Author Archives: chicagoartenthusiast

Review: Cosmosis


Hyde Park, Chicago- May 7, 2015

A group show titled Cosmosis is on view at the Hyde Park Art Center from now through August 23, 2015. Curated by Steven L. Bridges, the exhibited works engage in the nexus of art and science, inspired by physics and cosmology as means of artistic production.

There are thirteen artists or artist collectives included in the show, including Sarah and Joseph Belknap, Erin Washington, and Daniel Baird. While the spectrum of mediums exhibited in the gallery is vast and meaningfully respond to questions of our universe, the show is cramped and poorly curated.

New Catalogue’s publication is tacked onto the hallway walls, resembling the sensibility of cheap wallpaper. Upon entering the gallery, stacks of their publication lie on the floor in a separate space from their installation counterpart, confusing the viewer into thinking that they are exhibition catalogues.

Perhaps most haphazard is the placement of Daniel Baird’s Quest, a cardboard replica of the International Space Station. Where Baird’s work has been way more successful in other Chicago venues with its motivation of scale and trompe l’oeil, Bridges has treated the sculpture as exhibition cargo. Behind it and practically invisible, Baird’s Pioneer 10 and 11, two gold plated aluminum plaques of childlike figures are barely installed off the gallery floor.

Jeremy Bolen’s video piece practically does not exist in the corner of the gallery as space is not dark enough. Even the glitter on Jefferson Pinder’s Stellar Plane falls flat as the internal title wall lurks too closely.

The only element that is given breath and space is the curator’s name on the title wall.

The Grass Has Eyes


Heidi Norton “The Grass Has Eyes”
Curated by Claudine Ise

Comfort Station- Logan Square | 2579 N Milwuakee

Opening: May 2nd, 6-10p
Public Hours: Every Sunday of the month 11a-2p

Heidi Norton: The Grass has Eyes

We are undone. The mountains crumble
Beneath our feet. Our wave of earth subsides.
A little time and man shall stride no more,
His thighs having wasted with little using.
We are the bones for distant questioning.”

This was his parable, and it was spoken
Upon a mountainside.

—Excerpted from the poem “Artifact” by James Still

Heidi Norton’s exhibition “The Grass Has Eyes” is a site-specific engagement with the Logan Park comfort station, a historic site of alternating public and private functions that in turn express the fluctuating utopian/mundane aspirations of the communities who have used it over the years. Built in 1926/27 as a temporary oasis for transit commuters, the comfort station was boarded up sometime around the 1940s and served as a storage shed for lawnmowers and other garden maintenance tools until 2010, when it was transformed into a multi-disciplinary arts center and vibrant public gathering space known as Comfort Station. Norton’s exhibition imaginatively re-purposes the Comfort Station once more by recasting it as a cabin-like heterotopian space whose interior floors are partially lined with grass sod in patterns recalling aerial views of mountaintop removal mining, a process in which the summit or ridge of mountain land is removed for the purpose of extracting coal. The show also includes UV-sensitive embroidered botanical tapestries inspired by Charles Darwin’s plant studies, an idiosyncratic “patchwork quilt” combining photographic images, plant materials, plastic tarp, and sheep and alpaca wool, and an eerily compelling ambient sound piece that nods to Peter Thompkin’s Secret Life of Plants.

Simultaneously evoking the cozy environs of a family homestead, not unlike the one in which Norton herself spent her childhood years; the remote hideouts of the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and Breaking Bad’s Walter White; and the meditative mountain retreats of hermit-hippy loners like James Still, the poet, folklorist, and author of The Wolfpen Notebooks who was nicknamed “The Man in the Bushes” by his Appalachian neighbors, Norton’s environment is charged with affective uncertainty—at once comfortingly familiar and tinged with a subtle sense of dread




Saturday, May 2, 2015

2151 W 21st St Chicago

Kurt Hentschalger @SAIC Film Video New Media and Animation

Chris Staats
Tanner Charles
Jerico Domingo
LJ Frezza
Maurice Hampton
Jaclyn Mednicov
Andrew Monks

The WUNDER is a conceptual vessel for the diverse often hybrid, multifaceted forms of artistic expressions conceived in today’s eclectic, media driven cultural landscape.

