Top 5 Weekend Picks! (6/13-6/15)

June 12, 2014 · Print This Article

1. Black Cauliflower at Roots and Culture

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Work by Corkey Sinks and Jamie Steele.

Roots and Culture is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.

2. #BRUTEFORCEFIELD at The Hills Esthetic Center

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Work by Christopher Meerdo.

The Hills Esthetic Center is located at 128 N. Campbell Ave. Reception Saturday, 7-11pm.

3. Stephen Reber and Anders Ruhwald at Threewalls

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Two solo exhibitions.

Threewalls is located at 119 N. Peoria St. #2C. Reception Sunday, 2-5pm.

4. Sleazy at Kitchen Space

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Work by Nicole Pyles.

Kitchen Space is located at 2716 N. Monticello Ave. #1F. Reception Sunday, 1-5pm.

5. Sharing the Stories of the Elders at Chicago Art Department

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Work by Cassie Hamrick.

Chicago Art Department is located at 1932 S. Halsted St. Reception Friday, 6-10pm.




Catholic Craft

May 17, 2013 · Print This Article

Guest Post by Robert Burnier

 

Alicja Kwade
Andere Bedingung (Aggregatzustand 6), 2009
steel, copper, glass, mirror, iron, mop stick, seven parts
Format variable

 

I once had a penchant for the obsessive, compulsive traditions of certain Dutch painters like Paulus Potter, Adriaen van der Spelt and Jan van Cappelle, so whenever I was in an encyclopedic museum, I would always make my way toward those galleries. Afterward, however, I would go straight to where the modern art was and stand in front of a Cy Twombly or some other such work. In 2002 the Gerhard Richter retrospective, 40 Years of Painting, came to the Art Institute of Chicago. One salient aspect of this was to witness a similar kind of range more or less present in one artist; one who held up Reading, Grey Mirror, and 256 Colors as artistic statements of the same order. I see these memories as analogies for the way I continue to approach works of art, especially – though in a limited sense – when it comes to issues of craft.

Mari Eastman
My Architect, 2011
Prismacolor, oil and glitter on canvas
20 x 16 in.

When I look at art today, I would say my taste still involves a dialectic similar to my earlier favorites. I can appreciate artists like Roxy Paine and Mari Eastman, Nicole Eisenman and Richard Rezac. With Paine, we have someone creating sculptures by a distribution of expertise among multiple minds through the idiosyncratic use of high-tech machines and processes, producing objects of a mysterious and alien ilk. Eastman at once shows her knowledge and understanding of painting while withholding some obvious trappings of virtuosity in favor of revelations of a seemingly more personal sort, which are then often further complicated by some borrowed subject or motif. Eisenman is commingling many ideas of painting together with the understanding of craft necessary to put them in conversation with each other, adapting them to her subjects. Rezac makes highly resolved and technological constructions that are nonetheless very slippery to our perception and suggestive through their careful arrangement. In all cases, the individual hand moves, sometimes at a distance, even if only to turn the knobs so that the machine overruns its target output.

Of course, for many reasons – call it the loss of center [1], bourgeois democratic/market forces, technology, transportation, and communication – our era is splintered artistically. It is apparent in public collections where many eras are present at once, creating a stacking effect of latent visual experience. Our perception of space and time are compressed. It isn’t really possible to point out what to do or not to do because no one person can index all of it. Technology is of little help. It only reminds us of our difficulties even more. But we can reach into this heap of history, as I like to think Robert Smithson might have put it, for resources, touchstones, and questions unanswered. [2] We can look for ways and means that might yield new meanings or recuperate older ones in new ways. Not only does this apply to the mode and medium, but also to the work, effort, or craft involved.

