Chicago Art Review


Seven Artists of the Week – I’m trying to try here. by Steve Ruiz
December 30, 2009, 5:10 pm
Filed under: Artists of the Week

This week’s picks from Ryan. Check out the show he’s curated at Western Exhibitions, opening this Saturday!

Laurent Impeduglia

Laurent Impeduglia

Mark Mulroney, Injured Nephews

Mark Mulroney, Injured Nephews

Ignacio Uriarte, Single Line Labyrinths

Ignacio Uriarte, Single Line Labyrinths

Chris Corales, Babe You're Gonna Miss Me

Chris Corales, Babe You're Gonna Miss Me

Matthew Deleget, Blood and Treasure

Matthew Deleget, Blood and Treasure

Reed Anderson

Bruce Bickford

Happy New Years pretty soon.

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Seven Artists of the Week – brittany murphy died by Steve Ruiz
December 23, 2009, 8:52 pm
Filed under: Artists of the Week

This week’s picks from Ryan. Check him out in the latest Beautiful/Decay.

Matthew Craven, H.I.W.B.T.W. #9

Matthew Craven, H.I.W.B.T.W. #9

Amy Loghart, Cloudlady

Amy Loghart, Cloudlady

Beni Bischof, Demagogia X2

Beni Bischof, Demagogia X2

Francine Spiegel

Francine Spiegel

Jim Lutes, Big Guy

Jim Lutes, Big Guy

Sarah Crowner, Superficie Modulada

Sarah Crowner, Superficie Modulada

Paul McCarthy, (White Snow) Dwarf Heads

Paul McCarthy, (White Snow) Dwarf Heads

GOUACHE. ON. PAPER.

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Weekend Preview – where is tiger woods by Steve Ruiz
December 17, 2009, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Chicago Art Preview

In addition to all the great events below, this weekend I get to attend a special dinner at the residence of Alberto Aguilar as part of his dinner series celebrating his 36th year. Not bad!

Trendbeheer @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

To coincide with the content and release of the newest issue of Proximity Magazine (which should feature among many things an edited, less hostile copy of my review of Heartland), the CPS crew is bringing in Trendbeheer, a Rotterdam based art and culture blog/collective. They’ll be hosting a few events at the Co-Prosperity Sphere, including a VHS festival this Saturday, November 19th @ 7PM, and a general opening reception with performances this Friday, November 18th, 7 PM – 1 AM @ the Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S Morgan St.

Trendbeheer @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

Trendbeheer @ Co-Prosperity Sphere

To Face @ Lloyd Dobler Gallery

Group show with contemporary portrait work from Ben Fain, Ian Hokin, Andrew Holmquist, Autumn Ramsey, and Alice Tippit, great collection of talent. Opening Friday, December 18th from 6-10 PM @ Lloyd Dobler Gallery,
1545 W. Division, 2nd floor.

Autumn Ramsey, Untitled

Autumn Ramsey, Untitled

Νέμεσις ((Nemesis)) @ PENTAGON

This brand new Pilsen space is opening with a spookier exhibition about socially determined evil, with an appropriately metal Norse title to match. Artists include: Casey McGonagleBret Schneider, Jake Myers, Michael Garcia, Robin Juan, and Sam Sieger. Opening this Saturday, December 19th from 6-11 PM @ PENTAGON, 961 W. 19th Street #1F.

Robin Juan, Sidewalk

Robin Juan, Sidewalk

Thats all I’ve got for now. Trend harder!

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Seven Artists of the Week – Gibby Haynes makes art?? by Steve Ruiz
December 17, 2009, 3:12 pm
Filed under: Artists of the Week

This weeks picks, six from Ryan and one from me.

Melanie Bonajo, Katia

Melanie Bonajo, Katia

Tomory Dodge, Radiation Gorge

Tomory Dodge, Radiation Gorge

Michael Genovese, Public Engraving (Chicago)

Michael Genovese, Public Engraving (Chicago)

Theaster Gates, Forest for Tea

Theaster Gates, Forest for Tea

Charles Irvin, Wang Web

Charles Irvin, Wang Web

José Lerma, Untitled

José Lerma, Untitled

Marie Torbensdatter Hermann, Beskrivelse 14

Marie Torbensdatter Hermann, Beskrivelse 14

There’s really only one ocean.

