EDITION #37

September 22, 2014 · Print This Article

Reading is Fundamental

  • The L@@K We’re mostly here for the outfits anyway right!? Loved Isa Giallorenzo’s take on outfits and art in her Chicago Looks for NewCity post from EXPO Chicago.
  • Palpitating on ArtFCity Robin Dluzen’s worthwhile rundown on what’s selling and what’s not (sorry Picasso!) in her review of EXPO for AFC. Dluzen’s day job gives her great insider perspective that made her review feel like the most specific and accurate we read during the fair. She’s also a great press lunch date ;).
  • Gracious Goodbye In his final dispatch from EXPO, Matt Morris takes a decidedly sappier tone, thanking the arts community for the true Dialogue he engaged in at the fair and it’s subsidiary events. We love Morris’ stamina, wanting “talk just a little bit more” before the end of the weekend. In fact, we loved all of NewCity’s dispatches, definitely worth checking out Morris on EDITION and Erin Toale on “sticking to the perimeter.”
  • O Miami

    Ms Chicago Looks looking fabulous as always at the Vernissage for EXPO Chicago.
  • A Collection of Collectors If you’re not tired of hearing Duncan’s voices after this Saturday’s Dialogues than you should definitely peep the extended on-air version of his Collectors Interview transcribed and published in the Pier Review.
  • “Did someone say Pier Review?” You asked for it and we hosted it! Here are all four editions of the Pier Review available for download in easy to read PDF’s. If you would still like to nab a physical copy of this gorgeous and stimulating edition designed by Clay Hickson with Tan & Loose Press drop us an email (link’s in the footer).

T around Town

The end of summer means the beginning of art exhibitions in Chicago. With the Equinox this Tuesday, summer is officially coming to a close and the Chicago community is returning to the city to roost (or at least those of us who haven’t left permanently after last winter). Like most September’s in the city, this one has been packed with openings and performances to inaugurate the fall season.

Openings across the city (as well as in Oak & Rogers Park’s) now share the month with EXPO Chicago. With it’s inaugural shine transforming into a timeworn tradition, thousands made the arduous trek across Navy Pier (in gorgeous weather no less) to take it all in. WTT? has been hard at work on the Pier Review, an in-the-flesh newspaper for fairgoers enjoyment in partnership with EXPO, ArtSlant and the home-team, Bad at Sports. This week we’re throwing up some highlights from the past month as well as a few fair favorites. Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s gonna be a great season Chicago, we can feel it!

Danny Giles performance

If you missed Danny Giles’ performance at Roots & Culture on September 12th we’re sorry, but you can still see go/figure, featuring work by Daniel Giles & Eliza Myrie and a fantastic essay by Meg Onli.

Eliza Myrie’s graphite diamond in go/figure. Based on her research on the Lesotho Brown Diamond and the woman who discovered it, Ernestine Ramoboa, Myrie used this block of graphite to create the drawings in the instillation, leaving a “diamond” of her own.

R&C’s Eric May with Michael Rakowitz at the opening for go/figure.

Edra Soto

Edra Soto surrounded by friends and admirers at the opening for Say Everything at Lloyd Dobler in Wicker Park.

Edra Soto

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle and Rebecca Beachy inside of Say Everything at Lloyd Dobler on September 12th.

Was it this photograph entitled Mom & Dad (2014) by Leonard Suryajaya in the SAIC Expo booth curated by José Lerma or Leo Kaplan of The Hills Esthetic Center in this Instagram photo by Thorne Brandt? And what do those things do to your face anyway?

The Weatherman Report

The view from the Mystic Blue on the opening night of EXPO Chicago.

It wouldn’t be fall without a little bit of LUST, which is just what Ashley Scott brought to the exuberant performance and trunk show for her newest collection, “Drapes of Lust” at MANE Salon on the 12th. Here Scott poses with one of her models, Sarah Weis (left).

Derek Bagley with his partner, Hayley Barber, taking in the aftermath of the LUST performance at MANE Salon.

We were pleased to see Katie Hargrave, Nick Lally and Daniel Luedtke at their thoughtful exhibition, EDIT ROAD MOVIE, a musing on the classic tropes of road trips based the artists’ explorations of intentional communities on the road to the ACRE Residency in 2013.

