Ahoy everyone! It’s that time again, the weekend is almost here. In the relentless march toward Art Chicago, there are another slew of TTF (through the fair) shows opening this weekend, primarily concentrated in River North. This weekend I also have work in VideoStore7.375x4x1 at The Op Shop in Hyde Park, which, by the way, has one of the creepiest basements in the entire world. But none of that is on the Top 5. Here’s what is…
1. Hagia Sophia at Spoke
Go and hang out inside a miniature model of the Hagia Sophia. Just think of it as your “safe place.” Hagia Sophia (the model at Spoke, not the Basilica in Istanbul) was created by Gwendolyn Zabicki. This is the closing reception, and your last chance!
Spoke is located at 119 N. Peoria. Closing reception is Saturday from 6-9pm.
Ok, so, I haven’t seen any images from the show, but how can I not pick this? An entire show that exists solely as a tribute to the Last Unicorn? So awesome. Watch out for the Red Bull, and stay away from the sea shore, if you know what I mean.
The Tattoo Factory is located at 4441 N. Broadway. Reception is Friday from 7-11pm.
3. Printervention: Printing for the Public at The Chicago Tourism Center
Version Fest is back my friends. This yearly art-stravagaza organized by Co-Prosperity Sphere will be popping up all over in the next couple weeks. Head on down and check out this WPA-inspired print event.
The Chicago Tourism Center is located at 72 E. Randolph St. Reception is Friday from 5-7pm.
4. Night Painting 1995-2010 at Peregrineprogram
Paintings by Susanna Coffey that aren’t self portraits? That’s right. Stop on by Edmund’s place, but be sure to write down the number (#727), it can be a little are to find, as the building is HUGE.
Peregrineprogram is located at 500 W. Cermak Rd., #727. Reception is Friday from 6-9pm.
5. In a Paperweight & Home for Hobo Too at Tony Wight Gallery
If you haven’t already been to Tony’s new place, here is another opportunity with a star line-up: Walead Beshty, Sebastiaan Bremer, Daniel Gordon, Tamar Halpern, Barbara Kasten, Sara VanDerBeek, and James Welling in In a Paperweight. In the South Gallery: Home for Hobo Too, work by Allison Schulnik.
Tony Wight Gallery is located at 845 W. Washington Blvd. Reception is Friday from 5-8pm.
Someone alerted me to this photo they saw of me in the gossip column of ArtForum (better known as “Scene and Herd”) and I thought I would use it to illustrate the magic of cropping:
There I am standing in front of that photograph at the opening of Walead Beshty’s show at Wallspace just on the other side of that wall that cuts into the left of the picture…
Psych, actually I’m standing behind that other more important looking guy (happens to be the Director of White Columns) at the edge of the photograph.
I found this mildly entertaining in the context of conceptual photography, a popular brand in which Beshty always has one foot. This show where I happened to be “scene” follows two veins of Beshty’s work, although I imagine they are meant to be taken together as a record of the process. The first is the prominently featured abstract photograms. These large sheets of color photo paper are somehow folded or rolled in the exposure process. This is only gleaned from looking at them, so I’m not sure what the process is actually, but it seems sufficient to take away that these colors and shapes are not chosen but rather arbitrarily arrived at through a photographic process. In the other works — black and white portraits of the people, places, and machines that have helped Besthy along the way to producing his work — he likewise lets his process do all the decision making. Notice here the photogram that actually hangs off of the center wall.
This placement was arrived at again by some system of finding the center of walls… I don’t think the point is actually to understand the system in place, but rather to see that there is a system, and recognize it as arbitrarily imposed… After all I think that is the underlying critique even found in this rhyming press release:
Whatever Marxist schadenfreude might be gleaned from black-and-white
Effectively reclaims the found object as a multivalent political site
Of the show’s relaxed attitude toward lines of demarcation
which, sexy as it sounded, felt like little more than rhetorical lubrication
Among the most special is Walead Beshty’s photo-slide meditation
Here flashy surface need not come at the cost of art historical, conceptual, and
After my brush with the art world paparazzi I’ve decided to lay low, but I will be venturing out tonight to see two openings that look promising. First, “It’s You. Not me” at Andrew Kreps in Chelsea. Second, and honestly more exciting, is the first solo show in four years for the painter Richard Phillips at Gagosian uptown. I’ll leave you with some enticing words from Phillips himself and follow up later with my conclusions on the show:
“At its core, this show is the conflict between capitalism, fascism, and communism. It looks into the nature of representation, propaganda, and misinformation, and how they redirect the ideologies of institutions.”