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Daniel Sullivan @ Monument 2 by Steve Ruiz
December 13, 2009, 10:35 pm
Filed under: Reviews

There is a certain elegance to Monument 2 special among DIY spaces, its high ceilings, stark white walls and glowing, well-maintained hardwood floors lending an edge and hone to the gallery. Fitting entirely with this style, both in its minimalist sheen and provisional underpinnings, comes SAIC undergrad Daniel Sullivan‘s SOFT THROAT, a solo exhibition most remarkable for Sullivan’s making much out of relatively little.

Daniel Sullivan, Untitled

Daniel Sullivan, Untitled

SOFT THROAT hinges on a stock photograph of a bride, digitally manipulated, sliced, and scattered among the pieces included. The majority of work are a kind of mounted collage between these bride photographs printed and fixed, along with carefully cut metallic paper, on surfaces of mostly painted cardboard or, in the above case, three tall stretched canvases. The whole effect of these materials seems to be in creating a kind of trompe l’oeil minimalism, with a strikingly clean facade which, on closer inspection, could have been done on a student’s budget.

Daniel Sullivan, Untitled

Daniel Sullivan, Untitled

There isn’t really much content to the work outside of its material collision with minimalism. I picked up on a quiet eroticism from the anonymous bride repeated throughout the show and the otherwise non sequitur picture of a Sappho sculpture on the promotions, but these are relatively minor themes, either stand-ins for necessary content or, at best, embedded knocks on minimalism’s masculinity. This is one of the rarer cases where explanatory material would have been appreciated, but there’s really none to find and none to be found. When I asked about titles at the opening, I was told with a smile and sweeping gesture that “everything is untitled.” Even as an appreciated satire of style, some basic questions were left unanswered.

Daniel-Sullivan, Untitled

Daniel Sullivan, Untitled

However, I was more than satisfied with Sullivan’s provisional approach to a type of art typified by off-site expert fabrication, exactness and utmost material quality. While great care is evident in the pieces’ production, each plainly betrays its material shortcomings. Sullivan’s sculpture in SOFT THROAT looks like it could have been a candidate for any dull Serra-inspired addition to a campus collection, but chopped together of painted paneling and reflective paper, its materials remove the traditional invincibility suggested by its form.

I give it a:

7.6

SOFT THROAT: NEW WORK BY DANIEL SULLIVAN opened December 5th, 2009 and runs through January 24th, 2009 @ Monument 2, 2007 N. Point St.

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Weekend Preview – i’m too cold for this shit by Steve Ruiz
December 11, 2009, 2:46 am
Filed under: Chicago Art Preview

This weekends picks, front heavy and lurching goodwise.

Juan Angel Chavez @ Linda Warren

Linda Warren will be showing new work by Chicago found-art sculptor Juan Angel Chavez in Dragging the Leash. Also on display: Diatoms, Doilies and Diseases, works by Shannon Kerrigan. I’d expect both shows to play off eachother pretty well, with Kerrigan’s flowering steelcuts and Chavez’s katamarish refuse sculptures both colliding organic designs with conscious use of materials. Opening this Friday, December 11th from 6-9 PM @ Linda Warren Gallery, 1052 Fulton Market.

Juan Angel Chavez, Get Them

Juan Angel Chavez, Get Them

Scott Stulen @ Ebersmoore

With a M.O. something like an early Ruscha meets turntablism, Scott Stulen (aka DJ Black Lacquer) clips and places pop culture within space and landscape. His latest show, Kool-Aid Drunk, opens this Friday, December 11th from 6-9 PM @ ebersmoore, 213 N. Morgan, #3C.

Scott Stulen, Vista

Scott Stulen, Vista

Lauren Gregory @ Swimming Pool Project Space

I hyped Lauren Gregory’s work a few months ago when she was showed at Eel Space, and have followed her work from a distance since. Her portraits, executed on false and furry material, are both gutted up and awesome. Swimming Pool Project Space is giving her a solo show this month, and it opens with a reception this Friday, December 11th, from 7-11 PM @ Swimming Pool Project Space, 2858 W. Montrose.

Lauren Gregory, Mother

Lauren Gregory, Mother

Picturing the Studio @ SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries

If you’re in the mood for a giant institutional exhibition, check out SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries this winter for Picturing the Studio, a show featuring over 30 artists (everyone from Baldessari to Ross-Ho) and centering around the place and role and use of the artist’s studio in contemporary art. The opening is this Friday, December 11th from 4:30-7 PM @ Sullivan Galleries, 33 S State St., 7th floor.

