireplace mantel.Â The artwork may stay confined in a more traditional structure perfect for moving the product like the garments in fashion houses down the block, but that shouldnâ€™t scare you away from checking out the conceptual frameworks for a few more moments.Â
Songco goes on to discussÂ Robert Koch Gallery’s exhibit,Â IDENTITY: Psychological Portraiture,Â New WorkÂ by Nicholas Nixon at Fraenkel Gallery (where work by Hiroshi Sugimoto is also on view),Â Jamie Baldridge atÂ Modernbook Gallery, andÂ Michael Jangâ€™s show,Â The Jangs, atÂ Stephen Wirtz Gallery.
News came from the Twin Cities this week via Eric Asboe:
TheÂ McKnight FoundationÂ is one of the major sources of arts funding in Minnesota. The McKnight FoundationÂ believesÂ â€œMinnesotaâ€™s artists are innovators, organizers, and leadersâ€“as critical to our stateâ€™s quality of life as other professionals working in business, health, technology, government, education, and other sectors.â€
The McKnight Foundation Arts program funds individual artists, artist-service organizations, and all sizes of arts organizations throughout Minnesota. TheÂ McKnight Foundationâ€™s Artist FellowshipsÂ have recognized and funded individual Minnesota artists since the programâ€™s inception in 1981, and it currently gives around $1.7 million each year through the statewide fellowships. The Fellowships currently fund artists working in ten disciplines: ceramic artists, choreographers, composers, dancers, media artists, musicians, playwrights, theater artists, visual artists, and writers. The Fellowships for each discipline are administered by a relevant arts organization.
I reposted an article announcing Theaster Gates’ upcoming commission for the 95th and Dan Ryan Red Line stope:
The project, expected to cost $1.3 million, wouldÂ be the largest art project in the CTAâ€™s history, according to the agency. Ten people would be hired for the project that would also establish an apprenticeship program for local students.Â
You can read *more* about that on the CBS website, here.
H. Faye Kahn reflects on her dynamic and sometimes fraught relationship to critical art theory:
Lately I have found art theory exhaustingly cynical. I suppose the word â€œcriticismâ€ has a lot to do with this, however much of it seems to only a self-serving end. Often as a reader I approach the text with wonder & leave it feeling like a fluorescent light has been turned on to reveal all pleasant things have poisonous blemishes. A person can only take so much of this before becoming fed up or hopeless or annoyed that something prescient about how to live life is being ignored because the art community is busy circle-jerking to their exclusive & privileged (negative) perspectives on the world. That said, art theory ensconces beautiful ideas within its heavy labyrinthine walls of referential grandiloquent & excessively punctuated & footnoted jargon (â€œInternational Art Englishâ€?), & somehow this keeps me (us?) going. However, more & more, it has been exceedingly reassuring to go to the exhibition & realize that art has been growing & still grows around you when you & intellectuals arenâ€™t looking.
Terri Griffith wrote about a new book,Â Â new bookÂ Punk Press: Rebel Rock in the Underground Press 1968-1980:
Punk PressÂ is no kind of exhaustive anthology, but rather collection of fanzine covers, show flyers,Â with a few articles reproduced for good measure. Mostly this book is about images. What surprised me is that some of these images must have become immediately iconic. I remember a few in this collection as reproductions in fanzines of my own youth.
Lastly, this week closed out with a list of opportunities. I’m experimenting to see if it works to keep that up as a regular, weekly event. Feel free to email me if you have opportunities you’d like me to consider posting: email@example.com. I am also always happy to field any and all blog-related questions.
Most importantly, I hope you all had a great weekend and continue to enjoy the deepest part of summer.
1. THE SUB-MISSION 2014 APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW OPEN. Deadline is August 19th.Â
THE MISSION presents: THE SUB-MISSION, an alternative installation project space dedicated to the development of artists living and working in Chicago.Â Located below the main gallery, THE SUB-MISSION is a natural progression toward fulfilling our mission statement. Specifically, THE SUB-MISSION was created to showcase local artists, foster the investigation of new ideas and artistic processes, and facilitate an exchange between artists and the artistic community.Â Go here for details.
3. Apply to participate in this year’s Chicago Artists’ Month!Â The deadline is tomorrow, however (the 15th of July) so get cracking.Â The 18th annual Chicago Artists Month (CAM) is an open call to individual artists and organizations for events that feature Chicago-based artists, in a public venue in Chicago, during the month of October. A marketing initiative of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, CAM showcases the work Chicago’s independent artists and arts organizations, highlights arts activity in Chicago neighborhoods, drives tourism, encourages collaboration and provides opportunities for creative expression and education for all Chicagoans. Get the skinny here.Â Â
4. Experimenta â€“ the International festival of Moving Image Art in IndiaÂ seeks artistsâ€™ films andÂ videos from any country that challenge popular and conventional modes of cinema. Abstract toÂ obscure compositions produced on the margins of contemporary screen-culture are welcome.Â Innovative, cutting edge and non-traditional work that attempts to aesthetically extend theÂ parameters of the mediums of film and video is encouraged.
Preview copies must be submitted for selection purposes. All lengths of film are considered.Â Please submit entries as soon as possible.Â The final deadline for receipt of submissions is 30Â August 2013. The festival programme will be finalised by October 2013, at which time onlyÂ those whose works are selected will be informed.Â EXPERIMENTAÂ is a curated film festival, and will be held fromÂ NovemberÂ 27thÂ â€“ 1stÂ December 2013 in Bangalore India.Â Here for deets.
5. If you are interested in curating shows elsewhere, check outÂ Curate, a global competition organized byÂ Qatar Museums AuthorityÂ andÂ Fondazione PradaÂ to find new curating talent. The program is now accepting entries online atÂ www.curateaward.orgÂ until 31 December 2013. Visit the site for more information.
It seems like one cultural critic or other is always declaring something dead. In recent years, print media has been declared dead. In the past, punk was declared dead, though many still maintain that punkâ€™s not dead. The new book Punk Press: Rebel Rock in the Underground Press 1968-1980 returns us to a time where newspapers, leaflets, newsletters, and flyers were a dynamic way for the punk community communicate. More than just informative, these communiquÃ©s allowed punks from all over to covey their ideas and share their cityâ€™s scene with others.
Punk Press is no kind of exhaustive anthology, but rather collection of fanzine covers, show flyers, with a few articles reproduced for good measure. Mostly this book is about images. What surprised me is that some of these images must have become immediately iconic. I remember a few in this collection as reproductions in fanzines of my own youth.
The title pushes the early date of punk to 1968, but articles inside the magazine challenge that date back even further to 1964, which made me think that trying to pinpoint the birth of punk might be as difficult as pinpointing the beginning of jazz. Most of the works are from the New York, Paris, and London scene. And because the upper period is 1980, by extension we donâ€™t get much if any from the West Coast hardcore scene, which came to dominate punk thereafter.
Compiled by Vincent Berniere and Mariel Primois, Punk Press is an interesting look back to a time when the printed word connected and energized an entire subculture. Punk Press is a larger format book, 9 x 13 1/4 , which makes it possible to read the text reproduced within. (This large size also prevented me from scanning these images for you, which is what I usually do. Sorry.) The pages are matte and mimic the original pulp that most of these missives were printed on. Though there is little editorial insight by the authors, the collection of images that they complied do an excellent job speaking for themselves.
Punk Press: Rebel Rock in the Underground Press 1968-1980
by Vincent Berniere and Mariel Primois,
240 pages, paperback
Harry N. Abrams, 2013