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The following seemingly outdated bio was lifted from the New Museum of Contemporary Art.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