The Stolbun Collection launched it’s Summer Exhibition Series 2015 with current MFA grad, Hyegyeong “G” Choi last week. The Stolbun Collection exists in an apartment building overlooking the Chicago River, with views of the Lake Michigan, and surround architectural gems. Choi’s work was installed in the bedroom and one piece in the bathroom of the apartment.
Choi’s work expresses her turbulent past sexual experiences and current relationships to men through her paintings. She uses bright colors, sculptural elements, and various paint mediums to confront the viewer with her content. By having the work in the pristine apartment environment, Choi’s work came to the fore. With the natural light pouring into the bedroom, the viewer is able to see the nuanced, painterly strategies that Choi employs, where she might perhaps sneak in a secret glossy phallic form that can only be seen in proper lighting.
With Choi’s work specifically, the space is not just a bedroom exhibiting the work, it acts as an entire installation where one can consider the bed as an object in relation to the paintings. We can then ask whose room is this? Who wakes up to these paintings? Is this the bed where the activity in these paintings take place? Probably not, but it is fun to think as such. Choi has often expressed that her paintings explore ideas about sexual desire and how she can subvert and pervert these desires. In this show, I enjoy pondering over the person who “owns” these paintings and perhaps lives his or her desires vicariously through Choi’s painted perversions.
Self Sex in Sauna, 2015
The Juicy Man, 2015
The Art Institute of Chicago recently unveiled two sculptures by Liz Larner, X (2013) and 6 (2010-2011) on the Bluhm Family Terrace. X is a claw-like sculpture, reminiscent of those in a claw vending machine in an arcade, made of glorious, polished chrome. 6 is more linear in structure and form, painted white, tan, and lavender. Both sculptures sit atop a wooden platform, which not only establishes a ground for the work, but also creates a visual break from the surrounding grey architecture.
With these pieces in such close proximity to Millenium Park, it is difficult to ignore X’s relationship to Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate. The relationship is brought closer with X’s rounded shape and chrome material, as well as the way in which the viewer can experience the piece. One can contemplate and engage with this piece’s negative space and appreciate it’s material quality. 6’s liner quality is reminiscent of playground apparatus, but here is slightly slumped and not functional. Again, Larner’s sculptures suggest an engagement with the body, specifically that of an evoked curiosity and play.
As the Chicago skyline and Millenium Park as the backdrop to Larner’s pieces, the audience can experience the work from a number of different vantage points. The sculptures demand a physical engagement, which can be interpreted as play or dance in this viewing experience. The exhibition comes at a great time, to activate the terrace and engage audiences in warmer weather
April 16 – July 3
30 E. Lake St., 11th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
Join the Artist for a Public Reception
Thursday, April 16 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
“chapters: making the invisible visible
is a photography project that evolved out of a need to recognize and archive historical events and places that have that have subsequently, in most cases, been forgotten or removed. The project reveals the constructive steps that contributed in the inner transformation of class, economic and racially marginalized communities – communities that created “survival programs” reclaiming a sense of historical lineage, self-determination and spiritual healing. This phenomenon of the late 1960s and early 1970s prompted, in many circumstances, government and private industry to be complicit in exploiting those same communities without accountability.”
Currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art is the first retrospective of artist, Doris Salcedo. While the show is impressive in scope and quantity, the quantity is the very reason why the show deflates itself. The work is quiet, surpassing poetry, to the point of mute.
The consideration of the MCA space is thorough; the lights are dimmed to Salcedo’s specifications, the doorways throughout the exhibit were narrowed, and sightlines among the works were considered from different angles of approach. It was only during the curator’s walk through that some of these careful and important decisions were revealed. When I first went to the show, I felt that the work was too big for the space.
The most successful works were the pieces I discovered on my own, the ones that did not confront me. In the Untitled works gallery with cabinets and other furniture filled with concrete, in the corner away from the larger pieces, there is one side table (number 16 in the exhibition catalogue). Actually, it is two side tables, merged together with a comparably thin slab of concrete. It functions and acts the same way that the large cabinets do, without the imposing weight. There was something special about this piece, away from its brother and sister works. My back was turned away from the rest of the gallery and I was able to experience it in its isolation. Interestingly enough, this piece is the only work in the gallery that from the collection of the artist. Other times that struck me were the moments of discovery in the work – finding a button or a bone or a zipper, imbedded in the wooden furniture sculptures.
With such succinct and deliberate curation, making the viewer feel the weight of Salcedo’s scultpures and installation, the pamphlets, for this viewer, seemed unnecessary. The writing brings up interesting questions about mediation – do we the audience need to read about it to know how to feel? Is the curation too authoritative for a subjective experience?