The exhibition title refers also to the “Wunderkammer” of the late Renaissance and Baroque periods, a precursor to what we now think of as natural history or art museums—meaning the bringing together of objects from different origins and disparate meanings, and arranging of them along formal rather than cultural or historical lines.

The Wunder exhibition similarly takes seven individual student installations, and while retaining their individuality, binds them in closed quarters to flow together disparate and communicating parts: something that could only be looked upon and understood therefore as a Wunder.

Larner Plays Nicely at AIC this Summer

A Review:

Liz Larner

Art Institute of Chicago

Bluhm Family Terrace

April 24, 2015 – September 27, 2015

X; stainless steel; 2013

6: stainless steel; 2010-11

This summer, two of Larner’s sculptures reside on the Art Institute of Chicago’s modern wing terrace. The Bluhm Family Terrace faces Millennium Park with direct views of Frank Gehry’s theater and Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, two landmark architectural elements that define the park, as well as play with Larner’s stainless steel sculptures X and 6. Larner’s forms appear as a continuation of the contours prompted by its backdrop.

6’s tube-like forms are each color blocked with lavender, white, and brown. They are not straight lines, as the contours writhe between points, excavating a synergetic energy that transpires within the form as well as among and beyond the open terrace. The abstracted form encourages movement from the viewer, where one can view the work from all angles.


Diagonally positioned across the platform, X reflects, formally and perhaps conceptually, the steel of Gehry and Cloud Gate. X is an open form, where the viewer can crawl beneath the contour lines. The highly reflective finish, especially on a rainy day, exudes an energy for the viewer in which to play. The final seams of X’s tangential lines that grace the platform are not evenly cut, referencing the lines of 6 as well as teasingly differentiating from the manicured architectural elements of Millennium Park.


Notably, Larner’s two sculptures are installed on a shared wooden platform, spanning almost the entirety of the terrace. The wooden base brings organic, earthy material into a viewer’s sight, which is mostly comprised of steel and glass. Furthermore, the platform encourages investigation between and among the objects where, on a rainy day, one can practically skate between the sculptures.


The spirit of Larner’s work arouses its installation location. Perhaps lovingly, the artist’s objects investigate the spirit of the summer months in Chicago- an ode to dissipating from rigid structure and reflecting the playful forms that place us within a conscious moment of humor. Liz Larner’s installation is not to be missed.

Chicago Shorts: Volume 1 Premiere



1517 W Fullerton

Saturday, April 25 – 3 pm – Opening Reception
Saturday, April 25 – 4:30 pm – Screening + Q&A
Sunday, April 26 – 7 pm – Screening + Q&A
Monday, April 27 – 7 pm – Screening + Q&A

CHICAGOLAND SHORTS is a new short film series from Full Spectrum Features that highlights the incredible diversity of The Windy City and its surrounding communities. The series celebrates the vastness of the Chicagoland experience, and provides an outlet for those cinematic voices that sometimes go unheard.

Chicagoland Shorts: Volume 1 was co-curated by Eugene Sun Park & Kayla Ginsburg of Full Spectrum Features and Beckie Stocchetti of Kartemquin Films. This collection includes films by:

Robert Carnilius
Lydia Fu
Fred Frederiksen
Amir George
Dylan Jones
Ryan Logan
Fawzia Mirza
Valia O’Donnell
Michael Paulucci
Eugene Sun Park
Amanda Taves

Tickets available for sale at the door, or through Full Spectrum Features website

Find out more about the collection at

Tonight! FOLLOW YOUR PASSION: How To Do That



1-year anniversary of ABOUT WOMEN.