Custom car visor by Katie Hargrave. EDIT ROAD MOVIE is on view until September 29th at ACRE Projects in Pilsen.

Well deserved NewCity Top 50 artist, Brandon Alvendia with Angel Essig at the Vernissage last Thursday night.

Drew Ziegler and Ryan Sullivan pulling off a little “fashion imitating art” at the Vernissage.

Dance party on the Mystic Blue docked at Navy Pier on Thursday night. Shout out to Vincent’s elbows!!

We enjoyed chatting and sharing a (clandestine) beer with Ludwig Kittinger of the Vienna collective dienstag abend at their booth sponsored by ArtReview.

Great paintings, clever booth. Possibly our favorite showing of the entire weekend, Morgan Manduley’s flower shoppe at Yautupec Gallery in EDITION at the CAC was on point. All of the floral arrangements are painted canvas.

Brett Schultz of Yautupec and Manduley wrapping up one of the painted flowers at their booth.

Another highlight of the weekend was slipping into the Hancock building to see RETREAT, organized by Theaster Gates in collaboration with his Black Artist Retreat (BAR). The show was really beautiful (especially the first room outside of Valerie Carberry’s main space). The work above is an artifact of a performance by Wilmer Wilson IV from 2012.

Crumbled artifacts abound at RETREAT. A detail of Tony Lewis’ Untitled (Hancock via Orchard via Oak Park via Bindery via Autumn Space), (2012-present) pairs nicely with the Wilson work.

Things we can’t get over: 1. Work by Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera and Cara Megan Lewis in their exhibition A Home Coming which opened last Friday night and is on view at Antena until October 11th by appointment. Above is a sculpture/ video work by Lewis.

A beautifully installed and enticingly seedy piece by Alejandro Figueredo Diaz-Perera in A Home Coming that you will just have to see for yourself.

Header image features a detail of Ishtar Gate by Michael Rakowitz on view in the IN/SITU program at EXPO Chicago this past weekend. Rakowitz’s gates were fittingly (?) installed at the entrance to the VIP section of the art fair. The entire series is really amazing, read about it on Michael’s website.

Got any T? email me!
(or get @ me on twitter)





EDITION #26

March 19, 2014 · Print This Article

March Goes in Like a Lion and Out Like a 501(c)3

Nothing says Spring like “Gala,” WTT? couldn’t be more excited to see the ice finally THAW. Speaking of, have you bought tickets for the Links Halls annual spring fling? It’s on April 4th, and really more like a three-storey drunk performance art odyssey than a party. Last year I got an sickening sparkly free mani from Aiden Simon at the Girl Don’t be Dumb salon, went inside of a space photo booth, saw Hope Esser ice skate on soap and watched more burlesque than I’d like to admit. For performance art, it’s not too weird, it’s really fun and it’s not that expensive for how open the bar is, what more could you ask from a Thursday night? And the inclusion of DJ CQQCHIFruit and La Spacer this year? Too much.

Enough gushing. Clearly, this benefit season is going to be huge, but don’t worry, WTT?s got you. Here are some notes on the best auctions and charity bashes around, in my not-so humble opinion. Can not wait to see what everyone looks like without a coat on!

Spotted: Todd King getting his feet did at THAW in 2013. Andrew Mausert-Mooney does his best Jesus in the front.

THAW

You already know the scoop, tickets can be purchased through their website.

hArts for Art 5 : LVL3

LVL3’s annual benefit auction is known to bring great names at reasonable prices with all works starting at $30. Past years auctions have featured Jon Rafman and Israel Lund amongst others. This years is no exception. We also love the LVL3 auction because the raffle prizes are copious and always awesome and it doesn’t hurt that each year the event benefits local non-profit, Arts of Life. Learn more about the auction and the organization here on the LVL3 website. Full disclosure: I take no prisoners on the auction floor. The event takes place on March 29th from 6 to 10PM at 1542 N. Milwaukee Ave. Last bid is accepted at 9:30PM so be on time!

