Andreas Fischer’s “Ghost Town” at HPAC and Gahlberg Gallery

February 19, 2010 · Print This Article

Andreas Fischer, who is Associate Professor at Illinois State University’s College of Fine Arts, has concurrent shows of his latest paintings up right now at the Gahlberg Gallery at the College of DuPage and the Hyde Park Art Center. The Gahlberg Gallery show closes in two weeks (February 27th) so even though it may be a bit of a haul for those of us who live near Chicago, make a plan to get out there before it’s too late! Luckily, Fischer’s show at HPAC is up a little longer, through April 18th. These two exhibitions are comprised of related bodies of work, both of which I wrote about in the catalogue essay that accompanies them. Below is an excerpt from that text; I’m in the midst of a brain-squeezing allergy attack and can’t produce much in the way of original thought this morning, so this’ll have to do.

“In many ways, Andreas Fischer’s recent paintings can be understood as ghost stories told with paint. Each of his works attempts to represent imaginative experiences that cannot be conveyed linguistically, often by taking the form of something they are not, be it a faded archival photograph or a snapshot of a picturesque Montana landscape. Using paint to weave together the factual and the ineffable, Fischer provides us with information that cannot be confirmed by a source outside of the painting: meaning must be intuited via the paint itself. Fischer’s concurrent exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center and the Gahlberg Gallery at the College of Du Page consist of two separate but conceptually related groups of paintings: the first, titled Original Location, is a series of landscapes depicting various Montana settings, the second, titled Sunday Best, consists of portraits based on found tintype (also known as ferrotype) images of anonymous individuals dressed in 19thcentury-style attire.


Fischer draws on metaphors of historiography and the archive to explain how these two bodies of work relate to one another:

‘History often gets represented through a collection of fragments or an archive and it has been argued that what is important in archives is what is left out – what can’t be represented factually, actual experience  in other words. Both parts of Ghost Town attempt to use painting to address this absence. Through material facts of paint these bodies of images attempt to extend beyond basic linguistic representation into broader experience. Both bodies of work are meant to mimic kinds of historical fragments. They pretend to document. More importantly, though,they attempt to use paint activity to tap into imaginative characteristics that make up subjective experience.’ “

I also highly recommend that you attend Andreas’ talk at the Hyde Park Art Center on Sunday, April 3rd at 3:00pm. He is so much fun to talk to: so curious, generous, and thoughtful — I enjoyed our studio visits tremendously and I can pretty much guarantee that this talk will not be a one-way lecture type thing.  HPAC has billed it as “not your grandmother’s artist’s talk. Please come with plenty of questions and be ready to discuss painting techniques, research tips, points of interest and other spontaneous topics with Andreas.” Although when they were alive my own grandmothers wouldn’t have known what the heck an ‘artist’s talk’ was, much less given one, I do know they would have felt comfortable at Andreas’ because he is is so kind, generous and open with his own and other people’s musings on the subject of painting. Be there people!

Original Location

Sunday Best

Sunday Best

Top 5 Weekend Picks

February 18, 2010 · Print This Article

It’s that time again. This was another week full of many worthy options for viewing. I’ll be going to quite a bit more than just these five, but these looked particularly interesting:

1. You Can Lose Your Balance at 65 Grand

I’ve been a fan of 65Grand for quite a while. I am not terribly familiar with Scott Wolniak, but I took a trot over to his website, and it looked like interesting stuff.  Corbett vs Dempsey or Noble and Superior are both close by, so why not go for a two- or three-for-one? See ya’ll at the top of the stairs.

65Grand is located at 1378 W. Grand Ave. Reception is Friday from 7-10pm.

2. Sarah Best: Daily Photos at Antena

There are two shows opening at Antena this Friday, and this is actually the smaller of the two. The premise involves cell phone pictures, a medium that I still find dubious, but which I need to see more of, so as to fully form my opinion. The one image available is beautiful, as you can see.

Antena is located at 1765 S. Laflin St. Reception is Friday from 6-10pm.

3. UnCommon Territories at Heaven Gallery

A group show of (primarily) SAIC sculpture kids, including: Marissa Benedict, Christopher Bradley, Scott Carter, Lauren Carter, Younghwan Choi, Colleen Coleman, Allison Fall, Elise Goldstein, Katya Grokhovsky, Samantha Hill, Holly Holmes, Scott Jarrett, Selena Jones, Maya Mackrandilal, Lisa Nonken, Luis Palacios, Ben Stagl, Stephanie Victa, Andrew Norm Wilson. Come spend an evening in Heaven.

Heaven Gallery is located at 1550 N Milwaukee Ave. Reception is Friday from 7-11pm.