The degree of facility is linked to the effectiveness of the artistic statement, with the critical caveat that it is for something and not self-reflexive. I often find myself saying to people that craft is only craftiness when facture overtakes ethos. If you paint the sides of a stretched canvas because you want it to look “finished” the painted side remains a superficial garnish; if the painted side reinforces the conceptual aspect of the object, it can serve the work intrinsically. We could get into semantic questions of intent here, but I think if you really know it and mean it, it has a greater chance of seeming to be true, or we have a greater chance of becoming involved in the work on a deeper level. A specific example would be the vast difference between Karthik Pandian’s recently exhibited sculpture at Rhona Hoffman, I Am My Own Wife – a highly polished construction in steel and industrial-grade color – and any number of sculptures that are often sprinkled along Navy Pier or grace the ad pages of a major art magazine, aspiring to a similar finish. Pandian’s work perhaps takes us a distance toward examining issues of gender while the other sculptures too often don’t take us anywhere in particular beyond the awareness of their often massive size and tired formalism. Another successful example would be the work of an artist like Alicja Kwade, whose phenomenological sculptures and installations can cause a shift in our basic understanding of the elements of experience. Works such as Andere Bedingung (Aggregatzustand 6), 2009, toy with assumptions of objecthood in terms of weight, substantiality and permanence. So what I’m saying is that with our incredibly intense media saturation, I turn to usage before material specificity for what I get out of seeing a work of art. I want to try to not judge a book by its cover; to allow the myriad options to play out; to remain variable, accepting and catholic in my assumptions about material and craft. Here I am reclaiming the non-religious sense of having a catholic attitude, which simply means to be open to a wide range of tastes.

Karthik Pandian
I Am My Own Wife, 2013
Stainless steel and plastic vase
81 ¼ x 20 x 20 in.

Alternatively, the work of an artist can be de-skilled either in the sense that he does not concern himself personally with technique or high craft, or he transfers it to an outside technician (or even leaves it to chance). But if this becomes too dominant to the meaning of the work, then the lack of facility or personal involvement may fall into banality. For example, I’ve found it hard to pay attention to very much “glitch” art. This has surprised me somewhat since it seems to go against my own extensive background in computer science. However, much of it seems to stop at the glitch itself, piling one glitch on top of another. Aside from the sense that I think glitch art may be claiming a little too much for itself anyway [3], I just can’t be too impressed by the mere malfunction of a computer, even though I’m fully aware of the potential auratic qualities of such failure. [4] It just stops too soon. That said, I really liked Christopher Meerdo’s recent show at Document. What separates his work is not only a very careful selection of some of the more uncanny images and a spectacular transformation into the medium of print, but also the stress laid on the origin and the process of exhuming source images: discarded vacation photos on found memory cards. Meerdo’s exhibition really reflects on the medium, its relationship to our human lives, and our capacity for recording and forgetting through the usage and leveraging of those very same auratic tendencies of malfunction. I draw a similar conclusion about the difference between some of the stacking and leaning of things we are seeing today [5], and the output of an artist like Felix Gonzales-Torres, some of whose best work relies utterly on stacking and piling for it to function.

So there is a kind of competence I see that has to do with an investigation within an artistic practice and through the artist’s level of experience with it. This most often involves objects and materials, though it could also be bodies and spaces or something else. The artist grows a micro history of production, a personal academy and repertoire. The depth of the work emerges from the depth of the investigation and the shape of the path walked by the artist. She can come to know quite well what she is doing, while avoiding the twin pitfalls of connoisseurship and disinterestedness. This is about studio time. [6] The artist may find it better to reflect on what she did rather than what she thought, or accept what happened over what she intended. This doesn’t involve the rejection of purpose, but the acceptance of things that come into view. For example, looking at R.H. Quaytman’s work for the first time a few years ago, I felt initially that the pieces functioned like works of art as essays in the sense put forward by Art & Language [7]. But even as they projected a kind of ultra-intellectual air they had a resolve and physical quality that drew me in. From subsequent lectures and artist talks, I learned about the experiential origins of much of Quaytman’s work. [8]  A frequent refrain I remember in her talks went something like “… after I did that, of course I thought it worked because…” In the end, the body of work she’s constructing is one of thoughts and contexts, but also of trials, errors and discoveries.

