Gallery 400 was founded in 1983 on UIC’s campus in what was then known as the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and after that college’s development into other departments, fell into the lap of the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts. Gallery 400’s primary mission is to promote cutting-edge visual art, architecture, and design, to approach it through interdisciplinary exhibitions, and to challenge conventions. Although they don’t show the work of professors from UIC, they do have an MFA student thesis show in spring. Although they do feature a host of Chicago-based artists, their shows often extend to national and international artists, though recently, much of their work has been relevant to the themes of economy and social politics of the Chicago area. The range of media also varies quite a bit, although David Leggett’s multimedia paintings are here on display until the 17th of December, there is a dance performance early 2017. Often, film and video is also presented. Not only do they present individuals, but their shows have contained up to twenty people. As far as the space itself, they have to deal with the complications which come with an early 20th century industrial building, but I think the space is actually very conducive to the experience of the art. It’s spacious, light, and creates a neat geography through which the viewer experiences the exhibitions. For instance, David Leggett used wall decals to draw the viewer’s gaze around the room by placing them on the structural columns. Having never been before, I enjoyed hearing Lorelei Stewart, director, speak so highly and informatively about the space and its significance in bringing together such diverse groups of the UIC campus, such as the Black Lives Matter and activist communities, as well as being a stable, influential art presence in urban Chicago.
So it’s super late-notice, but tonight, December 12 at 7pm, there is a community meeting to discuss and work for the preservation of the Leland and Sheridan Building, a beautiful old brick building in Uptown facing demolition.
Nestled on the third floor in a tall sea foam green colored building in the West Loop is Document; a primarily photography based gallery paired with a print studio. Within the same building are two separate galleries, Volume and Western Exhibitions, which causes the space to feel close knit and communal. Established in 2011 by Aron Gent, Document has organized more than thirty solo exhibitions as it seeks to support and advocate for emerging artists, from helping artists print their shows, to giving them an intimate space to show their latest works.
Currently on view from November 11 to December 23, 2016, is Sara Greenberger Rafferty’s show, Dead Jokes. Exhibiting widely since 2001, Rafferty is a Brooklyn-based artist who teaches full time at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachussetts. Rafferty’s work has appeared in exhibitions and shows including MoMA PS1, the Jewish Museum, the Whitney Biennial, the Hammer Biennial, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, and the Gagosian Gallery. Her latest work, Dead Jokes, consists of small-scale multi-media photographs drawn from Rafferty’s personal archive. Comprising of one-of-a-kind images, Dead Jokes is printed on colored Plexiglas, where Rafferty has applied various polymers to distort and alter the original forms, The images range from feminine-esque figures to screen shot images of various aspects of internet culture. Between motif references and formal aesthetics, Dead Jokes is self-described as never accidental; a twisting of the contemporary aspects of photography, gender, and mainstream culture.
Petcoke: Tracing Dirty Energy
Featuring work by Marissa Lee Benedit and David Rueter, Rosalinda Borcila, Terry Evans, Geissler/Sann, Brian Holmes, Claire Pentecost, Steve Rowell, and Victoria Sambunaris.
July 21, 2016 to October 9, 2016
No One Gallery
Artist- Meng Sun
1579 N Milwaukee Ave. Rm 303, Chicago, IL
Opening: 5pm December 16
Zee Peng Gallery is a new gallery space opened by Zee Peng. It has been open for less than a month and is still getting on its feet. Zee has two main goals in opening this gallery space. First, she wants to offer a place for artists that aren’t established in the art world to show their work. She would also like to establish lasting connections with young artists for the future, by giving them opportunities and working with them. Zee is interesting in showing a wide range of different work in many different mediums. Her main concern in showing the work is that she feels interested in the work and the artist’s interests. She is very concerned with the artist’s concept and their ability to convey their concept.
Zee Peng Gallery is an apartment gallery space that Zee lives in herself. The gallery is currently showing work by Nick Girogini, me. Since the gallery is an apartment gallery space it was a perfect opportunity to work with Zee on a show titled Living With Painting. The show is focused on exploring new relationships between painting and the viewer/participant. Living With Painting is a painting show that is interactive and uses domestic items that are painted on to explore a more intimate relationship between the viewer-participant and painting.
Zee Peng Gallery is a new space that will be showing contemporary work done by fresh, new artists. Zee is invested in giving opportunities to new artists, which is fantastic for artists like myself. She hopes to grow the gallery and work with more artists in the future, aiming toward opening a larger gallery space. Being that it is an apartment, there are some limitations to what can be done in the space since she lives there and has neighbors. However, the space has huge potential and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Zee Peng Gallery.