Work by Madeleine Baily, Steven Frost, Yasi Ghanbari, Elise Goldstein, Rachel Lowther, Ivan Lozano, Brian Maller, Alison Rhoades, Tessa Siddle, Fritz Welch, and Syniva Whitney.
Roxaboxen Exhibitions is located at 2130 W. 21st. Reception is Friday from 7-10pm.
Work by Dave Murray and Letha Wilson.
LVL3 is located at 1542 N. Milwaukee Ave, 3rd Fl. Reception is Saturday from 6-10pm.
Curated by Andrew J. Greene, work by Ali Bailey, Jamison Brousseau, Mckeever Donovan, Christopher Gatton, Michelle Grabner, Nick Kramer, Samuel Lipp, William J. O’Brien, Jorie Rabinovitz, Matt Rich, Daniel Sullivan, Justin Swinburne, Kristen Vandeventer, and Lisa Williamson.
Iceberg is located at 7714 N. Sheridan Rd. Reception is Sunday from 5-9pm.
Work by Vicki Fowler, Trevor Martin, Katya Grokhovsky, Colleen Coleman, Hope Esser, Michaela Murphy, Marissa Benedict, Andrew Barco, Sabrina Reed, Caitlin Baum, Stephanie Plenner, Victoria Eleanor Bradford, and DJ Chris Hefner.
Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery is located at 1136 N Milwaukee Ave. Performances begin Saturday at 8pm.
Work by Teen Living Programs.
Firecat Projects is located at 2124 N. Damen. Reception is Saturday from 7-10pm.
I profiled Ali Bailey last year on the occasion of his solo debut in Chicago at Golden Gallery, an exhibition titled “You are Young” (the piece appeared in New City; you can read it here). Bailey is definitely what I’d consider to be ‘a comer.’ (Isn’t that a terrible word to apply to artists? It has such unfortunate equine associations). His works sold well at last year’s Next Fair at Art Chicago – no small feat in an extreme down market – and he’s already busted out with his second Chicago solo show, at Andrew Rafacz: a startling new body of work that he thinks is his most complicated to date. I agree. Bailey’s sculptures have changed a lot since his first exhibition, and I wanted to talk to him in greater depth about the progression from that last body of work to this one. Sadly for Chicago, Bailey’s next big move is a geographic one: he’ll be setting up digs in Los Angeles soon because his wife, artist and curator Kristen Van Deventer, will be attending graduate school there. I am very grateful to Ali for taking the time to provide such well-considered answers to my often clumsy and inordinately detailed questions. His show continues through May 8th at Andrew Rafacz Gallery.
CI: The most obvious shift or change that’s apparent in your new body of work at Andrew Rafacz is that it is much more abstract than the group of sculptures shown at the “You Are Young” show at Golden last year. That earlier work drew upon recognizable and sometimes even iconic imagery: a basketball and a baseball, an ice cream cone, a tree stump covered in gum and graffiti. Your latest work still gives me the feeling that there are exterior referents at play but now they seem more art historical and less pop-cultural. For example, I saw in your use of the grey felt material in the piece East Meets West / Worked Out a little Beuys joke, I loved how it’s slung over a sculpture that looks like a looming, abstracted version of a Stairmaster or some other type of exercise equipment that quickly becomes ‘useless’ and soon comes to function primarily as a clothes hanger. Can you tell me a little bit about this shift between the two bodies of work — what have you been thinking about lately that’s caused this move towards less immediately recognizable forms?
AB: You’re right about there being a distinct move toward a more abstract language, both in terms of subject and form and in a way, this shift is a direct result of problems that I’ve created for myself. For me, the last body of work operated in two different ways and that was very important. On one level it was about objecthood in a broad sense, making (and the presence of the hand), and a kind of tension resulting from a push-pull dynamic between inherent contradictions in the work and a kind of Gober-esque uncanny. The other prominent characteristic of the work was a pop-cultural critique and I suppose that this is where you could talk about the poetic content and the more accessible qualities the works had. In these ways I think the work was successful. The thing that really didn’t work and this is what I’ve been battling with recently, is being able to convey a distancing or a kind of knowing-naivety or to set up a dialogue that talks about authenticity. In my mind, it was clear that what I was presenting was not authentic in any sense nor was it really concerned with being ‘truthful’ – I was trying to examine certain narrative tropes but instead ended up giving people an easy out – they often never got further than the narrative or the overt poetic strand of the idea. Read more
1. This is Not for Sale at Parking Space
Anyone who’s event description sounds like a ranting manifesto has my vote. This is a one night only even, so don’t drag your damn feet or you’re gonna miss it. Parking Space is, and I quote, “is a collaborative project initiated by artists Andrew J. Greene, E.J. Hill and Matthew Schaffer.” This Is Not For Sale features the work of Karen Bovinich, Austin Eddy, Nick Fraccaro, Danny Greene, Xavier Jimenez, Alexa Loftus, Nina Mayer, Dorian McKaie, Annie Purpura, Kristen VanDeventer, and Tannar Veatch.
Parking Space is located at 2246 W. 19th St. Reception is Friday from 6-10pm.
2. Surrender Dorothy at Concertina Gallery
“Mining the tropes of adolescent identity, both artists share nostalgia—even obsession—for the stylized rebellion of teenage subcultures.” Mmmm…sounds like drinkin’ beer and burning shit. Or maybe that was just my teen years. Can’t help but wonder about what’s going to happen to Dorothy too. Surrender Dorothy consists of a large scale collaboration between Jesse Butcher and Corkey Sinks.
Concertina Gallery is located at 2351 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception is Saturday from 7-10pm.
3. Hexenhaus at No Coast
I have a think for work that involves animals. It’s personal taste, but eh, you stick an animal in there, I’ll at least give it a second look. I also like gardening. So, when I read a description like, “The private lives of humans, animals, and houseplants exist betwixt and between the magic and glamor of polarized human emotions in Hexenhaus” I obviously become intrigued. Hexenhaus features to work of Tessa Siddle.
No Coast is located at 1500 W. 17th St. Reception is Friday from 6-9pm.