Christopher Meerdo
IMG65, 2013
Archival inkjet print
16 x 22 in.

What kinds of experts do these artists become? All of them possess expertise in the statements they want to make in relation to their own concerns and toward the historical context. But in the same way that de-skilling was a term borrowed from economics, I want to say that these works have been “right-sized” in their respective areas of making. Pretty close to the mark from my perspective is a relatively recent piece by Claire Bishop where she says, “Some will say that skills no longer matter, that the artist today should be fully ‘spectralized,’ because the truly emancipatory position is to erase the line between professional and amateur. […] That said, the best forms of de-skilling evoke in the viewer something of this spectralization: Such works generate in us not a disdainful ‘I could do that’ but the generative energy of ‘I want to do that!’” [9] If I ever get that kind of energy from viewers of my work, then I have probably done my job.

 

 

NOTES:

[1] I saw this phrase in Christine Mehring, Jeanne Anne Nugent, Jon L. Seydl, Gerhard Richter: Early Work, 1951-1972. J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010.
[2] http://www.robertsmithson.com/drawings/heap_p104_300.htm
[3] What I mean here is that glitch is a breakdown, a misuse or a chance process. Not a new idea, though consistent with a medium specific conversation, the fact that it is a computer malfunction makes it a contemporary concern. It’s a concern that is, of course, worth examining, but the question is how to approach it.
[4] See, for example, Martin Dixon, The Horror of Disconnection: The Auratic in Technological Malfunction, Transformations Journal, http://www.transformationsjournal.org/journal/issue_15/article_06.shtml
[5] Robin Dluzen, https://twitter.com/RobinDluzen/status/324255330265595904/photo/1
[6] For a fascinating read on contemporary issues regarding studio time and its effect on the production of art, try Dieter Roelstraete, The Business: On The Unbearable Lightness of Art, http://www.e-flux.com/journal/the-business-on-the-unbearable-lightness-of-art/
[7] Such as in Charles Harrison, Conceptual Art and Painting: Further Essays on Art & Language, MIT Press, 2003.
[8] Society for Contemporary Art lecture, The Art Institute of Chicago, March 15, 2012 and The Opening Reception Artist talk at The Renaissance Society, January 6, 2013.
[9] http://www.brooklynrail.org/2011/12/art/unhappy-days-in-the-art-worldde-skilling-theater-re-skilling-performance

 

 

ROBERT BURNIER is an artist and writer who lives and works in Chicago. He is an MFA candidate in Painting and Drawing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. Recent exhibitions include The Horseless Carriage at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Salon Zurcher at Galerie Zurcher, New York, the Evanston and Vicinity Biennial, curated by Shannon Stratton, and Some Dialogue, curated by Sarah Krepp and Doug Stapleton, at the Illinois State Museum, Chicago.




Top 5 Weekend Picks! (5/10-5/12)

May 9, 2013 · Print This Article

1. Black Damp at Johalla Projects

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Work by Jessica Taylor Caponigro.

Johalla Projects is located at 1821 W. Hubbard St. Reception Saturday, 7-10pm.

2. No Gods No Masters at Chicago Artists’ Coalition

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Work by Jesse Butcher, James Green, and Christopher Meerdo.

Chicago Artists’ Coalition is located at 217 N. Carpenter St. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

3. Abstracting the Seam at Hyde Park Art Center

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Work by Shannon Kerrigan, Christopher Michlig, Patrick McDonough, Sarah Nishiura, Andrew Rigsby, Hans Sundquist and Stacia Yeapanis.

Hyde Park Art Center is located at 5020 S. Cornell Ave. Reception Sunday, 3-5pm.

4. DARK STAR at Roots & Culture

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Work by Tim Brown and Rimas Simaitis.

Roots & Culture is located at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception Friday, 6-9pm.

5. Calamity at Chicago Art Department

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Work by Thomas Wolfe.