Summer Forum : Hosted by TUSK

Sandwiched comfortably in-between the LVL3 and R&C auction is the Summer Forum fundraiser and art auction at everyones favorite bite-sized boutique, TUSK. There are quite a few repeats from both LVL3 and the R&C auction, though it doesn’t look like anyone got the hat trick. E-Dogz will be on hand, serving some serious benefit crossover and unlimited food with the purchase of a ticket ($25 presale or $35 ATD). Advance online bidding begins March 31, and the IRL event starts at 7pm on Saturday, April 5th at TUSK, 3205 W. Armitage Ave.

Roots & Culture 8th Annual Spring Gala

You don’t have to be Hamza Walker to know that Roots & Culture’s Eric May throws some of the best events in Chicago. Did someone say sangria and tapas? The lineup for the auction is pretty impressive too. Britton Bertran wasn’t kidding when he called the night’s auction list an Who’s Who. The List features some of my favorite Chicago art luminaries and at least one Whitney Biennial-er.

I’d tell you who I’m excited about seeing at the auction, but I want the art all for myself! Find out yourself, the auction takes place May 3, from 7-11PM at 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Threewalls

Spring benefit season is bookended by major heavy hitters with Threewalls rounding out the season. Another reliably good time, this year’s gala is being held in the spacious digs down south at Mana Contemporary. The full lineup hasn’t been revealed but, I’m jazzed on the news that DJ Earl (who you might have read about in the last edition of the T) will be there. The details might still be a little fuzzy but you can already buy tickets on their site. Looking forward to finding out what a Gunnatowski “wearable” looks like.

FLASHBACK! Trending artist Jesse Malmed (right) with Trunk Show co-director, Raven Munsell (left) and artist Jason Lazarus (center) at Salvage One last year for Threewalls Spring Gala.

The Weatherman Report

Charles Ephraim Burchfield, Early Spring, 1917, Watercolor and graphite on paper, 21 × 28 1/4 inches. James Goodman Gallery.

Bad at Sports finally trending.

What’s the TRENDING?

Pillows: After being relegated to cameos in the backgrounds of painting and photographic portraits for centuries, pillows are finally stepping out on their own. Last week during the Whitney Biennial/ New Yawk City hullabaloo the internet was plastered with images of the biennial and various fairs, but nothing stood out more than the freaky pillows of Bjarne Melgaard at the #WhiBi. With the help of NY based artist and collaborator Amanda Browder, Bad at Spots finally reached the cutting edge with their Volta bed-in installation and recording booth. As if the original Richard and Duncan aren’t creepy enough on their own, Browder created life-size pillow versions for the Volta booth. Good work, team!

Detail of Norwegian American artist Bjarne Melgaard’s cracked out living room installation. Image by Hyperallergic.

Browder with pillows only a mother could love.

Jesse Malmed: Usually it’s difficult for individual artists to be in enough places at once to qualify as a trend, by that’s no problem for trending artist, Malmed. The co-director of Trunk Show and UIC grad student must not sleep. This past weekend Malmed did double duty at the MCA, as one of The Nightingale programmers on Friday night and then again on Saturday for his own presentation of selections from The Body Electronic: What Television Taught Me about Art, a live televisual lecture performance. Trunk Show also hosted an opening/ 5-act play by artist Brandon Alvendia outside the Multiples fair on Sunday and whatever HALLWALLS2 is had an opening on Monday afternoon. And that’s just over four consecutive days. If you’re interested in getting in on the Malmed Madness, and you clearly should be, the artists’ MFA show at UIC is opening on April 18th. If you feel like waking with the sun tomorrow, he’s also hosting a dawn equinox performance, more info here.

Eric Fleischauer’s official Alvendia for Trunk Show Vine. More official documentation can be found on Fleischauer’s “vine box”.

I’ll take all of it! Images from Drapes by Ashley Scott.

Drapes: Thank god standing out and looking good are finally back in style. The Ashley Scott designed brand has already been getting some much deserved exposure for her tremendous style, but the recently released images for the Chicago designers ‘Drapes of Wrath’ Collection, styled by Mister Wallace and shot by Foto by Mateo, are to die for. Not only are the boys beautiful, the accessories are killer (see what I did there?) and SO MANY TASSELS. The collection debuts April 1st, check out the rest of the images and prepare for the wrath on the the Drapes website.

