Four for Fall | Centerfield on Art:21 blog

September 28, 2010 · Print This Article

Our latest post is up over at art:21 blog. This week, we look at a few of the gallery exhibitions that have opened in Chicago over the past month. A brief teaser below:

Traditionally, fall is the time when galleries launch their new slate of exhibitions after a relatively slow-paced couple of summer months. Galleries tend to highlight some of the most prominent artists on their roster around this time, but it’s also common to use the Fall slot to introduce promising new up-and-comers. In Chicago, at least, all the hoopla around the fall openings (many of which took place on a single night several weeks ago) can feel a lot like a high school pep rally: the anticipatory fall preview lists and gallery guides, the minutely detailed gallery crawl maps and the inevitable “best of” Tweets that follow are ways of rousing ourselves from the complacencies of summer in order to get psyched for the upcoming art season.

All hype notwithstanding, fall invariably works its magic on me. I struggle with lazy gallery-going during the summer (and, let’s be honest here, sometimes during springtime too) yet feel a sense of urgency about seeing everything once September rolls around. I’m pleased to report that my efforts have been richly rewarded this season. There are so many interesting shows, and quite a few really excellent ones, taking place in Chicago right now there simply isn’t space to do justice to all of them here. Let’s start with exhibitions by two artists who were recently interviewed on Bad at Sports‘s podcast. Kehinde Wiley, on view through October 23 at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, presented the latest iteration of his ongoing project World Stage: a series of portraits of young men of color from various cities around the world.  Here, we find Wiley focusing on anonymous men from New Delhi, Mumbai and Sri Lanka, as opposed to the well-known rappers and athletes that had occasionally peopled his portraits in the past. (Read the post in its entirety here).




Interview with Edra Soto: Heaven, Hell and ‘the Jesus of Dogs’

January 11, 2010 · Print This Article

In Memory of Who I Was

“Forever Vegetal” is the head-scratching title given to two concurrent solo shows at Roots and Culture featuring new work by Brian McNearney and Edra Soto. The exhibition opened earlier in December and will close this weekend on January 16th. Over the weekend I spoke (o.k., emailed with) Edra Soto about the new works she created for the exhibition, which tackle all the Big Issues:  Life and Death, Heaven and Hell, Roman Catholicism, Michael Jackson’s pet mouse Ben, and Soto’s loveable canine, Foster, aka “the Jesus of Dogs.”

Your show at Roots and Culture begins with a piece that takes the form of a shrine and is titled “In Memory of Who I Was.” To me it seems to frame the entire show.

Edra Soto: “In Memory of Who I Was” is a shrine that commemorates my innocence, my past and the person I will never be again. I was also trying to make a memorial for myself as form of representing a transition. It’s never been a problem for me to find ways of representing art, but when I’ve been involved in great projects that have taken a lot of time and emotional investment, like my latest show at the MCA, it was making perfect sense for me to “kill myself” theoretically, to be able to speak about something different. There are a few transitional pieces in the show.
Initially, I was trying to make an art piece that compiled photos of me from childhood to the present, and have a small memorial of who I was until yesterday. I have explored the concept of time passing with memorials, like in A Year In Review and Landfill exhibited at Gallery 400 and Memorial at Polvo, all in 2005. Read more




Zombies Live at Antena Gallery Tonight

October 23, 2009 · Print This Article

zombie-card[1]Don’t forget that tonight is the opening for Zombies: A Mindless Affair at Antena Gallery.

And get there early, because from 6:30 – 7:00pm there’ll be a discussion between author Scott Kenemore, artist Mindy Rose Schuartz and collaborators Teena McClelland and Michelle Maynard from Death by Design Co. about “the darkness that enlightens their work” moderated by exhibition curator Edra Soto.

There will also be a screening of the film “Throb” made by Death by Design Co. immediately after the conversation.




SALAD-CHURCH-EXERCISE

July 5, 2009 · Print This Article

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Featuring work by:

Michael Bancroft, Noah Berlatsky, Dayton Castleman, CThrough Outfit, Chelsea Culp, Derek Erdman, Gina Grafos, Jacob C. Hammes, Jaime Lynn Henderson, Hideous Beast, Thaddeus Kellstadt, Paul Mack, Rachel Pollak, Yvie Raij, Oliverio Rodriguez, Christopher Santiago, Dewayne Slightweight, Edra Soto, Bert Stabler, Matthew Steinke, Susannah Kite Strang

Curated by Bert Stabler

Co-Prosperity Sphere
3219 S. Morgan, Chicago.

Open hours 1-4 pm Saturday July 11, Saturday July 18. Closing party Saturday July 18,

For more info check out Proximity’s site.




Top…4? for 7/3, 7/4 & 7/5

July 2, 2009 · Print This Article

Here’s what I’d go to, if I were you…
1. Co-Prosperity Sphere

Bert Stabler is bending you brain this 4th of July with SALAD-CHURCH-EXERCISE: A show about self-improvement through self-denial. With work by over 20 local artists, a massive salad potluck, and taglines like, “While large-scale organs of control, such as schools, hospitals, and prisons, enforce the social contract through a restriction of choice and a remote delegation of authority, personal or cultural techniques for redirecting and mastering libido, the inner primordial chaos we carry within, can be found in the options represented by salad, church, and exercise.” How could you go wrong. You can take the Orange Line to Ashland, Saturday from 2-6pm.

2. Julius Cæsar

For the day after Independency Day, lets raise our torn jean jacket clad arms an Question Authority! Mmm…high school. But seriously, Kaylee Rae Wyant and Jerome Acks are doing something cool over at Julius Caesar called Hear Here. Framed as work “examining the many ideals and complexities encompassing freedom, democracy and revolution” it should be interesting to contemplate after a flag choked day of “patriotism”.

3. BEN RUSSELL

How many ways can you put your own name on a show? Well, if you are Ben Russell, as many as humanly possibly. How is “Ben Russell, presented by Ben Russell, at Ben Russell” for ya? Weird thing is, it ain’t a solo show. Ben Russell is a new space in Pilsen, go there and check out work by Marco Kane Braunschweiler, Martine Syms, Paul Chan, Miguel Cortez, Roxane Hopper, Julie Rudder, and Kelly Kaczynsk are doing their performance piece at 9pm the opening night. Drop by for the Sunday opening from 6-10pm.

4. MCA

As a celebration of the closing of the Bucky Fuller exibition, the MCA is hosting Jen & Ira & You at the MCA Meet Buckminster Fuller Meeting the Hippies in Golden Gate Park, a performance piece by Jennifer Karmin & Ira S. Murfin. Ever wondered why hippies loved this son of the atomic age? Well, here’s your chance to find out. The performance is free with the cost of admission, so if you get into the MCA free, you’re good to go.