Chicago Art Department is located at 1932 S. Halsted St. Reception Friday, 6-10pm.




Chicago Art in Pictures: March-April 2013

April 15, 2013 · Print This Article

A graphic, editorial overview of art, artists, and visual art events, found in and around Chicago over the course of the preceding month. All artwork copyright original artists; all photography copyright Paul Germanos.

Daniel Shea @ Gallery 400

Daniel Shea @ Gallery 400

Above: Daniel Shea with his photography in Gallery 400, as seen on April 13, 2013, at the closing of UIC’s third MFA exhibition.

“A Spectre Is Haunting”
2013 UIC Art MFA Thesis Exhibition 3
April 9 – April 13, 2013
Gallery 400
College of Architecture and the Arts
University of Illinois at Chicago
400 S. Peoria St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Artwork by Liliana Angulo Cortés, Ian Curry, Daniel Shea, and Daniel Tucker
http://www.danielpshea.com/

Jennifer Mills @ Chicago Artists Coalition

Jennifer Mills @ Chicago Artists Coalition

Above: Jennifer Mills (right) with collaborator Christopher Ottinger (left) in Mills’ CAC/Bolt installation “101 one-liners; Falling Flat,” on March 30, 2013.

Jennifer Mills
“101 one-liners; Falling Flat”
March 15 – April 2, 2013
BOLT Residency
Chicago Artists’ Coalition
217 N. Carpenter St.
Chicago, IL 60607
http://jennifermills.org/home.html

Picasso @ Daley Plaza

Picasso @ Daley Plaza

Picasso @ Daley Plaza

Above: 2013 promotional “P-I-C-A-S-S-O” installation by Chicago Scenic Studios, foreground; 1967 Picasso sculpture, background.

Daley Plaza
Washington between Dearborn and Clark
Chicago, IL
http://www.chicagoscenic.com/

“Picasso and Chicago”
February 20 – May 12, 2013
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL
http://www.artic.edu/

John Neff @ The Renaissance Society

John Neff @ The Renaissance Society

Above: A 30-second exposure indicating spectator movement within Neff’s installation.

John Neff @ The Renaissance Society

Above: A talk with the artist (John Neff at left, Hamza Walker at right) at 5:00PM, on March 3, 2013, in Kent Hall, Room 107, University of Chicago campus.

John Neff @ The Renaissance Society

Above: Following the artist’s talk, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung (far right) raises a question.

John Neff
March 3 – April 14, 2013
The Renaissance Society
5811 S. Ellis Avenue
Bergman Gallery, Cobb Hall 418
Chicago, Illinois 60637
http://www.renaissancesociety.org/site/

Christopher Ottinger @ Chicago Artists’ Coalition

Christopher Ottinger @ Chicago Artists' Coalition

Above: Christopher Ottinger, background, at the opening reception, his uncovered, kinetic light art seen rotating in the foreground.

Christopher Ottinger
“Ghost Machine”
April 12 – May 2, 2013
BOLT Residency
Chicago Artists’ Coalition
217 N. Carpenter St.
Chicago, IL 60607
http://chicagoartistscoalition.org/

Lossless @ Chicago Artists’ Coalition

Matthew Schlagbaum in Lossless @ CAC HATCH Projects Residency

Above: Matthew Schlagbaum’s kinetic light installation visible within its smoked vitrine housing.

“Lossless”
April 12 – May 2, 2013
HATCH Projects Residency
Chicago Artists’ Coalition
217 N. Carpenter St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Curated by MK Meador
Artwork by Jordan Martins, Matthew Schlagbaum and Theodore Darst
http://chicagoartistscoalition.org/

The Wail of Silence @ ROOMS Gallery

The Wail of Silence @ ROOMS Gallery

Above: Alex de Leon lifts her veil in “Ritual No. 4 – Toll of Eyes,” a three-hour performance, 7:00-10:00 PM, March 8, 2013.

