Tag Archives: Chicago

Wednesday 10/11 2017
The Porcelain Menagerie: On Cassie Marie Edwards’ “Figurines”

“Porcelain menageries carry in them the uncanny idealized nature, the oddity of imposing the characteristics we most desire on a totemic form to keep resting beside us, or locked safely away behind class. Consider the bull, or the horse, unicorn, or bear, common tchotchke subjects whose cuteness seems to have an inverse relationship to their ferocity (that a house cat will tear an ecosystem asunder and is, in this way, much more of a terrorist than a bear, speaks to the inherent human perspective from which these caricatures are drawn), or the aforementioned stock-still prey items, for whom sitting is death. Skittish horses, coquettish cats, majestic, cuirass-chested working dogs who cannot maintain their sense of regality while huffing through crushed faces and flapping jowls, all are made into exactly what we wish for them to be: perfect, one note—our favorite note—and within our possession. Figurines are our literal molding of nature, their fragility the proper trade for our wonts.”

Read the rest of my review of Edwards’ show in New American Paintings

Tuesday 10/10 2017
Golden Faults: Karen Reimer at Monique Meloche

“Both our literal and social climates are exhibiting fault lines. It is easy to imagine the window, the nation, the world falling apart along these stress fractures. Reimer’s choice of gold, however, adds an element of hope to the show, a suggestion of Kintsukuroi, the Japanese art form of beautifying repair, wherein gold leaf is used to bond broken pottery, the damage enshrined and drawn upon, becoming part of the object’s beauty; and while it requires vision—and faith, and a willingness to give breath to the seemingly dead—one can see, embodied in Reimer’s aurelian wounds, the potential for the pressure and, yes, even the pain, to allow us to emerge stronger.” 

Read the rest of my review of Reimer’s installation, Droughtscape, in Newcity

Friday 09/1 2017
Tilting at Taco Bell: The Wrigleyville Rally That Wasn’t

“By the time I first reached out to Black on August 22—the rally was scheduled for August 26— the backlash had begun. While the event was organized before Unite the Right, it had the misfortune of taking place after, which may have contributed to the anger. One of the first posts on the event page when I had looked at it was a Lakeview resident castigating the page’s supporters for rallying around such a trivial cause as real problems rage all around us, and Black had penned an explanation in response to the criticisms; unfortunately, both of these were lost when the page was removed, and the cached version does not include them.”

Read the rest of my post-mortem for the media’s favorite fast-food rally in Munchies

Thursday 07/6 2017
Chicago’s Foam-Spewing Sculpture bring Beautiful Chaos to Navy Pier

“The clouds spilling out of A retrospective view of the pathway are subject to an array of variables like wind, temperature, humidity, grass, and people that make even tumultuous modern life seem simple by comparison. The inherently fun yet hard-to-control foam is meant to celebrate the joy that can be found in change.”

Read the rest of my story about Roger Hiorns’ sculpture in Creators

Thursday 07/6 2017
Deftly and Defiantly Decolonial: Huong Ngo at DePaul Art Museum

“In the thin hallway gallery adjacent to the bulk of the show, prints made with the obsolete hectographic method—the kind used by the anti-colonial activists—use agar-agar, a common Asian dessert ingredient, to display English, Vietnamese and French iterations of the pro-immigration rallying cry “We are here because you were there.” The artist’s royal purple agitprop hangs over the observer’s heads like Damocles’ sword, a powerful reminder that history is written in blood and spoken through the gnashing of teeth. One leaves the show with eyes open, but blurred by now-knowing tears.”

Read the rest of my review of Huong Ngô’s To Name It Is To See It in Newcity

Monday 06/19 2017
The MCA and Facebook Messenger Bring Murakami to the Masses

“Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is collaborating with Facebook to bring the art of Takashi Murakami to all of the users of the social network’s Messenger feature. The team-up, which kicks off the Cannes Lions Festival, allows users to snap photos with special “frames” incorporating Murakami icons Mr. DOB and the smiling daisies, as well as the octopus created to coincide with his MCA summer retrospectiveTakashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg. The partnership is the first of its kind between a museum and Facebook, i.e., creating something interactive rather than just ad space.

‘We are excited to work with the MCA and Takashi Murakami to bring to our community these special, exclusive, first-of-their kind tools to connect with the people they love,’ Facebook’s Head of Messenger, David Marcus, said in a press release. ‘The work of the team at the Facebook Creative Shop has been both thoughtful and playful, and we can’t wait to see how people interact with their own small piece of Murakami art!’”

Read the rest at Creators

Thursday 05/25 2017
Fold; Don’t Spindle and Mutilate

” … what Green Stripes Event (so perfectly named!) does not look like, at first blush, is a painting; it’s obviously painted, of course—those stripes aren’t woven, didn’t come from nowhere—and has those various things a painting would have, where it to be broken down anatomically—and it is the protrusion, like a compound fracture, of the painting’s support, broken at the top, dangling at the bottom, which gives it both its injurious and closet-ready qualities, although the former is far more important, and keeping with the spirit of the show, than the latter—but it does not sit like a painting, compose itself as a painting should, back straight, belly tight, against the wall, a tidy lie, telling us that it exists in two dimensions … “

Read the rest of my review of Jean Alexander Frater’s solo show, Softer, in New American Paintings

Tuesday 05/23 2017
Painting the Unchecked Pleasures and Unformed Horrors of Childhood

“The figures populating Bruce’s past are abstractions; ciphers for himself, the viewer, whomever. They exist as jaundiced faces—like summer camp soap carvings left in the sun—and flat, creamy planes or, most often, as simple, vibrant lines, exsanguinated silhouettes, emanating in jejune tones from the forest or the side of the frame, squiggling like tube worms from between shoulder blades, practically detached as a soft gray tracing, visage-cum-skyline.”

Read the rest of my review of Kristian Bruce’s solo show at Stuart & Co. in Newcity

Wednesday 04/26 2017
What Social Media Says About Artists

“Whether conscious or not, any participation in social media is inherently an act of curation. In an effort to present a specific image to the rest of the world, one naturally picks and populates the contents of their various feeds. After years spent observing and enjoying the social media feeds of her peers, photographer and curator Linda Dorman realized that these streams of information can offer a window into another aspect of artistry. Social media can be something akin to the turning of a gem, with new facets, angles, and lights reflecting from it.”

Read the rest at Creators.

Wednesday 04/19 2017
A Cosmological Novel: Michiko Itatani at Linda Warren Projects

… stars on charts, inside of us, outside of the skylights holding in their embrace laughable specks of rock and coagulated gas we named for our deities, which we in turn hold in our hands in the form of globes, globes and models and computers and books, an embrace more intimate and perhaps more important than the stars, for it is a studied one, the mind rapidly expanding, human intelligence and endeavor and hope red shifting in a desperate attempt to keep apace with the galaxy’s bleeding, fleeting edge …

Read the rest of my review of Itatani’s solo show in ARTPULSE