FREE ENTRY! PLUS CAKE AND BALLOONS! You do not want to miss this one!

LADIES – Please join us for an evening of Presentation, Conversation, and Inspiration.

Come on out and listen to 5 women share their personal story about how they are following their passion. A conversation will follow. Tell us your story.

Join us for the discussion. Or sit back and listen – that’s ok too.

This is a safe space to hear different sides of the story. Please come out and support these brave women telling their sides of things. This is a judgment-free zone.


Upstairs of Pizzeria Serio
Food and drinks available for purchase.

Once you come to one event, you can then get up and tell your story at future events based on the topic. Oh yeah! Sounds like a plan!


Also – for those that got this invite – this event is open to ALL WOMEN and WOMEN-IDENTIFIED – so please share this event with your lady friends. The more women that come, the sooner we change the world – for the better. THANK YOU!



Jefferson Pinder; Funknik; found materials, speakers, and electrical components, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

Curated by Steven L. Bridges, Cosmosis is an exhibition that investigates how the cosmos and the scientific fields of physics and cosmology continue to inspire artistic production, exerting great influence on our understanding of the universe—and our place therein.

Cosmosis Conversations | The Artist and Scientist: Understanding Our Universe and Place Within

Sarah and Joseph Belknap + Jacob Bean

Monday, April 27, 2015


Maclean 707

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Opening Reception

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Hyde Park Art Center

Symposium Keynote Lecture by Sven Spieker: Wither the “Educational Turn?” An Apology for Didactic Art


Soviet poster from the 1920’s. Translation: “There are those who are clever, and those who are idiots! One goes for the book, the other for a drink!”

Wednesday, April 29, 4:00 p.m.
MacLean Ballroom, 112 S. Michigan Ave.

Alongside “the contemporary” and “the archive,” few concepts command as much attention in today’s art world as education and its avatar, “the educational turn.” While the educational turn promises an art focused on participation and the social production of alternative forms of knowledge, it often displaces its own allegiance not only to its neo-liberal nemesis, “global education,” but also to related, and seemingly opposing phenomena, especially the various forms of didactic art that circulated in the 20th century. My talk will unpack these legacies and suggest ways in which a more complex, and more historically informed, understanding of the relationship between art and instruction, or art as instruction, may help us do art (history) differently.

Sven Spieker received a BA (with distinction) from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University of London (1987) and a PhD from Oxford University (Merton College). After extended stays in Moscow and Los Angeles, Spieker accepted an appointment as assistant professor at Indiana University, Bloomington (1991). In 1995 Spieker took up a position at the Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies and the Comparative Literature Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. As an affiliate faculty member in the departments of Art and Art History, he teaches courses in 20th-century European as well as Russian and East-Central European art. In 2004 Spieker was a visiting professor at Constance University, Germany; and in 2015, at the Freie Universität, Berlin. His honors and awards have included fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center (Stanford University); the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University; the Literaturzentrum in Berlin; and Monash University (Melbourne). Spieker has been a referee for the Stanford Humanities Center, the MIT Press, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the founding editor of ARTMargins Print, a journal devoted to contemporary art practice in the global margins, and a member of the editorial collective that runs ARTMargins Online. Current projects include a Critical Anthology of Conceptual Art in Eastern Europe; a study of Didactic Art, as well as a book about Kazimir Malevich in the media age.

2015 MAAH/MAAHAP Graduate These Symposium


Please join us in celebration of SAIC’s 2015 Master of Arts in Modern and Contemporary Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Dual Degree Master of Arts Thesis Symposium!