Foto by Mateo gets Draped.

Chicago CD Showcase Back for 2nd Edition at The Mutiny

What? Did you really think we’d spend out St. Patty’s day anywhere else? Sorry Charlemagne Palestine. If you missed last year’s showcase, here’s a little refresher. Don’t do it again!

Despite reports that Thorne Brandt would never play, he softened a tough crowd with his flashing lights and “worst samples ever.”

After last year’s majorly lazery blow out, Free the Universe was resurrected as Apocalypse Forever. Their “children of the corn” performance was a seriously trippy affair.

The love child of Chicago CD Showcase.

This years showcase saw the merger of two of last years performers. Pajama band made their jammy debut featuring members of Fish, Phish, Ghosts and My Bad at The Mutiny on Monday night.




EDITION #22

January 21, 2014 · Print This Article

Amelia Peláez

Amelia Peláez’s Havana Hilton Hotel mural, ca. 1957. Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries.

Travelogue: Three Cities, Three Retrospectives

It’s been a wild winter break, but What’s the T? is back in Chicago in time for dibs season and motivated by the artists brave enough to exhibit in the tundra. For those of you holed up in your apartment licking the radiator for warmth (like I am), here’s a recap of some shows outside of the snow globe.


Closing next Sunday, February 2nd (with a performance by Kim Gordon), is the exhibition that’s been blowing up my feed since it opened at PS1 in October of 2013. Mike Kelley’s retrospective is a 40,000 square foot sprawling colossus of an exhibition. Although I could have lived without the seemingly endless rooms of Kandors (a reference to the miniaturized capital city of Superman’s rival Brianiac) on the first floor, the exhibition impressively filled the sprawling school house and gave me a new appreciation for the artist.

Birdhouses by Mike Kelley

Birdhouses by Mike Kelley at PS1.

Never before in my life have I seen so many swastikas and phallus and felt pretty ok about the whole thing. Arguably the greatest mindfuck in the entire exhibition (taking up an entire floor, the cacophonous a/v installation Day is Done was a close second), Pay for Your Pleasure, a corridor of large portrait paintings and quotations from famous intellectuals effectively complicated the relationship between violence and creativity. By the time I reached the end of the corridor I had completely lost the ability to tell right from wrong.

Mike Kelley banners

Kelley’s banners in the hallway at PS1.

The oft-posted Deodorized Central Mass With Satellites was among the least interesting rooms (also the one with the longest line). Watching people pose in front of the hulking mass of leftover toys, I wondered how Kelley himself might have felt about powerful installation’s transmutation into a selfie photo-op. I did pop a huge boner for the dysfunctional birdhouses and the artist’s drawings of his own name. Most disappointing though was PS1’s lack of snacks. The M. Wells Dinette conceptual Mike Kelley menu was admirable, but would it kill PS1 to sell a girl a croissant or fruit cup? I traveled all the way to Queens for this.

Mike Kelley signatures

Mike Kelley at PS1.

Thankfully, we missed the Turrell retrospective at the Gug (heard the lines were unbearable even if the hole was amazing) in favor of seeing the exhibition in full splendor at LACMA. Apparently the artist, an LA native, made moves to stem the line issue by limiting the amount of guests allowed through the exhibition each day (and no photos allowed!). By the time my party of 5 arrived at LACMA , the $25 exhibition was completely sold out for the day. It was only through the loophole of student membership and my lovely friend, Conor Fields, that I was even able to see the exhibition. The antidote to the packed Kelley exhibition, my first glimpse of Afrum (White), the exemplary white cube that is the first of many light installations, was as religious an art experience as I’ve ever felt.

#today in (art) history

Carrie Mae Weems

Carrie Mae Weems, The Assassination of Medger, Malcom, and Martin, 2008. Archival pigment print, 61 x 51 inches. Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

The Weatherman Report

Benjamin Bulter, Leafless Trees, 2008, Oil on canvas, 16 1/10 × 19 9/10 in. Tomio Koyana Gallery.

