THE INDEPENDENT VOICE OF THE VISUAL ARTS
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July/August 2017 (May/June issue PDF is available on our Archive page.)
Special Section: THREE TOP SUMMER ART READS
July/August Print Edition Cover
Remarkable Curator’s Life Begets Sparkling Memoir
By Tom Mullaney
It was major art world news when noted contemporary art curator and museum director, Walter Hopps, died in March, 2005. His passing was featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Art in America. The Post obituary termed him “a sort of gonzo museum director…outlandish in his range, jagged in his vision, heedless of rules.”
Seven Artists Who Languished in the Shadows
By Elizabeth Hatton
Donna Seaman’s poignantly titled, “Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists,” is a bold exploration of the work and lives of seven female visual artists who lived and created in the 20th century. And were largely overlooked by galleries, museums and the art press.
Theaster Gates, Today’s Superstar
By Bruce Thorn
Phaidon Press published “Theaster Gates” in 2015, the phenomenal breakout year for Gates during which he participated in the Venice and Istanbul Biennales, presented a motivational TED Talk, had a solo exhibition at London’s White Cube, opened his first public project in the UK, won an Artes Mundi Award (Wales) and took center stage at the Hirshorn Museum’s 40th anniversary gala. The book is not exactly new, but now that all the hype has died down a little this might be a good time to get a better understanding of what Theaster Gates is all about.
What’s This Social Practice Art Thing?
An Interview with Artist Paul Druecke
by Tom Mullaney
Paul Druecke, a Milwaukee conceptual artist who enjoys a national reputation, started the Social Event Archive project in 1997. The Archive is now on display at the Milwaukee Art Museum to mark the 20th anniversary of an event that questioned how social interactions are captured on film, shared and commemorated.
The Changing World of
Alternative Art Spaces in Chicago
By Michel Ségard
Chicago has had a long history of alternative art spaces. But not much has been written about them in recent years. Patrick Putze wrote a piece about them in 2013, published in “Arts & Culture.” Since then many of the spaces he featured have closed and new ones have emerged. It is time to take a fresh look at this community and how it is doing.
Jim Dine, “Looking at the Present”
By Bruce Thorn
Richard Gray Gallery opened their new Chicago warehouse gallery space May 2, 2017 with a very ambitious Jim Dine exhibition consisting mostly of large-scale figurative abstractions. There were nine paintings, all completed in 2016, one polychromed sculpture cast in 2015 and a poem scrawled graffiti style on an outdoor concrete wall. This warehouse space is now the most impressive commercial gallery space in Chicago…
“Robert Frank: Photos”
at the Art Institute of Chicago
By Amanda Lancour
“The Americans,” Robert Frank’s iconic suite of photos taken on a 1957 cross-country road trip is a landmark in the history of photography. A critic for the Guardian called it “perhaps the most influential photography book of the 20th century.” However, that is not the reception Frank received when he first showed his revolutionary images.
Arlene Shechet “In the Meantime”
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
By Bruce Thorn
“In the Meantime” is Arlene Shechet’s first solo exhibition in Chicago. Corbett vs. Dempsey presents ten sculptures made primarily with glazed ceramics, wood, concrete and steel. Shechet works with a fondness for process and material qualities; things do not disguise themselves, there are no pretensions: clay forms behave as clay forms, glazes look like glazes, wood looks like wood and steel doesn’t pretend to be anything but steel. But on a different level, the artist works at making sure that the forms offered are indefinable, unknowable open questions and mysteries. …