Picturing the Studio @ Sullivan Galleries

Picturing the Studio @ Sullivan Galleries (pictured above, Studio of Michelle Grabner, co-curator)

Matt Stolle @ Andrew Rafacz

Another relatively recent SAIC grad, Matt Stolle‘s monochrome paintings appear to raise up throwing aesthetic hammers at modernism, reclaiming the simplicity and icy design. His latest show, MODERNISTPHALLUS, opens this Saturday, December 12th @ Andrew Rafacz Gallery, 835 W. Washington.

Matt Stolle, Untitled

Matt Stolle, Untitled

More coming as I hear about them.

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Seven Artists of the Week – snow money, snow problems by Steve Ruiz
December 10, 2009, 12:18 am
Filed under: Artists of the Week

This week’s picks from Ryan.

Chris Ware

Chris Ware

Pamela Jorden, The Knife

Pamela Jorden, The Knife

Keltie Ferris, Queen Pyro

Keltie Ferris, Queen Pyro

Sandy Kim

Sandy Kim

Kirk Hayes, The Big Nose Bleed (The Illusion of Immortality Wanes)

Kirk Hayes, The Big Nose Bleed (The Illusion of Immortality Wanes)

Katharina Grosse, Untitled

Katharina Grosse, Untitled

Ry Fann, Untitled

Ry Fyan, Untitled

Solidify the core.

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Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies @ Spoke by Steve Ruiz
December 7, 2009, 9:23 pm
Filed under: Reviews

As someone easily distracted, I have mixed feelings on music at galleries. As much as I enjoy looking at paintings, when there is music at a gallery I’ll spend more time staring at the performers or tracking the locations of speakers than I spend focusing my attention on the art. Some spaces are able to double up, like when the Co-Prosperity Sphere dims the lights after an opening’s regular hours have passed and segues smoothly into a middle-young rock concert. Other times, a smartly curated audio piece will color a whole show with its ambient clicks and whispers from across the gallery space or with the occasional bass fall hummed through a project space wall. Most of the time, though, music just distracts.

John Henley and Peter Frederiksen, Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies

John Henley and Peter Frederiksen, Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies

Spoke‘s latest exhibition, Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies, brought together the collaborative work of John Henley and Peter Frederiksen, along with some extra entertainment. It did have a live performance, and it did distract me from the work – but not as much as did the puppies, a half-dozen of which yelped and fought and tumbled and pissed around the gallery’s newspapered floor. Attendees pressed as near as possible to the walls, watching the band and dogs and blocking the art. There were paintings on the walls, but who could care? While the trio on my left put down a hypnotic, clinking, harmonium-led improvisation, I watched a puddle of urine bleed into an unfolded newspaper’s art section.

John Henley and Peter Frederiksen, Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies

John Henley and Peter Frederiksen, Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies

Unlike at a crowded opening, where an elbowed observer may think to come back in the morning when the space is clear and work visible, as this was a one-time event, with collaborative paintings created as a body separate from the artists’ primary work, it would feel wrong to discuss the paintings outside of the setting created for them by the artists. The paintings themselves were pretty cool, nets of heavy strokes and reductions which occasionally revealed scenes of docks and moorings from otherwise layered, painterly abstraction. All kept to a similar palette, shown grouped and spaced in gangs. It isn’t that they weren’t interesting, only that in a small room with great music and adorable wrestling puppies, they were the least interesting thing going on.

John Henley and Peter Frederiksen, Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies

John Henley and Peter Frederiksen, Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies

While I really enjoyed Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies, I wasn’t sure whether to view it as an enjoyable experience made to include artwork in a marginal sense, or an art show which, in bringing in other entertainment, ended up distracting itself from the art. Keeping that question in mind (and acknowledging that I really, really like dogs), I give it a:

7.2

John Henley and Peter Frederiksen‘s Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies was held on November 5th, 2009 @ Spoke, 119 N. Peoria. Emmett Kelly, Jim Dorling, and Michael Hartman provided the music.

