Episode 263: Kehinde Wiley

September 12, 2010 · Print This Article

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263-Kehinde Wiley
This week: Duncan, Richard and guest co-host Dr. Amy Mooney, Associate Professor of Art History at Columbia College, talk with superstar artist Kehinde Wiley about his work and his exhibition “The World Stage: India-Sri Lanka” which just opened at the Rhona Hoffman Gallery (through October 23, 2010).

The following seemingly outdated bio was lifted from the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Kehinde Wiley was born in Los Angeles in 1977. He received his BFA in 1999 from the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated from Yale University School of Art two years later. Wiley is viewed as the modern-day heir to a long line of portraitists –Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Tiepolo– from whom he appropriates the symbols and visual language of heroism, power, and opulence in his realistic renderings of urban black men. While referencing specific old master paintings and fusing period elements– French Rococo ornamentation, Islamic architecture, West African textile design– into his portraits, the final works convey a very urban, contemporary aesthetic because of the subjects portrayed and their hip-hop influenced attire. Wiley succeeds in his intent to blur the boundaries between traditional and present-day modes of representation, as he says to “quote historical sources and position young black men within that field of power.”




Top 5 Weekend Picks! (7/30-8/1)

July 29, 2010 · Print This Article

It’s a slim weekend, and one I’m going to miss entirely because I’m headed out to Nevada City (no, it’s not in Nevada). But if I were here, these are what I’d try and hit up. In order of appearance…

1. Religare: Artists explore the concept of Religion at Antena

And I quote, “”Religare”: according to Tom Harpur and Joseph Campbell the word Religion derives from the Latin word “ligare” which means “bind, connect”, and combined with the prefix “re”= re-ligare, i.e. re (again) + ligare or “to reconnect”. For this art exhibit, artists will create work that analizes and critiques the concept of religion.” Works by Saul Aguirre, Eddie Alvarado, Miguel Cortez, Rakel Delgado, Rocky Horton, James Jankowiak, Antonio Martinez, Laura Olear, Josue Pellot, Polly Perez, Jenny Priego, Elvia Rodriguez-Ochoa, and Sebastian Vallejo.

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

2. Stephen Eichhorn at A+D Gallery

For the conclusion of this summer’s Digital Artist Residency Program at Columbia College, Stephen Eichorn will be presenting work in the A+D Gallery. Eichorn was the Summer Resident Artist and will be presenting collages created during his residency. A one night only event.

A+D Gallery is located in  Columbia College Chicago, 619 S. Wabash Ave. Reception is Friday from 6-9pm.

3. Sixth Annual Printers Ball

The Printers Ball is back! Presented annually by the Center for Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College, this all night Friday event is not to be missed. Make sure you check the calendar for lead up events as well. The Ball presents thousands of publications, music, readings, demonstrations, and much more.

The Printers Ball will be held at The Ludington Building at Columbia College Chicago, 1104 S. Wabash Ave. The main event is Friday, from 6-11pm.

4. Double Face Fantasy at Thomas Robertello Gallery

A new installation “best viewed after dark from the sidewalk” at Robertello. Collaborators Jason Robert Bell and Marni Kotak, “[use] the application of paint to uncover flesh, the lovers find themselves quite literally emerging through the eyes of their soulmate. The messy sensuality of this play showcases their obvious pleasure, but also probes deeper issues of connection, self, and spiritual union.”

Thomas Robertello Gallery is located at 939 W. Randolph St. Show begins on Saturday night.

5. The bottom of photos that look up at the sky and other observations at Julius Cæsar

The title says a lot of it. A descriptive text based show of work by Carrie Gundersdorf.

Julius Cæsar is located at 3144 W Carroll Ave, 2G. Reception is Sunday, from 4-7pm.




Top 5 Weekend Picks! (7/23-7/25)

July 21, 2010 · Print This Article

Hey, dude, art…hella.

1. Carny at Eastern Expansion

And I quote, “Carny is a salon installation of 75 plus photographs captured during Paul’s recent observations while working for traveling carnivals around the midwest.” Photographs by Paul Rizzuto.

Eastern Expansion is located at 244 W. 31st St. Reception is Friday from 6-10pm.

2. If Nature Could Talk at Spoke

And I quote, “is an interactive event that explores the uncanny relationship between art, science, and nature. Based on the investigation of Human/Nature dynamics through marks, traces and symbols of pseudo- scientific experiments, the work suggests what nature might be thinking and feeling in an evidentiary context.” Photographs, sculptures, objects, and evidence created and collected by Grant W. Ray.

Spoke is located at 119 N Peoria St, 3D. Reception is Friday from 6-9pm.

3. Looks Like A Place I Came In at The Hills Esthetic Center

And I quote, “The Hills Esthetic Center [presents] a site-specific installation titled “Looks Like A Place I Came In”. Caponigro’s response to the space draws influence from her family’s history by means of the decadent lacy fabrics juxtaposed  with gaudy laminate flooring, jungles of houseplants, screenprinted  temporary wallpaper and halls of astroturf.” Installation by Jessica Taylor Caponigro.

The Hills Esthetic Center is located at 128 N. Campbell Ave., Unit G. Reception is Friday from 8-11pm.

