Breaking news: Art Criticism lives on at the Chicago Tribune! Yes, you heard that right, and Bad at Sports‘ own longtime contributor Lori Waxman (who reviewed several Chicago-area shows for last week’s big #200 podcast) is leading the way as the Trib’s new freelance art critic. It is with great pleasure and hearts swelling with pride that we post links to her first two reviews, here and here. You can also listen to an interview with Lori, and learn more about her project “The 60 Word a Minute Art Critic,” on an episode of Studio 360 here. Go Lori!
In this week’s roundup we look at a video of crash test dummies (do you remember that horrible band? I know Richard does), the Venice Biennale, and some Nazi zombies, just to name a few. I don’t know about you guys but I’m going on vacay next week. Anyone know anything good to do in Denver?
- OMG. Dead snow¸ looks like it’s going to kick some serious Nazi zombie ass.
- Art Observed has a great links roundup to get you (not) in the mood for the Venice Biennale.
- Former BAS guest Francesco Bonami is guest blogging over at The Moment.
- Old GM crash test video from the 60’s are positively terrifying. I laughed so hard at work I think I scared my coworkers and am thankful I grew up in the 80s. Seat belts people.
- Chicago Tribune had a papercraft tribute to Sen. Roland Burris.
- Google introduced the Wave. I watched an hour of the hour and twenty min demo and then asked myself why I had watched it for that long.
- This week I hit a new personal low when I Google image searched “Maru the Cat” and found an image of myself on the second page.
- Everyone went crazy for The Beatles Rockband intro. And yes I think it does live up to all the hype. Well at least the first half, I am not a big Yellow Submarine fan.
- The Seeker told us about James Felix McKenney’s AUTOMATONS.
- Gary Hustwit’s new Documentary Objectified starts tonight at the Gene Siskel Film Center.
- Seriously WTF?!
Can we talk about this?
I just read (via Meg’s Twitter– I’ve been away from my computer for almost a full day, so this is fresh news to me) that the Chicago Tribune laid off its sole art critic, Alan Artner (sources: Time Out Chicago; Chicago Reader blog). Wow. I don’t know Mr. Artner personally but I am really sorry to hear about this. He seems to have been widely respected — a few detractors, of course, but my sense is that he did his job very well and has made a major contribution to art coverage in this city during his decades at the Tribune.
When I moved to Chicago last year I was really surprised at the lack of, let’s call it “mainstream press” art criticism in Chicago, including at the Tribune. I don’t think a major city daily should have only one art critic on staff like the Trib did (look at the L.A.Times–at least for now, they have chief art critic Christopher Knight plus David Pagel and several other longstanding freelance art critics who’ve made names for themselves over the years), but at least they had someone. I was shocked that the Chicago Reader, this supposedly nationally recognized alternative weekly, doesn’t do regular art reviews and only occasionally covers the business end of what’s happening in art here. And relieved to discover New City‘s extensive coverage of Chicago art – that thin little weekly entertainment rag does a hell of a lot for the art scene in this city, no? But I’m blown away to learn that the city’s most prominent newspaper critic has been cut. We all know the Trib is bankrupt (and whither the Trib goes, so too the LA Times?). But this decision has symbolic ramifications too.
Since I’m new to Chicago, with not a lot of personal history with the art scene behind me to fully contextualize this news (or to allow me to feel cynical about it, frankly), I’d like to hear your thoughts and comments on this development. How will the absence of regular, critical art coverage in the city’s major daily paper impact Chicago’s visual arts community (if at all)? Are there outlets in this city big enough to absorb someone with Artner’s experience and talents, or will he be forced to go elsewhere?
This is indeed sad news for the visual arts in Chicago; especially as we are gearing up for the Version and Art Chicago/Artropolis events taking place here over the next few weeks, when more eyes than usual will be upon us. Just not any from the Tribune.
Updates have been a little scarce as of late. My life has been either consumed by work or by Super Obama World. (I don’t know why I haven’t beaten it yet) Anyway, here are some highlights from the past three days.
Kim Light/Lightbox Gallery
“WARNING: This area may contain homosexuals, which are known by the State of California to be harmful to the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.”
That is awesome.
To view the image please click here
The Art Institute’s Modern Wing
I am sure many of you have probably read the Chicago Tribune’s article on the new modern wing of the Art Institute. If not, check it out.
Damien Hirst New Music Video
I usually steer away from posting most things about Damien Hirst but I had to link to The Hours new video “See the Light”. With shots of splattered paint, dead cows, and medical cabinets its not to hard to guess that Hirst was art director. Best part of the video happens at 3:30. And I don’t mean best as in good.
View the video here.