Daily Archives: March 10, 2014

Conrad Bakker at Columbia College

A must see lecture from Chicago creator Conrad Bakker!

I had the pleasure of working with Bakker in the fall of 2012 to organize his solo show Untitled Project: Seasonal Economies at the BCA Center in Burlington, Vermont. For the past 15 years Bakker has worked with a series of Untitled projects that examine the role of the object and celebrate its complexities. Creating hand-carved wooden facsimiles of the familiar, Bakker creates an illusion of the “real” object by inserting the “fakes” into various environments. In particular, Untitled Project: Seasonal Economies responded to the commercialization of Vermont’s local marketplaces: fall foliage and the harvesting of maple sugar.


Appearing at Columbia College this Thursday, Bakker will speak on his continued Untitled Projects and his interest in the everyday object.

Untitled Project: Consumer Actions (Hefty), 2002


Conrad Bakker is an Associate Professor of Art and MFA Studio Coordinator for the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. 


March 13th, 6:00-7:30pm
Columbia College Chicago
Hokin Hall, Room 109
623 S. Wabash
Chicago, IL 60605

Beneath the Paving Stones, the Beach


Colleen Keihm, One of six sides, 2013

The first of five UIC MFA thesis exhibition opens this week!
Runs March 11- March 15 at Gallery 400

Beneath the Paving Stones, the Beach
Artists: Matt Brett, Houston Cofield, Colleen Keihm, and Melissa Myser

Before us a thick current runs. Opaque, swirling, and rushing ahead. Carrying the sediments of history, the land it flows through and the myth it inhabits. Thin spots in the surface reveal something profoundly significant, huge and alive; wakened for a moment.

Matt Brett uses the persistence of matter and energy as the moral and conceptual foundation of his work. He considers how the immutability of matter is entangled with human affairs, and looks to these entanglements for inspiration.

Houston Cofield’s current work, Common Ground, combines photographs, objects, and film to create a fictional narrative about a specific region in North Mississippi. Family, myth, and history play important roles in the way Cofield’s work narrates the land and people he encounters. He seeks to uncover the way history, both literally and fictionally, resonates in this region.

Colleen Keihm attempts to connect to places and people so that there may be a greater understanding of time, care, and the structure that happens in between. Her desire to connect occurs through representations of documenting the precise application of nail polish and reconstituting an object as a relic. Performance, photography, and video allow her to enter spaces ritualistically and engage with people so that they may generate situations together and experiment with elicited empathy.

Carried through by the rhythms of places and people who inhabit them, Melissa Myser is constantly wandering with an open ear. Myser’s deep familial roots in the American West inform the stories, characters, and myths of her film and video works.

more info on artist talks, screenings and additional programming here

Valerie Snobeck and Catherine Sullivan at the Whitney Biennial


Touring the Biennial this weekend, this group of works entitled Image of Limited Good (2014), was in my opinion in the top 5, and certainly one of the best on the the first level. A striking installation at the entrance of the room, it’s comprised of tables, suitcases, cuff links, briefcases, prints on paper, and a disassembled greeting card rack, among other things. Suitcases are filled with resin. Images in the drawings are apparently old airline logos.


Teen Paranormal Romance at REN

k andrews


This show just opened at the Ren today, and was complimented by a QA/Panel with four of the artists and curator Hamza Walker. When asked about the title, Walker mentioned the connection to this genre of teen fiction… I just googled it http://www.barnesandnoble.com/u/paranormal-teen-romance-dark-romance/379002329/. The panel of artists offered diverse, even if connected, points of departure as they spoke about their practices and their selected works within the show. Pictured here is a shot looking into Kathryn Andrew’s remake of her 2010 Friends and Lovers, originally created for a group exhibition titled Support Group at Thomas Soloman Gallery in LA.

time to…


C. Wool at AIC. This work on paper is my favorite.

Return to the AIC

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I returned to the AIC to check out the rest of the Christopher Williams show, see the Chris Wool show, and just unwind and see what else was currently up in the Modern Wing…. Totally loving the small installation of three gorgeous achromatic works on the second floor. Here is one of those, and one of the many Williams pieces from the second floor, first room. Also had not realized that the massive Thomas Schutte sculpture was moved outside the modern wing, now keeping company with the white Ellsworth Kelly on the outside museum wall.

Drip Music at SAIC SUGS Gallery X

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The two woman show Drip Music at SAIC’s Gallery X, right near the AIC/Columbus Drive borderline, features Jihae Park (MFA 2015) and Gulsah Mursaloglu (MFA 2015). These are images of one of Mursaloglu’s sculptures titled Ministry of Afternoon Coffee and Other Delights.




J. Lerma at Kavi Gupta


Mirrors still trending, An offshoot of the main gallery space, housing large mirror paintings, Jose teases with an installation built for performance, which was pre-recorded and is on view outside of this room on a wall monitor.


Nora Schultz Performance at the Ren

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Schult’z installation at the Renaissance Society was a refreshing use of the exhibition space’s ascendant architecture and intense natural light. Most of the gestures, text, and placement of works pointed upward, and prior to the performance already seemed to speak about temporality, structures, and the artist’s need to develop her own systems via process and transformation of materials. The performance heightened attention on the more banal aspects of the materials and mark making within the installation, but it felt harder to connect with what was going on while these bodies were working in the space as opposed to my prior experience of getting to move freely through the exhibition. For a while I was able to connect as more of a voyeur, wondering if the moves were planned, and how the actors/participants were communicating. Eventually I felt idle in comparison, and wanted to be jumping off of the lift and pressing girders to make prints. Like a lot of things in life, I was also wondering just how long it was going to go on for…and whether all of the work they completed was going to stay in the space afterwards.

It turns out it was the last day of the show, but I was told that Schultz typically completes her performances at the beginning of her exhibitions’ runs.  http://www.renaissancesociety.org/site/Exhibitions/Intro.Nora-Schultz-parrottree-building-for-bigger-than-real.643.html


Quick Visit to the AIC: C. Williams and a Little Man.

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My first visit to the Christopher Williamson show at the Art Institute, The Production Line of Happiness. I really enjoyed the space that frames the photographic piece within this work — beautiful. Always fun to listen to other people talking about art in museums. The security guard was chatting with a couple about this piece, and the neighboring video in the adjacent black box viewing space by another artist. They agreed that this was art…and that there was NO way the video could compare. I listened a bit more, and then went to confront the annoying, garish yellow wall text outside the space, which I not too shortly after gave up on myself, only making it through the Barbara Kruger piece about framing, which seemed appropriate, and then headed to check out the Dreams & Echoes show in prints and drawing.

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