All posts tagged: SIFC

Review: “Resilient Images” at the Hyde Park Art Center

Resilient Images confronts the viewer before one even walks through the gallery’s door. Look up slightly, and you will see Justine Pluvinage’s video installation Amazons facing out onto Cornell Avenue from the inside of the building, with its multiple panels of female subjects taking an epic, slow-motion stroll through both greenery and crumbling industrial architecture. If you’re walking with your head down through the bitter temperatures of a typical Chicago winter, you’re likely to miss this introduction entirely. For the artists, though, this might simply be indicative of the sort of resilience they are gesturing towards in their work. This exhibition is the result of a year-long artistic exchange between Hyde Park Art Center and the Centre Regionale de la Photographie Nord—Pas-de-Calais, featuring the artists Justine Pluvinage and David Schalliol. Both artists generated a site-specific work out of their respective residencies without further collaboration or dialogue with the other participant — Pluvinage travelled from France to Chicago to shoot her film, while Schalliol’s work was made in Hauts-de-France. Yet the pieces shown in Resilient Images …

Snapshot: Devil in the Details by Jennifer Cronin

Snapshot is a Sixty column that takes a quick look at art history as it happens in Chicago. We send artists and organizers short and sweet questions to tell us about what they are doing right at this moment. We sent questions to artist Jennifer Cronin, whose exhibit Devil in the Details: A Portrait of Chicago pays heed to the unnoticed, mundane, and yet beautiful facets of Chicago’s urban landscape. The exhibition opens February 7th, 2018 at The Cliff Dwellers with a public reception from 4:30 to 8:30 pm, and is on view through March 30th, 2018 by appointment. Sixty Inches From Center: What was the inspiration for this show? What is your perspective on the city of Chicago that you’d like to share with viewers? Jennifer Cronin: Chicago is my home. When I was a student, I had the opportunity to travel abroad and I had an amazing experience visiting breathtakingly beautiful European cities for the first time in my life. But I also had a very meaningful realization when I returned to Chicago and I saw it with a completely …

Expanding on Relationships with Everyday Items with David Brandon Geeting

  David Brandon Geeting is a Brooklyn-based photographer who has an interest in creating art from mundane, everyday objects.  Geeting moved from his home state of Pennsylvania to New York in order to pursue his BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts, which he completed in 2011.  His photography made its first appearance in Chicago earlier this year while taking part in the group show, Temporal Figuration, at LVL3 Gallery.  Geeting’s work will return again to Chicago and be featured in  November 2 show, Everyday Always Trying, the first show by the new curatorial project, the Coat Check, at David Weinberg Photography in River North.  The show is curated by Matt Avignone and will feature David’s series, Leaky Faucet Metronome. Lydia Shepard (LS): How did you get started with Photography? David Geeting (DG): I grew up in the suburbs of Bethlehem, PA.  It’s one of those places where there isn’t much for teenagers to do.  I played in bands in basements and skateboarded; I was into that scene.  My friends were always taking …

Explorations of Identity, Surroundings, & the World with Hannah Dunsirn

Hannah Dunsirn is a photography student at Columbia College, RAW artist, portrait photographer extraordinaire, and an all-around lovely person.  Hailing from a small town in Northeast Wisconsin, Hannah came to Chicago in 2009 to pursue her love for photography.  Hannah was recently featured at the RAW: Natural Born Artists September showcase, “Ensemble,” where she showed a beautiful series of photographs taken while traveling in India this past summer.  Past projects of hers explore the idea of personal identity and the process of adapting and changing the surrounding environment to one’s own, such as a place of employment.  Hannah is also deeply inspired by travel, as many of her photos reflect the discovery of new places, people and culture.  She has also made a zine featuring her series from India, and plans to continue to make zines in the future.  I met with Hannah at Cafecito in the South Loop, where we both enjoyed a delicious sandwich and chatted.  We discussed how she got started, her inspirations, her time at Columbia, and her plans for the …

Apocalypse 2012/Genesis 2013 // Jackson Junge Gallery

You hear a lot about the end of the world nowadays.  It is everywhere: the end of the Mayan calendar, global warming, and foreign conflict.  The apocalypse is a concept that has fascinated humankind for ages, and continues to captivate the imagination of many. Jackon Junge Gallery, located on Milwaukee Avenue in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area has taken that very concept and turned it in to the premise of their current exhibition, “Apocalypse 2012/Genesis 2013”.  The gallery hosted the show’s opening event on September 14.  The show is co-curated by Chris Jackson, Laura Junge, and Anna Vlaminck, and reflects upon the Mayan calendar along with the Nostradamus prediction that the world will end in 2012.  “Often we try to do a couple of shows a year that tie in with current events,” Chris Jackson, co-owner of the gallery, said about the show.  “We thought it would be interesting to do a group show base on those predictions because they are getting a lot of attention.” The show represents over 30 artists, both from Chicago and …

