Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Obdurate Formalist

The Obdurate Formalist
December 19 – January 24

Dominick Smith
Manuel Rodriguez Delgado
Matt Mancini
Mike Rubin


Spring Line-Up at the Suburban

Saturday December 21, 2-4 pm Diego Leclery
January 26, 2014 Michael Zwack / Robert Janz organized by Amanda Schmidt
March 2014 Rob McKenzie / Evan Gruzis
May 2014 Ditty Ketting / Danny Gordon
Summer 2014 Russell Maltz / Victoria Munro

Sit On a Polar Bear’s Lap!

The Suburban

Saturday, Decemeber 21st.  2-4


125 North Harvey Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois

ART/TECH: Interface

ART/TECH: Interface
ARC gallery
November 20 through December 14


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This show is curated by Jan Tichy. The show invited artists to submit work related, investigates, discusses, or is influenced by the technological advances that have had an impact on all aspects of our lives and experiences. In the beginning i thought it’s a vague theme, but the works there are actually amazing. I would say the works speaks louder than the curatorial statement. But I don’t found it’s any problem. In this show, many pieces are outstanding, piece made by Christine is a series of paper cutting, which is she explore her body gesture through digital signals, the shape and flow in the objects became a signature, a drawing and calligraphy. Phil Peters’s work is a fence with telephone on two sides, it’s a simple narrative of the construction of communication early in the  west, the telephone wire are based on the fence for protect railroad. The object is fascinate without the story behind but the functionality made me curious about the story behind, in the same time it doesn’t decrease or flatten the depth of the work. The critics might go to the artist are all from SAIC, but it’s the strength and diversity of the works did defend itself and made the show stand sturdy.

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle: Happiness is a state of inertia

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle: Happiness is a state of inertia,
Monique Meloche,
September 12 – November 9, 2013



Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle is an established artist, his work is also recognized and known as his strong connection and relationship between art and science/imagination. In this solo show, he built a wing, made by wood and rice paper. Pictures on the walls are some vague objects, shape similar to airplane but totally dark, can’t recognize it is a real one or a model. The eager of flying in the image echoes the wing hanging in the middle of the space. This show is based on a simple idea and with a harmonious rhythms. But in the same time I would wonder, this idea is on a vague boundary between simple and powerful, light and powerful. And another question might be his material choices. Since he always use high-end material, why he came back to this simple gesture. It’s obvious he had more rooms to play with it compare to a poor MFA student. We might admire his choice of back to basic material, but in the same time I’m curious about what made him this decision.

The Couch Life

After a recent to visit with a couple of art collectors in Chicago, I began thinking about art and environment.  The apartment we visited was stacked, floor to ceiling with work–primarily paintings– an enviable collection even for a museum.  There were works from the best of the best contemporary artists, but the difference between this environment and an impressive group show at MoMA, is that it HAD an environment.  This wasn’t a white cube, this was a home.  A home with a kitchen and a TV, a bedroom, and a history of kids.  Yes, evidently the children of the collectors used to play with the work, drive toy cars over the sculpture, eat Thanksgiving dinner right beside the Tom Freidman.  This work was appreciated and integrated into an environment–making art in the institutional circuit read as orphans.  

This is what we never talk about in art school:  where you want your work to end up.  It’s assumed that we all want to make a living (or attempt to make one) as an artist–thus participating the gallery, residency, grant series of approved activities.  It’s assumed we want to sell our work, but the vision stops there.  Maybe we can envision our paintings on a the solo-show walls of our local contemporary art museum, or in the frantic shuffle of Art Basel, but what happens when a collector invests in us?  The idea that a work would look nice over someone’s couch, seems a pure insult for any art student, but maybe couch life isn’t so bad?  Is the limited viewing received by a work in a private home worth the trade off of a public exhibition when you factor in the sincere daily appreciation of the work versus the 3 seconds spent in any gallery/museum?  Considering the intimacy of art making, it seems like a home is a better exchange–even if the work is in possible danger (kid’s sticky fingers, cats etc).  There’s something quite attractive to me about my work being noticed by a cat.  Something human.  As human as art should be. 


“Art and Appetite” at AIC

ImageIts been several weeks since I visited the “Art and Appetite” show at the AIC.  But perhaps the lag in viewing offers a more accurate perception of what I took away from it.  My first thought was its appropriate-ness.  Perfectly timed for for the holidays and the influx of tourists to the museum, the exhibition provides a sense of comfort and nostalgia–equipt with fun facts on tradition, cuisine, and changing family social structures in America.  Presenting paintings (mostly still lives) from a wide variety of American movements, the exhibition draws in the wandering art-goer with the classic Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving painting.  This is a perfect work to color the attitude of the show–historical but un-controversal.  Pleasant.  Familiar.  Besides getting a refresher on early American still life painting, I was especially interested in seeing the Alice Neel and Wayne Thiebaud towards the end of the exhibition.  Perhaps moreabout the humor and paint itself rather than celebrating food-as-delicious-object (particularly with Neel), these pieces are the strengths of the show in my opinion. Oh but lets not forget the Claes Oldenberg’s hard boiled egg.  Talk about as far from “delicious” as one can get!  But yes, it is the star. 


Oliver Sann, Exhibition / Studio visit

Oliver Sann, Exhibition / Studio visit 

Oliver Sann,
Open Studio Visit in MANA Contemporary
Dec, 10

Iceberg Project
Beate Geissler + Oliver Sann
September 14 – October 19, 2013




As an photo artist from Germany. Oliver’s images are recognizable with a strong german contemporary taste. Most of his works are actually done with him and his wife Beate Geissler. I’m invited to his studio after critique week. He shows his recent work and previous work and books. His major concern in his art making are based on the exploration of consumerism, capitalism and neo-liberalism. He examine the relationship between consumer and objects. After he moved to Chicago, he take photos about Chicago Stuck Exchange, which not only in a high challenge of get permission and also the challenge of bringing digital elements into visual language. He shared his idea, and he also shared his disappointment. Though contemporary world is not only build by visible object but also with invisible signals and information exchange, as a contemporary photo artist, he still keeps his eager of create meaning, or we can say examine existing object and world is a non-escapable responsibility. I’m curious and expecting what’s their new work.



Ben Kinmont Lecture

“Being & Power; or strategies for an alternative practice” 
lecture by Ben Kinmont
Nov 13, 6:00 p.m. Lecture,
Price Auditorium, The Art Institute of Chicago




In the beginning I don’t understand what I might get from the lecture. His statement about social sculpture and his job as a book dealer are both vague. But this talk was actually very rich and amazing. Grow up in an artist family, he is familiar with the process of art making and producing, his surrounding is actually an art school. This experience made him think about what is art making in mid 90’s. This question brought him to book making, by book making he explore artist’s idea and making. His approach in food is also quite amazing, he related chef and writer/thinker, develop the relationship between interpretation and consumable object(food) is inspiring. His studio and book store is situated LA, should be a must go place when passing by.

Scientific Illustration

Scientific Illustration
Show in Field museum and SAIC Library



Scientific illustration is a very specific tech, which embedded the power of narration in the way of using pen. Between human(painter) and the object(specimen), they have a long tern, solid The relationship. This relationship is construct by our pursuit to objective and reality. The consequence also reveals how science see painting. In scientific drawing, there’s no lines but dot, dots is the basic elements for observer to approach reality. Works are made by students in SAIC.  The relationship to how the process of art making being borrowed by other discipline is interesting and worth seeing.