Other works, such as “Bullwinkle,” a modest projection in the shape of an antique television screen, featured plaques helpfully suggesting minimal viewing times to aid visitors in experiencing the desired effects of Turrell’s complex combinations of light and color. Guests moved leisurely through the exhibition. The immersive installations were smartly punctuated with wall-based work, such as the artist’s delicate aqua-tint etchings and hologram series. Despite the 20 minute wait, the paramount moment of the exhibition was Breathing Light (2013), a absorptive environment that mindfucks you in an entirely angle than Kelley’s Pay for Your Pleasure. Heats of eight are invited to take their shoes off, don booties, and spend five minutes in the space which features rounded walls and a deeply saturated bath of LED light that slowly gradients between red and blue. Shout out to the world’s best docent, Rikki Williams, for doing an impeccable job at keeping the antsy visitors to Breathing Light in check (and for letting me stay an extra minute).

LA’s other most famous dude, Frank Ghery, also deserves a shoutout for the unbelievably well designed Calder exhibition in the same building as Breathing Light and the other (reservation only) large-scale immersive Turrell spaces. Having seen a couple of attempts of shoving a bunch of mobiles and stabiles into a large room (including the MCA’s most recent attempt), I can truthfully say I’ve never seen a better presentation of the artists work. Ghery’s specially built pedestals wind around the gallery and create niches that isolate and accommodate each piece. His specially designed walls and plinths allow the viewer to see the delicate balance present in individual works instead of a mess of primary colored circles and wires hanging everywhere.

Ai Wei Wei

You’re okay too, Wei Wei.

Not to be outdone by other major metropolitan areas massive surveys of mostly male work, the Perez Museum of Art Miami (still known to me as the Miami Art Museum) opened it doors in December with an inaugural retrospective by Ai Wei Wei. While the exhibition has a few highlights, I found the smaller retrospective of works by little known Cuban modernist, Amelia Peláez, to be a far more compelling and apt exhibition for the brand new bayside contemporary art museum.

Amelia Peláez

Painting by Peláez at PAMM.

I thought the inclusion of the furniture was a little much, but I loved the objects made by Peláez herself. Her ceramic work epitomizes the bright colors and modern, bold markings of her still-life paintings on shapely vases and cups. I would take the espresso set. The show was thoughtfully put together and I was delighted to learn of the artist’s life and work. Now I just wish I could go back in time to Cuba and see her Havana Hilton Hotel mural.

Amelia Peláez

Adorable.

Amelia Peláez

These too.

Back in Chicago, I’m waiting on my invite for what will be either the awesomest or worstest retrospective in Chicago history: David Bowie Is. Stay tuned.

Reading is Fundamental

  • The Return of Steve. Local critic, Steve Ruiz, has finally returned from his extended jaunt across the pond! Not only has his Chicago Art Review site been ressurected, he’s also jumped right back into the scene with this meditation on Sofia’s Leiby’s recent exhibition The Drama of Leisure for Daily Serving.
  • Sofia Leiby at Devening

    Leiby in coversation with Anthony Opal at the closing of her exhibition last Sunday.
  • Alicias take on Faith. Threewalls just opened the ambitious Faith Wilding: Fearful Symmetries Retrospective. If you’re looking for a historial feminist context take on the exhibition, check out Alicia Chester’s review on ArtSlant. Bonus points to Chester for managing to fit #Beyoncé into the review. More interested in the techno future of feminism? Try Alicia Eler’s piece for Hyperallergic surveying the re-performance of Wilding’s “Waiting.
  • Faith Wilding Performance

    Still from Faith Wilding’s “Waiting” performance as seen in the 1974 film “Womanhouse” by Johanna Demetrakas, (1974, USA, 47 min.) (courtesy of Johanna Demetrakas and Three Walls Gallery).
  • The Weekly debuts with hilarious email chain. Sunday was a big day for Chicago poet, Anthony Opal. Not only did he trudge through the snow to talk drama with Sofia Leiby at Devening Projects, he also launched The Weekly with some “Revolutionary Interactive Storytelling” by the very entertaining and all around solid dude, Fred Sasaki. Enjoy.