Kara Walker speaks at University of Chicago Tonight

May 13, 2009 · Print This Article

Kara Walker, "African American," 1998

Kara Walker, "African American," 1998

As part of the University of Chicago’s Artspeaks program, Kara Walker will talk with associate professor of history Amy Dru Stanley. Click the link above for full details; tickets are $20 to general public, $5 to students with i.d.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | 7:30 pm
Kent Hall, Room 107
University of Chicago
1020 E. 58th Street
View map

From the University’s website:

“Walker will reflect on her work in a presentation and dialogue with Amy Dru Stanley, Associate Professor, Department of History, who’s research and teaching focus on capitalism, slavery and emancipation, and the historical experience of moral problems.

Known for exploring the raw intersection of race, gender and sexuality, Kara Walker unleashes the traditionally proper Victorian medium of the silhouetted figure. Her installations create a theatrical space in which her unruly cut-paper characters fornicate and inflict violent acts upon one another. With one foot in the historical realism of slavery and the other in the fantastical space of the romance novel, Walker’s nightmarish fictions simultaneously seduce and implicate its audience. A 1997 recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award and a 2008 United States Artists Fellow, Kara Walker’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Walker lives in New York where she is on the faculty of the MFA program at Columbia University.”

Why Older Artists Are Ahead at the Auction Houses

May 13, 2009 · Print This Article

An upward trend (age-wise) at the auction houses is underway; this week’s New York magazine has an article by Alexandra Peers arguing that it’s not necessarily about age vs. youth, but due instead to past over-productivity on the part of many younger artists.

Something much more subtle than a classic boom-bust cycle is going on. The art world is punishing the overly prolific, those artists who responded (in retrospect, perhaps too hastily) to stiff demand by upping supply. “There’s a winnowing,” says artnet.com critic Charlie Finch. Who was especially productive before the recession hit? Murakami and Hirst, still both under 50, get singled out by critics, as do Cecily Brown, Dana Schutz, and a host of contemporary Chinese artists. Artists whose work is plentiful or sells in editions—including many photographers—are now seeing softer numbers than those for painters like John Currin. While veterans like Cy Twombly and Bruce Nauman continued to work at the same pace, others did more work to meet the needs of galleries that had satellites or partners all over the world.”

Read the full article here. (Via ArtsJournal).

Quimby the Mouse by Chris Ware

May 13, 2009 · Print This Article

Quimby the Mouse, by Chris Ware. Music by Andrew Bird. Animation by John Kuramoto. A video made by Ware for “This American Life–Live!”, in which an episode of the radio show was performed live onstage by Ira Glass and many of the show’s regular contributors.

via Booooooom!

Quimby The Mouse from This American Life on Vimeo.

Abe’s Penny

May 12, 2009 · Print This Article

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Today I came across a subscription service called Abe’s Penny through Cool Hunting. Described as a “micro-magazine” the project consists of postcards that combine one artist with one writer. Over the course of a month a story unfolds.

via Cool Hunting:
Where did this idea come from?
Tess and I wanted to make something that would resonate without requiring a huge time commitment, or even much effort to enjoy. The postcard comes right to your mailbox so all that’s left for you to do is read it. When the next one comes, people go back to the previous ones, so engaging with the work becomes a process, but still doesn’t require much time.

What does Abe’s Penny signify?
We were thinking of Dickens and serials and the Penny Press. We also talked about how, if you pared down a magazine to its core, you’re left with images and text, so using the word penny made sense, as money’s smallest form. We decided to call it Abe’s Penny because it’s self-contained and referential, like postcards.

Check out the entire set here

Mini Fair at Chicago’s minidutch

May 11, 2009 · Print This Article

Minidutch director Lucia Fabio has always been particularly good at thinking through her gallery’s raison d’etre with every exhibition she presents. Each show at this Chicago-based alternative space not only offers a window into the thinking processes of the artists she features (minidutch tends to focus on works that are in-progress and/or in process, as in last month’s Dusty Bunnyfield vs. Molotovia Cottontail exhibition), but also explores different aspects of alternative exhibition making. As such, minidutch is something of a self-reflexive endeavor, one which provides open-ended exhibition opportunities for artists while at the same time bringing viewers’ focus back to the specific contexts in which that work is being considered. So it seems wholly fitting that Fabio’s current exhibition presents a miniaturized and highly condensed, through-the-rabbit-hole view of Chicago’s alternative gallery scene at the same time that that scene is undergoing a much larger-scale survey at the Hyde Park Art Center with the Britton Bertran and Allison Peters Quinn-curated Artists Run Chicago.

Last Saturday Fabio opened “Mini Fair,” which can be thought of as an eensy weensie, domestically-scaled counterpart to Artists Run Chicago. Fabio was joined by two other Chicago alternative galleries–The Swimming Pool Project Space and Floor Length and Tux (FLAT)–in creating miniature scale-model versions of their own spaces complete with diminutive artworks installed within.

What I find fascinating about the way the miniature is evoked here is how concisely these toy-sized spaces embody all of the qualities for which alternative galleries (in Chicago and elsewhere) are both praised and subtly derided: their smallness of scale; their scrappy, no budget, d.i.y. sensibility; their location within the space of the home and the domestic (and, by extension, ‘the feminine’).

I’m off to Hyde Park Art Center to see Artists Run Chicago. Below, a few images from “Mini Fair.”  Look especially closely at the floor material in FLAT’s space — it’s kitty litter!

minidutch1

mini dutch. Installation by Chris Millar. Model built by Robert Andrew Mueller.

Minidutch. Installation by Chris Millar. Model built by Robert Andrew Mueller.

Swimming Pool Project Space. Installation by Mican Morgan. Model built by Liz Nielsen.

The Swimming Pool Project Space. Installation by Mican Morgan. Model built by Liz Nielsen.

The Swimming Pool Project Space. nstallation by Mican Morgan. Model built by Liz Nielsen.

The Swimming Pool Project Space. Installation by Mican Morgan. Model built by Liz Nielsen.

Floor Length and Tux (FLAT), Model built by EC Brown and Catie Olson

Floor Length and Tux (FLAT), Model built by EC Brown and Catie Olson.

 Floor Length and Tux (FLAT), interior detail. Model built by EC Brown and Catie Olson

Floor Length and Tux (FLAT), interior detail. Model built by EC Brown and Catie Olson.