4. Slideluck Potshow Chicago IV at Columbia College

And I quote, “Slideluck Potshow is a slideshow and potluck to which members of Chicago’s arts, photography and media communities bring food, drink and enjoy slideshows from local artists. The evening begins with two hours of dining on the home-cooked delights of participants, while drinking and mingling. Following the potluck, the lights are dimmed, the crowd hushed as a spectacular slideshow commences. Slideluck Potshow is a forum for exposing artists, curators and editors to new work while infusing the arts community with a non-commercial vitality and refreshing exchange.” Work by various artists, bring food with ya to share.

The Conaway Center at Columbia College is located at 1104 S. Wabash St. Saturday night, food at 7pm, slide shows from 9-11pm.

5. Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century at The Art Institute of Chicago

Why should you go? Because Cartier-Bresson was a fucking bad-ass, that’s why.

The Art Institute of Chicago is located at 111 S. Michigan Ave. Exhibition begins Sunday.




Review: The Object of Nostalgia at A+D Gallery

February 15, 2010 · Print This Article

I was a bit behind the curve when it came to checking out The Object of Nostalgia, up through this Saturday, February 12th at Columbia College’s A+D Gallery, having only learned about it last week in conjunction with the CAA panel on the same topic. The show’s central organizing question–what is worthy to speak about when one is making “important” art?–is of great personal interest (I’m also keen to apply that same question to criticism, but that’s another post). So any exhibition that takes an unapologetic look at our (so-called) “nostalgic” connection to the object in contemporary art-making, or as the curators put it, contemplates the nature of “sentimentality and its conflicted relation to contemporary art” is a most welcome thing for me to behold and overall, a project to which I’m pretty much automatically sympathetic.

Curators Rene Marquez and Lance Winn invited four artists to participate in the show, and asked each of them to select another artist  whose work resonated with the exhibition’s themes. This all worked quite well, and the result is an exhibition filled with strong pieces, in which aesthetic genres such as portraiture, ceramics, the family snapshot (framed and resting on shelves, no less) and even 19th century dog paintings make a return. I especially liked Dawn Gavin‘s altered paper map pieces, which serve to remind us that in the age of augmented reality, the two dimensional map has already gone the way of the LP record. Although I tend to think maps alone are compelling enough to contemplate as-is, Gavin’s delicate incursions into the map-as-physical object changed my mind. They’re surgically precise yet seem to tremble with unspoken feeling.

Dawn Gavin, Lung (2005-2007), detail.

Dawn Gavin, Lung (2005-2007). Altered US interstate map and insect pins.

I also thought Clayton Merrell’s paintings were terrific (the one featured in the catalogue is actually not in the show). They’re old fashioned plein-air type landscapes in oils and egg tempera, but their surfaces have been brushed over, scratched and scraped and otherwise distressed, if you will, in a manner that suggests a desire to caress the surface, perhaps to the point of being unable to leave it alone.

Clayton Merrill, New Particle Cascade, 2008. Egg tempera on panel.

What’s more, Merrill adds all manner of abstract geometric as well as biomorphic forms to his open skyscapes–sunbursts, droplets, along with numerous fractal elements that skitter and unfold and otherwise ladder their way across his compositions.  Like all great paintings, Merrill’s look better in real life than they do in reproduction, so try and see them in person if at all possible.

Clayton Merrill, Zinc Exhalation, 2004. Egg tempera on panel.

There’s not a single bad piece in the show. I would, however, have liked to have seen a lot more of Julia Lothrop’s tiny oil portraits — there are only two on view here, not enough to make the impact that I’m betting a whole long row of them would have made. Also: if this is the same Julia Lothrop who is a RISD alumni and makes cloth dolls out of vintage fabric — someone made a very grave error in not including those dolls in this show as opposed to the more acceptable little oil paintings. I shouldn’t have to elaborate why – take another look at the show’s main argument. But if it’s not the same Julia Lothrop, then, uh, scratch that.

Elaine Rutherford, installation view.

I also liked Elaine Rutherford’s installation very much, but wished that the small video screen of lapping waves wasn’t part of it. It’s not that I’m against the presence of technology in a show like this, I just didn’t want my attention to be taken away, even for a second, from the gilded porcelain cabbage leaves strewn on the wooden shelf before me. Read more




Top 5 (7/31-8/2)

July 30, 2009 · Print This Article

Here’s my picks, yo.

1. Milwaukee Ave. Arts Fest.

MilwaukeeAvenueArtsFestival

Just ‘cus there are a ton of things going on of this ‘Fest, there’s bound to be something good happening. My suggestion: hit The Whistler and see Plural’s installation. All along Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 11pm.

2. Printer’s Ball at Columbia College

PrintersBallColumbiaCollege

Columbia College hosts their 5th Printers Ball. It’s gonna be huge, and it’s free! Come see all things print! Friday night from 5-11pm.

3. Burn at Ben Russell

BenRussell

Their press release sold me. All things summer and all on fire. Come and celebrate your inner (or outer) pyro. Sunday 6-10pm.

4. Public Works at Andrew Rafacz

AndrewRafaczGallery

Four boys on display at Rafacz. The exhibition was organized by Andrew and Someoddpilot to celebrate Chicago artists who’ve played large parts in the local art and music scenes. Friday night from 6 to 9pm.

5. Double Closing Fun: Home and Golden

JennyBuffington

Jenny Buffington at The Diorama Show

AspenMays

Aspen Mays

Two closing receptions are happening this weekend, both for good shows you should see if you haven’t yet: The Diorama Show at Home Gallery, and Concentrate and Ask Again at Golden. Go by for one last horah. Home closing: Sunday noon to 3pm. Golden closing: Sunday 3 to 6pm.