EXPO CHICAGO // An Interview with Tony Karman

This week, the art world’s glitterati will descend upon Chicago for a new contemporary art fair: Expo Chicago, The International Exposition of Contemporary/Modern Art & Design. Occupying Navy Pier’s colossal Festival Hall, the fair showcases a selection of top tier galleries—capped at 100—from around the globe. Also included are EXPOSURE, a section comprising younger galleries; IN/SITU, a presentation of large-scale installations and site-specific and performative works; the conclusion of /Dialogues, a series of panel discussions and conversations; and a VIP Program. Designed by the architecture studio of luminary Jeanne Gang, the fair’s floor plan mimics Chicago’s grid system, boasting gallery-lined streets that allow visitors to view everything in sequence without losing their way, as well as a diagonal avenue on which visitors can view select exhibits and installations. Hanging from the hall’s high ceilings are mammoth mirrored cones. While many may be curious as to whether Chicago can live up to the challenge of hosting such an event, some involved in the lively local art scene have a separate concern: Can the fair get out-of-town …

Sixty on Sixty: An Interview with Andrea Sparr-Jaswa

In the wake of her 30th birthday, I joined Andrea Sparr-Jaswa in her beautifully decorated Logan Square apartment. Andrea is a long time resident of the neighborhood and a contributing writer to the Chicago Arts Archive.   Amidst bites of fudge cake, we chatted about Andrea’s academic background, and her opinions on art, Chicago, and orbital sanders. Sixty on Sixty is a new series in which SIFCers interview one another, allowing readers to get to know the fine folks who bring you the latest from Chicago’s art scene. Tell me a bit about your educational background.  How did you get involved with art history and writing for the arts? I went to college for a while, changing my majors and trying to figure out what I wanted to do.  Art history was always the class that I wouldn’t miss, even if it was at 8 AM.  I always liked writing the papers, and I always enjoyed doing the work.  It always seemed so fascinating to me. For a while I pushed against it, because I …

People Don’t Like to Read Art || [and they’re missing out]

Honestly, people don’t like to read in general. Art, specifically? From Jenny Holzer’s aphorisms projected throughout New York City to Kay Rosen’s recent Go Do Good installations in Chicago’s Loop, text-based art tends to grab viewers’ attention due to its relatively brazen nature. Contemporary art that is purely image-based is often met with objections of “I don’t get it,” or “Well, maybe the artist statement will explain this.” For those in search of a quick answer, text can provide that instant gratification. The written word, however, doesn’t always make things simpler, as Western Exhibitions’ latest show illustrates. With pieces that extend beyond the short phrases pervasive in contemporary art—guests are invited to peruse full-length novels, among other items—People Don’t Like to Read Art stretches the function of the gallery space and explores ways in which one can establish a more intimate connection with art. After attending the exhibition’s opening reception on July 9, I spoke with gallery director Scott Speh about the show and asked the artists for further insight into their works. People Don’t Like to …

File Types: An Interview with Chaz Evans and Lorelei Stewart

File Type is a show currently on view at Gallery 400, which attempts to move beyond the general realm of “digital art” into a more nuanced exploration of the many iterations of commonly used files types such as .jpg, .pdf and .tiff. I had a chance to meet up with the curators of the show, Chaz Evans and Lorelei Stewart, at Gallery 400. We discussed the relevance of approaching new media with more specificity and I was able to uncover some of the ideas the artists were working with and the not-so-visible expressions of file type within their work. Jennifer Nalbantyan: First, can you both tell me a little bit of your background with Gallery 400 and how long you’ve been curating? Chaz Evans: This will be the first show that I’ve been able to participate in in a curatorial capacity at Gallery 400. I got my MA in Art History and I’m currently in the MFA program [at UIC] for New Media Art –I have one year left. I also work for Gallery 400. …

Teenage Blockbuster

On Friday June 18th, Marwen, a non-profit youth art center in River North, held its opening exhibition for the Marwen Lab program. A three-year-old program, it is offered to Marwen students who wish to work on a single art project over the course of three 8-week terms. Open to Marwen’s most advanced high schoolers, students must apply and be accepted into the program. Speaking with each of the students, I was reminded of the unique power of high school art: it expresses what it’s like to be a teenager. Though the pieces in the show were inspired by a wide variety of themes, certain students honed in on the high school experience. The charged, powerful emotions of adolescence were the focus of Afiya Hudgins’ works. Meanwhile, Henry Novak was inspired by the anxiety related to making that first big move from home to college. Overall, the pieces were breathtaking and sophisticated. The Marwen Lab instructors were amazed, as well, “I’ve never been so proud and so impressed by a student exhibition.  And they were clearly …

Hyde Park Public Art (5 of 5)

In a recent phone conversation, Olivia Gude of the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) expressed her opinion that when a site-specific piece of art needs repair, Americans take on an “either/or” mentality. The piece will either be restored or destroyed. In older areas of the world, a third alternative has been commonplace for centuries: adding something new to an older structure. Take the Basilica of St. Peter as an example. Begun by Michelangelo in the Renaissance, it was expanded and tweaked by other great architects as styles changed over time.  Recently, I have to admit I fell into the binary thinking that Gude has described. When reading the text next to The Spirit of Hyde Park mural at 57th Street and Lake Park Boulevard, I became confused.  “Restored and reinterpreted by CPAG,” it read. What did reinterpreted mean in the context of public art? Weren’t murals simply painted over or touched up over time? Taking in the wall, a mix of styles was evident. Bold, abstract patterns mingled with realistic depictions of students and protestors …