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MiniReview: Brennan McGaffey, Fire & Judgment by Steve Ruiz
December 7, 2009, 7:12 pm
Filed under: MiniReview

Last Wednesday I drove in the middle of a rainy night to a place I’d never been before, parked in a gravel lot, and descended a staircase into a basement to see Brennan McGaffey‘s Fire and Judgment purging event. A model of the KC-135 Stratotanker occupied most of the basement, sitting on sawhorses, connected at nine points to propane tanks, and spouting nine jets of flame burning blue and yellow. The air inside was warm and thick with the fuel’s sweet ethanethiol smell, and despite the twenty or so others standing around the display the room was silent except for the steadily fluttering flames. Given the circumstantial trappings of a secret society – the invitations, the general secrecy, the time and place and community – it is surprising that the event had basically zero political attachments, real or imagined; I felt instead like I’d been allowed in to witness some ritual, the revealing of some mystery, and stared quietly entranced, inhaling gas.

Brennan McGaffey, Fire & Judgment

Brennan McGaffey, Fire & Judgment

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Weekend Preview – this weekend by Steve Ruiz
December 3, 2009, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Chicago Art Preview

There are a few openings this weekend at which I encourage attendance. Freshly updated with Sunday’s events.

Margo Hoff @ Corbett vs. Dempsey

Noble square gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey will be showing a retrospective of sorts of renowned artist Margo Hoff‘s work, titled Restless City. The content spans many decades and many mediums and includes the work she executed while in Chicago. Opening reception this Friday, December 4th from 5-9 PM @ Corbett vs. Dempsey, 1120 N. Ashland, 3rd floor.

Margo Hoff, Siesta Upstairs

Margo Hoff, Siesta Upstairs

Tony Fitzpatrick @ Eyeporium

Chicago artist/establishment Tony Fitzpatrick is showing small aquatint/etching prints this month at Wicker Park’s Eyeporium Gallery. Dig the series, titled Autumn Etchings, here; and see the work itself at the opening this Friday, November 4th from 6-9 PM @ Eyeporium Gallery, 1543 N. Milwaukee.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Autumn Composition

Tony Fitzpatrick, Autumn Composition

Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies @ Spoke

Spoke’s latest event, Co-Paintings, Cute Puppies looks to keep up this year’s streak of good one-night art events with an exhibition of collaborative paintings by artists John Henley and Pete Frederiksen. Puppies are also promised. Real puppies. The event starts and runs Saturday, December 5th from from 5-8PM @ Spoke, 119 N. Peoria, #3D.

Henley & Frederiksen

Henley & Frederiksen

Exhibition 3.12052009 @ MVSEVM

A group show at one of the city’s more considered apartment galleries, Exhibition 3.12052009 will feature the work of artists Sarah Elliott, Zak Arctander, Joe Craig, Cameron Crawford, Tom Kinsella, and Forrest Nash. Opening reception this Saturday, December 5th from 5-9 PM @ MVSEVM, 1626 N. California, #2.

Forrest Nash, IPVTF 17

Forrest Nash, IPVTF 17

Michelle Welzen Collazo Anderson
& Bernard Williams @ What It Is

Two artists, Michelle Welzen Collazo Anderson and Bernard Williams show off new sculpture and painting at Oak Park’s What It Is project space. Opening reception this Saturday, December 5th from 3-5 PM @ What It Is, 1155 Lymann, in Oak Park.

Blum Jerro

Blum Jerro

Homewreckers @ Devening Projects + Editions

Devening Projects + Editions is opening Homewreckers this sunday, a group show focusing in domestic issues, interactions, phenomena, etc. See work from John ArndtClaire AshleyAlexander BraunThe FranksPatrick Gavin,
Marie HermannRoxane HopperPeter PowerAnders RuhwaldWolfgang Schlegel, and Roman Signer. Opening reception this Sunday, December 6th from 4-7PM @ Dan Devening Projects + Editions, 3039 W. Carroll.

Homewreckers at Dan Devening Projects + Editions

Roxana Hopper, In the Act of Casual Business

Scott Wolniak @ Roots & Culture

Wicker Park’s Roots & Culture will be holding a rare screening  lost of video work from artist Scott Wolniak. Looks really interesting. The event will be held this Sunday, December 6th from 7-9 PM @ Roots & Culture, 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Scott Wolniak, Musican Notes in Harmony with the Attuned Healing Colors

Scott Wolniak, Musican Notes in Harmony with the Attuned Healing Colors

Also, check out Monument 2 for Daniel Sullivan’s show, SOFT THROAT.

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