Author Archives: chicagocontemporaryartseminar

William J. O’Brien at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago



William J. O’Brien
Six Circles : Four Squares

March 15 – April 26, 2014

Opening, Saturday, March 15, 6-8 pm

Shane Campbell Gallery
673 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

The Obdurate Formalist

The Obdurate Formalist
December 19 – January 24

Dominick Smith
Manuel Rodriguez Delgado
Matt Mancini
Mike Rubin


Interior Address: Paintings by Alex Olson (Notes by M. Malliaris)

Interior Address: Paintings by Alex Olson (Notes by M. Malliaris)
December 14, 2013 – February 8, 2014

Shane Campbell Gallery
Lincoln Park

By appointment only


Paul Cowan: Pallarel Procssieng at Shane Campbell Gallery

Paul Cowan: Pallarel Procssieng

December 13, 2013 – January 18, 2014

Opening, Friday, December 13th, 6-8 pm

Shane Campbell Gallery
673 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago Illinois


Black Is, Black Ain’t Symposium, The Renaissance Society, Chicago

Layout 1

Black Is, Black Ain’t Symposium and Book Launch 
featuring Huey Copeland, Thelma Golden, Kellie Jones, Bennett Simpson, and Hamza Walker

Sunday, December 8, 2pm
1020 E 58th St – Kent Hall, Room 107 at the University of Chicago

On the occasion of publishing the Black Is, Black Ain’t exhibition catalog, the Renaissance Society has organized a symposium revisiting issues raised in the exhibition of the same name, curated by Hamza Walker and shown at the Society in 2008. Given the extent to which race is bound to visual representation, exhibitions have played no small role in instigating discussion. They are where identity has been asserted, critiqued, and dismantled, all in a healthy circular fashion.

This symposium’s cast of curators, critics, and scholars will reflect on a series of seminal exhibitions from Black Male (1994) through Blues for Smoke (2012) and the context in which they were mounted, from the riots ensuing in the wake of the Rodney King beating to Obama’s presidential election.

Panelists include:
Huey Copeland, moderator, Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University

Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator at The Studio Museum in Harlem

Kellie Jones, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University

Bennett Simpson, Curator at Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles

Hamza Walker, Associate Curator and Director of Education at the Renaissance Society

FREE and open to the public.
For more information, visit

Generous support provided by The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; the University of Chicago Arts and Public Life Initiative; and The Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago.


Mike Andrews and Thomas Baumann at The Suburban



Opening: Sunday, OCTOBER 20, 2 – 4pm

The Suburban
125 N. Harvey Av.
Oak Park, IL 60302

ph: 708-305-2657

Jonas Wood at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

JW159Jonas Wood

October 12 – November 23, 2013

Shane Campbell Gallery

673 N Milwaukee Avenue

Chicago, IL 60642


George Saunders at SAIC



Wednesday, October 9, 6:00 p.m.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium, 230 S. Columbus Dr.

George Saunders is a New York Times bestselling American writer of short stories, essays, novellas, and children’s books. One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. He reaches the core of contemporary experience with his blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation. Saunders is also the author of three collections of short stories: the bestselling Pastoralia;CivilWarLand in Bad Decline; and In Persuasion Nation, and author of the novella-length illustrated fable, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil and the New York Times bestselling children’s book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. His work appears regularly in the New YorkerGQ, and Harper’s Magazine. In 2006, Saunders received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In 2013, Time magazine listed Saunders on its list of 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Book signing will immediately follow. Tenth of December will be available for purchase, courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop.


Regional Art Capitals: Challenges & Succeses


Josiah McElheny, Two Clubs at The Arts Club of Chicago

Josiah McElheny
Two Clubs at The Arts Club of Chicago

17 September – 14 December 2013

The Arts Club of Chicago is pleased to announce Josiah McElheny: Two Clubs at The Arts Club of Chicago (17 September – 14 December 2013). A sculptor and filmmaker known for his interrogation of glass as a material and paradigm in art, McElheny has conceived this exhibition in collaboration with Chicago architect John Vinci, who designed The Arts Club’s current building. Engaging with the history and mission of The Arts Club itself, the two-part installation will bring together McElheny’s film The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women’s Picture(2012) and a new site-specific installation titled The Club for Modern Fashions (2013), a constructed glass pavilion into which performers and guests are invited during the lunch hour, Tuesdays through Fridays, dressed in vintage attire from the 1920s to the 1970s—decades that signify the height of a modernist imperative across the cultures of fashion, design, and architecture. A public gallery talk with art historian Christine Mehring and Josiah McElheny will take place on Saturday 21 September at 1:00 pm.

The Light Club of Vizcaya, realized as a commission by the Contemporary Arts Project at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, continues McElheny’s exploration into alternative histories of modernism and the possibilities (and failures) of utopian thought. Filmed on location at Vizcaya, Chicago machinery magnate James Deering’s infamous Miami estate, the film reimagines a little known text by early 20th century German author Paul Scheerbart The Light Club of Batavia: A Ladies’ Novelette (1912).  This strange, visionary satire describes a dinner at which a wealthy heiress and an architect decide to create a secret club for ‘bathing’ in electric light at the bottom of a mineshaft. McElheny’s version, with voiceover by Zoe Leonard, subtly combines Scheerbart’s fiction with the real history of Vizcaya, recounting a tale in which the narrator searches for a lost light club where members indulged in the benefits of colored light beneath the gardens of the grand estate.

McElheny’s The Club for Modern Fashions —a transparent room constructed in glass and furnished in mid-twentieth-century style—echoes The Arts Club’s history, as well as that of its modernist form. Like Vizcaya and its fictionalized “Light Club,” The Arts Club was founded in 1916 to provide a space for the appreciation of the new. Former Arts Club President Rue Winterbotham Shaw retained the services of legendary architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to design the Club’s rooms at 109 East Ontario Street, and Mies delivered an elegant yet advanced interior in 1951. The spirit of that space, demolished in the 1990s, has been retained by Mies’s student John Vinci in the Arts Club’s current building, which preserves Mies’ “floating” staircase at its heart. Nodding both to The Arts Club’s history and to Mies’s historic pavilion architecture, McElheny’s temporary glass room will become both a home and a frame for a renewed display of modernist style.

Winner of the 2006 MacArthur prize, McElheny has had solo exhibitions at The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among others. He has been the subject and author of numerous publications, including Bill Horrigan, ed. Josiah McElheny: Towards a Light Club (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2013); Helen Molesworth, ed. Josiah McElheny: Some Pictures of the Infinite(Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2012); Josiah McElheny: A Prism (New York: Skira Rizzoli, 2010); The Light Club: On Paul Scheerbart’s The Light Club of Batavia (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010); and Lynne Cook and Josiah McElheny, eds. A Space for Island Universe (Madrid: MNCARS & Turner, 2009). McElheny lives and works in New York

The Arts Club of Chicago is located at 201 East Ontario Street, on the southeast corner of St. Clair and Ontario. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, and Saturday, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.

For press and general inquiries, please contact Rachel Levin at 312.787.3997 or For questions regarding the performances taking place as a part of The Club for Modern Fashions, please contact Molly Feingold at 312.787.3997 or