“The Wail of Silence”
March 8, 2013
ROOMS Gallery
1835 S. Halsted
Chicago, IL
http://roomsgallery.com/

Psychosexual @ Andrew Rafacz

Scott Hunter @ Andrew Rafacz

Above: “Psychosexual” curator Scott Hunter in the foreground, with artwork, left-to-right, by Nazafarin Lotfi, John Neff, and Peter Otto, visible in the background.

Psychosexual @ Andrew Rafacz

Above: Artwork by Peter Otto, Rachel Niffenegger, and Brenna Youngblood, seen left-to-right in Andrew Rafacz Gallery.

“Psychosexual”
April 6 – May 25, 2013
Andrew Rafacz Gallery
835 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago IL 60607
Curated by Scott J. Hunter
Artwork by Lutz Bacher, Tom Burr, Edmund Chia, Matthias Dornfeld, Jayson Keeling, Jutta Koether, Nazafarin Lotfi, Jeffry Mitchell, John Neff, Rachel Niffenegger, Peter Otto, Kirsten Stoltmann, and Brenna Youngblood
http://www.andrewrafacz.com/

Lauren Edwards & Kera MacKenzie @ ACRE Projects

Lauren Edwards & Kera MacKenzie @ ACRE Projects
Lauren Edwards & Kera MacKenzie @ ACRE Projects

Above: Lauren Edwards and Kera MacKenzie, participants in UIC’s first MFA exhibition of 2013, seen within their subsequent show at ACRE Projects’ home site in Pilsen.

Lauren Edwards & Kera MacKenzie
“Burden of Proof”
April 14 – 28, 2013
ACRE Projects
1913 W. 17th St.
Chicago, IL 60608
http://www.acreresidency.org/

Michael Ian Larsen @ PEREGRINEPROGRAM

Michael Ian Larsen @ PEREGRINEPROGRAM

Michael Ian Larsen
“The Tree, the Gift, and the Amphibian”
March 10 – April 7, 2013
PEREGRINEPROGRAM
3311 W. Carroll Avenue, #119
Chicago, IL 60624
http://www.peregrineprogram.com/

Tina Tahir @ Gallery 400

Tina Tahir @ Gallery 400

Above: Tina Tahir at her closing reception with the installation “41.876503,-87.649666,” an ornamental ‘rug’ made of ash and magnetite mineral, whose title provides its GPS co-ordinates. Intentionally made available to foot traffic throughout the course of the exhibition, said piece is shown disturbed from its original state.

“A strange house in my voice.”
2013 UIC Art MFA Thesis Exhibition 2
April 2 – April 6, 2013
Gallery 400
College of Architecture and the Arts
University of Illinois at Chicago
400 S. Peoria St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Artwork by Cameron Gibson, Ben Murray, and Tina Tahir
http://www.tinatahir.com/

Laura Wennstrom @ The Peanut Gallery

Laura Wennstrom @ The Peanut Gallery

Above: Gallery patron interacts with Wennstrom’s “Block City” during the opening reception; cameras hang ready to document the action.

“Artificial Turf”
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign MFA group exhibition
March 15 – April 9, 2013
The Peanut Gallery
1000 N. California Ave.
Chicago, IL
http://artgraduatestudentorganization.wordpress.com/

Jesse Butcher & Anthony Romero @ Happy Collaborationists / ACRE Projects

Jesse Butcher & Anthony Romero @ Happy Collaborationists

Jesse Butcher & Anthony Romero
“Cyclical, Circular. Like Vultures.”
April 6 – 27, 2013
Happy Collaborationists, in partnership with ACRE Residency
1254 N Noble
Chicago IL, 60642
http://happycollaborationists.com/

Michael Robinson @ Carrie Secrist

Michael Robinson @ Carrie Secrist

Michael Robinson
“Circle Spectre Paper Flame”
April 6 – May 11, 2013
Carrie Secrist Gallery
835 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
http://www.secristgallery.com/

Co-Prosperity School

Co-Prosperity School

Above: A Co-Prosperity School student’s presentation on March 18, 2013.

The Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219-21 S. Morgan St.
Chicago IL, 60608
http://coprosperity.org/co-prosperity-school/

Autumn Space Benefit Auction

Autumn Space Benefit Auction

Autumn Space Benefit Auction

Autumn Space Benefit Auction
March 10, 2013
1700 W. Irving Park #207
Chicago, IL
http://autumnspace.com/

Deb Sokolow @ Western Exhibitions

Deb Sokolow @ Western Exhibitions

Deb Sokolow
March 15 – April 20, 2103
Western Exhibitions
845 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607
http://www.westernexhibitions.com/index.html

Diegesis @ Logan Center

Daniel Rosen @ Logan Center

Above: “The Index for an Encylopedia” by Daniel Rosen

Maymay Jumsai @ Logan Center

Above: “Smell.RB.MFA 2013″ by Maymay Jumsai

“Diegesis”
University of Chicago MFA Show 1
April 5 – 14, 2013
Logan Center Gallery
915 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
http://arts.uchicago.edu/

Christopher Meerdo @ Document

Christopher Meerdo @ Document

Christopher Meerdo
“Anthology”
March 15 – April 20, 2013
Document
845 W. Washington Blvd. Suite 3f
Chicago IL 60607
http://christophermeerdo.com/

Juneer Kibria @ The Sub-Mission

Juneer Kibria @ The Sub-Mission

Above: Juneer Kibria in his installation, opening night.

Juneer Kibria
“Hidden Noise”
March 8 – April 20, 2013
The Mission (The Sub-Mission)
1431 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
http://themissionprojects.com/

Rebecca Beachy @ Iceberg Projects

Rebecca Beachy @ Iceberg Projects

Above: An audience member views “Warm (bed)” through a rectangular aperture just above the floor; 109 dozen factory-farmed eggs, ground, lit by heat lamps, lie within the piece.

Dan Berger before Deborah Stratman @ iceberg projects

Above: Iceberg Projects proprietor Dan Berger within the gallery space on June 23, 2012

“The Bearer”
March 10 -April 1, 2013
Iceberg Projects
7714 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60626
Artwork by Rebecca Beachy and Walker Blackwell
http://icebergchicago.com/home.html

Lisa Walcott @ threewalls

Lisa Walcott @ threewalls

Lisa Walcott
“Pretty Good Shape”
Artists in Research – Residency
(Closed on March 21, 2013)
threewalls
119 N. Peoria #2c
Chicago, IL
http://www.three-walls.org/


Paul Germanos: Born November 30, 1967, Cook County, Illinois. Immigrant grandparents, NYC. High school cross country numerals and track letter. Certified by the State of Illinois as a peace officer. Licensed by the City of Chicago as a taxi driver. Attended the School of the Art Institute 1987-1989. Studied the history of political philosophy with the students of Leo Strauss from 2000-2005. Phi Theta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. Motorcyclist.




Top 5 Weekend Picks! (3/15-3/17)

March 15, 2013 · Print This Article

1. Deb Sokolow at Western Exhibitions

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2nd solo exhibition at Western Exhibitions.

Western Exhibitions is located at 845 W. Washington Blvd. 2nd Fl. Reception Friday, 5-8pm.

2. Anthology at Document

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Work by Christopher Meerdo.

Document is located at 835 W. Washington Blvd. 3rd Fl. Reception Friday, 5-8pm.

3. You Gotta at The Octagon Gallery

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Work by Meredith and Anna.

The Octagon Gallery is located at 120 N. Green St. Unit 3B. Reception Friday, 7-10pm.

4. Yellow Humid Picture Night at Autumn Space

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Work by Josh Dihle.

Autumn Space is located at 1700 W. Irving Park Rd. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.

5. Transference at 3433

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Work by Jade Boyd and Nicole White.

3433 is located at 3433 Kedvale Ave. Reception Saturday, 6-9pm.