Author Archives: kkirk12015

Cosmosis Review- Hyde Park Art Center


Hyde Park Art Cener

May 3rd – August 23rd, 2015

The exhibition, Cosmosis at the Hyde Park Art Center presents work that explores the intersection of the cosmos and artistic production.  This is most successful in pieces by Erin Washington and Carrie Gundersdorf.  The first piece you encounter in the exhibition is Washington’s Shapes of an Expanding Universe; it is a small, intimate scaled canvas covered in thick layers of black acrylic paint. Washington’s piece speaks to labor and temporarily.  Delicate chalk marks resembling a combination of arrows and 0’s indicate language, knowledge, or some kind of communication.  The markings are tentative, built by layers of erasure and writing.  Her material choices and performative mark-making clearly communicate her intent to question permanence and transitions to ephemera.  As a viewer I asked myself several questions related to these ideas: over what period of time did the piece take to create?  How long would the chalk markings stay perceivable on the surface? And an unanswered question: What are these markings trying to communicate?  The markings could be based on some sort of mathematical symbolism, or perhaps positioning documentation of a cosmo related body like a planet or shuttle.  Whatever the actual answer, this question serves as a place for the viewer’s imagination to engage with the work.  The exhibition catalogue centers the work on the role of the cosmos and our understanding of the universe and our place therein.  Washington’s piece signifies the very human struggle to make sense of things and decipher communication whether human, technological, or other.  Another pleasurable aesthetic intersection is Carrie Gundersdorf’s False color image of density waves in Saturn’s A ring.  With marks of color and handwriting scribbled around the edges, Gundersdorf’s displays a coloring outside the box attitude.  Science and astronomy, often attended to with mathematical precision are let loose to play in her colorful depiction of density waves.  The viewer is kept close by the micro markings, while at the same time pushed backward to take a macro view of the bending lines and the composition as a whole. What worked well in both Washington’s and Gundersdorf’s work is the way they make the viewer feel small compared to the questions posed and subject matter presented- a position that fits well with ideas around the cosmos.


Review- Liz Larner at AIC

It is impossible to talk about Liz Larner’s recent installation at the Art Institute of Chicago, of two sculptures X and 6, without discussing the view of Chicago’s skyline. The installation both seamlessly fits in with and stands apart from the city skyline. Amongst the many grids and vertical lines in the viewer’s sightline, X and 6 become three-dimensional drawings floating in a gridded space. On a rainy day, the verticals begin at the viewer’s toes, in the reflections of the city buildings. The grid lines on the cement carry your eye to the hefty wood platform. These lines move into the metal rods on the terrace’s fence into the tall skyscrapers and back down again. Amidst the strong vertical pull, X and 6 become a place to rest your eyes.   You can let your eyes wonder in, around, and between the curving lines of the two sculptures.

The soft, warm appearance of the wood platform succeeds in creating a space of refuge in the shiny concrete jungle. The sculptures appear as giant toys in a play pin, stolen pieces from a utopian playground, or offerings to the great Chicago skyline. As mentioned in the installation text, the wood platform unifies the two pieces, and it does this very successfully. Without the platform, the pieces might seem too different or lost within the large rooftop space.   While the installation creates a heightened awareness of its immediate terrace location, it also succeeds in linking with surrounding architecture.   Without a doubt the strongest and most obvious juxtaposition is with sculpture X and Frank Gehry’s outdoor concert area in Millennium Park. Sculpture X serves as a mirror for the swoops of shiny metal atop the concert stage. The sculpture looks like those pieces were flipped around and set atop the wooded platform. This piece also of course references Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate with the clouds being reflected in its surface. Isolated in a white cube, Larner’s pieces might be reduced to mere formal investigations, but atop the Art Institute terrace, they inform a larger conversation on architecture and installation. The fit so seamlessly, you might think they were built specifically for Chicago.IMG_5878 IMG_5874

Visiting Artist Lecture tonight! Claire Gilman

7PM-8:30PM Northwestern University, 640 Lincoln St. Evanston Illinois 60208

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Claire Gilman (Ph. D. Columbia University) is Senior Curator at The Drawing Center in New York where she has organized the following exhibitions: Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm (April 10 – June 28, 2015), Tomi Ungerer: All in One (January 15 – March 22, 2015), Andrea Bowers and Suzanne Lacy: Drawing Lessons (2014), Deborah Grant: Christ You Know it Ain’t Easy (2014), Drawing Time, Reading Time (2013), Dickinson/Walser: Pencil Sketches (2013), Giosetta Fioroni: L’Argento (2013), Alexandre Singh: The Pledge (2013), Ishmael Randall Weeks: Cuts, Burns, Punctures (2013), José Antonio Suarez Londoño: The Yearbooks (2012) and Drawn from Photography (February 17 – March 31, 2011). Gilman has taught art history and critical theory at Columbia University, The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, The Corcoran College for Art and Design, the Museum of Modern Art and the School of Visual Arts (SVA). She has written for Art Journal, CAA Reviews, Documents, Frieze and October and has authored numerous essays for art books and museum exhibitions. She was recently voted one of the top 100 most powerful women in art by Artnet news.