MacLean Ballroom
Wednesday, April 29


11:00-11:15: Margaret Carrigan, Liminal Life: The Biopolitics of Manifest Destiny

11:15-11:30: Julie Warchol, “Modeling with Light”: Clarence Kennedy’s Photographic Sculpture, 1924-1940

11:30-11:45: Matthew Coleman, Remotely Nearby: Representations of the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

11:45-12:00: questions

BREAK (12-12:15)


12:15-12:30: Lillian Elliott, Great Scott! Picturing the Past through Waverley; Or, ‘Tis Sixty Years Since

12:30-12:45: Lindsey Jancay, A Pictoral History of Gregg Shorthand: Considering the Image in Winifred Kenna Richmond’s The American Readings in Gregg Shorthand

12:45-1:00 Cassandra Carpenter, Designed Identity: The Critical Role of Dr. Hermann Püterschein

1:00-1:15: questions

LUNCH (1:15-2:45)


2:45-3:00 Denise Bennett, Rescuing the Senses: Haus-Rucker-Co.’s Environmental Transformers and Pneumatic Interventions, 1968–1972

3:00-3:15: Alison Reilly, The Following Is a True Story: Systems of Power in Kujtim Çashku’s Kolonel Bunker

3:15-3:30: Chisako Izuhara, Art in the Face of Nuclear Disaster: ChimPom and Kota Takeuchi

3:30-3:45: questions

BREAK (3:45-4:00)


Wither the “Educational Turn?” An Apology for Didactic Art
Sven Spieker, University of California, Santa Barbara

MacLean Ballroom
Thursday, April 30


11:00-11:15: Kara Jefts, Dance of Death: Mavo Artists and the Posture of Play in Modern Tokyo

11:15-11:30: Elisabeth Smith, The Dynaton’s “New Vision”: Possibilities for Abstraction from the Bay Area, 1948-1951

11:30-11:45: Tie Jojima, Opening the 80s: The Porn Art Movement

11:45-12:00: questions

BREAK (12-12:15)


12:15-12:30: Lauren Fulton, Tactility of Sound: Experience and Synesthesia in the Work of Alison Knowles

12:30-12:45: Brian Leahy, Art Without Work: Tehching Hsieh’s No Art Piece and the Value of Laziness

12:45-1:00: Kyle Riley, Distribution as Discourse: Experimental Publishing in the Expanded Field

1:00-1:15: questions

LUNCH (1:15-2:45)


2:45-3:00 Jayne Mack, Holy Weaponized Perfume Batman!: Gendered Visual Vocabulary in Revisions of Batwoman

3:00-3:15: Olivia McManus, Locating Empowerment in Feminism and Pornography: Tristan Taormino’s Chemistry Vol. 1 and Petra Joy’s Female Fantasies

3:15-3:30: Annette LePique, How To Be Tumblr Famous or The Glitch, The Girl and Tumblr: Feminine Identity Construction Within the Digital Sphere

3:30-3:45 questions

BREAK (3:45-4:00)


4:00-4:15: Aisha Muhammad, “In The Red”: An Examination of Jelili Atiku’s Performance Series

4:15-4:30: Elizabeth Metcalfe, Lost Product: Image and Withdrawal in the Films of Mathias Poledna

4:30-4:45: Yinzi Yi, The Construction of Virtual Identities in Cao Fei’s I. Mirror and RMB City—The Representation of a Regional Self in a Global Context

4:45-5:00: questions

Origins of Detachment


IMPACT MFA Performance Festival
Origins of Detachment
Charles Rice
3:00:00 Performance
April 25, 2015 4:00pm – 7:00pm
280 S Columbus Dr Chicago, IL
Ceramics Gallery in the Ceramics Department

Investigate systems of orphanism. Installations of objects represent bodies of people who have passed away through materials. A generational orphaning of a specific group of people and the loss of information from traumatic events. The banal family photographs represent the past and are brought to the present in a presentation format for the gallery. Orphanism, the bereavement of parents, and the representation of family, queerness, trauma, abandonment, and memory. ‘Orphanism’ into objecthood, objects can loose their original purpose and become re-fashioned, re-imagined, and re-histocized.