4. Duncan R. Anderson at Kasia Kay Gallery

The best exhibition I ever saw at Kasia’s place was Anderson’s previous exhibition. I’m super excited to see that he’s back, and I can’t wait to see what new craziness he has on display. This dude’s work is friggin’ awesome.

Kasia Kay Gallery is located at 1044 W. Fulton Market. Reception is Friday from 6-8pm.

5. Room-a-Loom at Swimming Pool Project Space

Come see the spectacular culmination of the Room-A-Loom! People have ween donating their blue weaveable material for almost a month now. It is time now to experience what a giant loom and a giant room can make together! It’s gonna be fort-tastic!

Swimming Pool Project Space is located at 2858 W Montrose Ave.Reception is Saturday from 6-10pm.

Review: Bless 10 Years of Themelessness DVD

February 18, 2010 · Print This Article

During a recent visit to Los Angeles I picked up the video compilation BLESS: Celebrating 10 Years of Themelessness at Ooga Booga. When I asked Wendy, the shop owner, about the dvd I was told “It’s not for people new to Bless. You won’t learn more anything about them. It’s for the true Bless fan.” For a moment I considered whether or not I was a true Bless fan and decided that I was.

Bless is a conceptual fashion house based in Paris and Berlin started by Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag in 1996. They release products designed to “make the near future worth living for.” They make thoughtful garments,  jewelry for electronic cables, hanging wardrobe mobiles, and other items intended to be used, lived with, and sometimes discarded.

BLESS: Celebrating 10 Years of Themelessness, released by Bureau des Videos, collects 15 short videos from the Bless archive. Many of the pieces are documentation from the public presentations of their varied collections. In No25, Uniseasoners, as people enter the dining area of a restaurant they are seated by servers wearing Bless clothing. The servers take orders, bring wine, and later bring food. Everything is normal, maybe even boring, except for occasional pauses to highlight elements of the clothing. A scarf turns into a hooded sweater. In another video, No13 Basics, a narrator lets me know that we’re in an apartment in Paris where several friends have spent the day together “wearing sweaters, bodysuits, trousers and customized Levi’s jeans” as if they were their own.

There is nothing precious about Bless. Bless is a project that presents ideas about living. There is no lifestyle to buy, you must bring your own. As their modest iWeb page says, FITS EVERY STYLE.

Dubai Like You Have Never Seen It Before

February 17, 2010 · Print This Article

Philip Bloom has been testing/demoing the new Canon 7D for a while showing what you can do with the upper end Prosumer camera. The results are jaw dropping to say the least and it’s all almost within reach. Who said you can’t shoot porn in Dubai? Oh and hit the fullscreen button when you watch to get the full experience.

If you want to see what a Pro Camera can do then you can do no better then this shot in Prague with a Canon 1d mkiv

Bad at Sports Exhibition at Apexart!

February 17, 2010 · Print This Article

Bad at Sports is coming to apexart in New York, and we’re all giggling with excitement like a pack of schoolgirls. As a collective we are organizing a star-studded exhibition that will run from April 7 – March 22nd and we want you to be there and make your presence known! More advance intel to come via the podcast and here on the blog, of course, but we wanted to start banging the drums and lighting the homefires and whatever the hell else one does to get people all rowdy and enthusiastic about what’s to come.

The exhibition is titled Don’t Piss On Me And Tell Me It’s Raining, but feel free to call it the Bad at Sports show. It’ll be like the podcast, but in three dimensions (or wait, isn’t sound already three dimensions?? This is why I failed that Physics of Music class). There will be tons of works submitted by former guests of the show on view, free giveaways, a special talkback section (more info on this soon) and weekly live events of the conversational sort. Don’t expect any slabs of honey-drizzled meat, golden cakes, or chocolate Koons sculptures at said happenings, but maybe there will be beer?

Here are the deets, hot off the keyboard – stay tuned for info on specific events as they are finalized.

“Part archive, part arts journalism, part in-depth conversation and part record-breaking run-on sentence: the Chicago-based collective Bad at Sports is many things at once, but it is first and foremost a collaboration between artists and their communities. Don’t Piss On Me And Tell Me It’s Raining provides a visual counterpart to the extensive audio archive that Bad at Sports has amassed over the past five years and 300+ hours of its weekly podcast. Hundreds of small-scale drawings, texts, and other physical objects made specifically for this exhibition will be on view, each piece produced by the artists and other cultural figures who have appeared on the show over the past five years. Numerous live interviews, panel discussions and performances, many of which will be recorded for future broadcasts, will also take place in the gallery on a twice-weekly basis. In addition, a special “talkback” section of the exhibition asks viewers to direct their own questions to art world personages, thereby enabling audiences to take part in the sprawling, provocative, irreverent and timely conversation that is Bad at Sports.”