Opening @ The Suburban- Sunday April 19th


The Suburban Presents:


Opening and BBQ: 2-4pm
Sunday, April 19, 2015

OAK PARK, IL 60302

Review- A Gathering at Comfort Station

A Gathering at Comfort Station presents works by Kittisak Chontong, Jason Friedes, Jaclyn Jacunski, and Celeste Neuhaus. The show is framed by the curator as “a gathering”; the exhibition writing suggests this holds the group of works together not as an applied theme, but rather as an invitation to the visitor to gather with these artists and artworks. The exhibition press release claims the gathering framework allows visitors to weave their own series of connections and disconnections. Unfortunately, the disconnections are far more apparent than connections. The work by the four artists is not tied together by style, subject matter, or medium.

At best the work is tied together by the way the viewer approaches each work—their ability to gather around it physically for viewing and as a central point of conversation. The artist whose work demonstrates this the best is Kittisak Chontong. His pieces are presented on pedestals as riddles. They are a series of interactions, what-ifs, and mis-haps yet to be happened.   One of his pieces is a large donation box asking for knowledge, which creates chitchat among visitors and reason to gather around the box. His hot-dog guillotine piece produces fear and humor. The small wooden piece with the tac is a puzzle ready to solve, allowing the viewer to insert something in the space from their imagination—a balloon or a tomato perhaps. One piece falls flat however—the set of two fans oscillating with a thin string tied between the two. As the fans move from side to side in apposing rhythms, the string is loosened and then tightened. It seems like the intent is to suggest the “almost” snapping of the string, but this affect is not achieved. It remains just a string tied between two fans without any anticipation or confusion created.   The other pieces in the show do little to create connections.

The sculpture by Jaclyn Jacunski, although formally interesting, really has nothing to do with a gathering or creating a gathering. Other than perhaps it is hung in a window where people could gather outside to see it. Although the artists have pieces that might be interesting in themselves, the curating led to confusion on why the works were being presented together. It is the artists connection to ACRE Residency is the only real thing that ties the work together.

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PHYSICAL INFORMATION- Closing event March 28th! @7PM

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A curatorial event hosted at DfbrL8r by: KENDALL MARTIN BABL
Closing event performance by AUDRA WOLOWIEC

“In order for us to apprehend it, information must participate in a form. In the forming of matter into an art-thing, and in the performing of matter within a duration, we create the possibility for information to be sensed. Physical Information brings together artists who prioritize the inquiry into ways that the physical state of a work can be reciprocal with its information”

1463 West Chicago Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60642

A Gathering- Closing soon at Comfort Station

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Last chance to catch SAIC MFA Painting & Drawing work by Kittisak Chontong at Comfort Station!

Exhibition Dates: March 7th – March 29th
Curated by Olivia Junell

A Gathering brings four 2014 ACRE residents together in the month of March to display new works created in the aftermath of their ACRE residency: Kittisak Chontong, Jason Friedes, Jaclyn Jacunski, and Celeste Neuhaus. These artists, none of whom were in residence at the same time, represent the wide scope of ACRE residents, each exploring vastly different topics through diverse material and performative practices.

Whenever works are juxtaposed in a space, connections and threads begin to loosely form and un-form. Artist Lorraine Leeson once put forth that a definition of art might be the “gathering of ideas, people, or things together and holding them together for awhile.” This act of gathering can be found within many of the works presented in this exhibition. However, rather than establishing “gathering” as the applied theme though, it serves more as an invitation: as a visitor, you are invited to gather with these artists and art works, taking them each in individually and weaving your own series of connections or disconnections.

View with a Room @ Heaven Gallery

View With A Room
March 20th ~ May 3rd


Heaven Gallery proudly presents, new paintings by Mika Horibuchi and Dan Rizzo-Orr in View with a Room.

Horibuchi and Rizzo-Orr are painters who understand painting’s ability to deliver a picture; they know too that the window of space a painting depicts is but an ephemeral illusion. Rather than despair at painting’s difficult ontology, these two artists revel in the space between painterly picture and contemporary art object.

Rizzo-Orr simultaneously seduces with both articulated figures and gestural marks while Horibuchi glides between geometric abstraction and trompe l’oeil painting. Each work in View with a Room showcases this painterly range. The singularity of their practices dissolves into a shared interest in the abstract illusions. Working together in a single studio, their seemingly disparate images reveal the unexpected possibilities that may shift across a painting’s surface. This is their View with a Room.

Both Mika Horibuchi and Dan Rizzo-Orr are Chicago-based artists and hold BFA degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Horibuchi was born in 1991 in San Francisco, CA and Rizzo-Orr was born in 1989 in Phoenix, AZ

Northwestern MFA Open Studios

Come see 10 artists and their studios at the Northwestern MFA Open Studios on Sunday:

Lilli Carré
Emily Cruz Nowell
Max Guy
Erin Hayden
Angela Lopez
Laura McGinn
Daniel Stephen Miller
William Schweigert
David Sprecher
Rambod Vala

Max Guy

Max Guy

Sunday March 1, 2015, 3pm–7pm
Basement Level
Locy Hall
Evanston, IL 60208

This Friday! Michael Milano- fit, fold, and finish @Fernwey

Fernwey Gallery
916 N Damen Ave., Chicago,  IL 60662
Feb. 20th 6-9pm
MICHAEL MILANO is an artist and writer, living and working in Chicago. He received a MFA from the Fiber and Material Studies department at the SAIC, and a BA in Humanities from Shimer College. He has shown at Devening Projects, Roots & Culture, threewalls, Peregrine Program, Adds Donna, and the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, and has written for Surface Design, Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture, and Bad At Sports. He is also a member of the artist collective/study/exhibition space Adds Donna.