You are here: Home // Curators, Editorial, Exhibitions, Programming, Spaces // Pride of Chicago – “Re:Chicago” at the New DePaul Art Museum

Pride of Chicago – “Re:Chicago” at the New DePaul Art Museum

With the summer sun still shining but now accompanied by that new autumn chill, Saturday September 17th proved to be the perfect museum day, and the perfect day for the new DePaul Art Museum’s opening. Tucked next to the “L” stop hub of Fullerton, the DePaul Art Museum opened its doors to reveal a lovely space with white walls, hardwood floors, and plenty of natural light. The new three-story building includes space for class use, programs, and events, while a second floor bay window facing the Fullerton “L” provides a venue for the museum to interact and communicate with commuters through messages and artworks.

photo courtesy of DePaul University

The opening exhibit titled “Re:Chicago” focuses on the visual arts of Chicago as the city moves toward framing itself as an artistic center. Hoping to escape from being deemed a ‘Second City’ concerning the visual arts, this exhibit was shaped by 41 members of the Chicago arts community. “We wanted to explore how reputations are made, and also give attention to how art is seen and talked about,” said Museum Director Louise Lincoln. “People understand art in a lot of different ways. If you’re a collector, you see it differently from how a scholar would see it. It’s all about the interaction between the viewer and the work.” Critics, scholars, professors, curators, collectors, and journalists were all asked to name an artist from Chicago “who is famous, ought to be famous, or is no longer famous”.

The results rendered a show of multifarious works, with each piece unique to each artist, and with the variety of pieces come a variety of mediums – drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, photograph, and installations. “The exhibition certainly has some surprises,” Lincoln said. “But the list of who’s included is complex, and I like that.” Accompanying each piece is a written commentary by a member of the Chicago arts community about their chosen artist – each small bio is as varied as the artist’s work.

Attendees viewing Shane Huffman's "I'm Not an Alchemist, but I Do Work in Metals" (2011) photo courtesy DePaul University

The diversity of mediums, styles, and subjects made for an engaging viewing. With more abstract works contrast to realist in one space, and sculptures contrasted to photographs in another, each room seemed coordinated to both contrast and compliment the other works in each space. The myriad of artist’s styles was evident through the uniqueness of each work, yet there was a sense of a unity throughout that was strengthened by the accompanied wall texts.

Upon entering the new art museum, you are welcomed with Years, Years Later, in Weeks (2011), a site-specific installation by Marie Krane Bergman and her collaborators Cream Co. Paint was dripped down threads hanging from the ceiling and when dried were arranged in a nearly imperceptible reduction of color. The result is an almost dizzying translation of time, change, and representation, but in a delicate and lovely way. Upstairs you will find Nick Cave’s Soundsuit (2010), a mixed media piece reminiscent of a celebratory or ritualistic costume. Standing unanimated, Cave’s Soundsuit still gives the impression of great possibility once worn. In the next room look for a work from found artist Henry Darger, 2 at Cedermine…/15 at Battle of Norma Catherine (n.d.). Framed between two plates of glass in the center of the room, these watercolor and graphite illustrations are taken from one of his epic novels about the trials and tribulations of the seven Vivian sisters.

"Re:Chicago" photo courtesy DePaul University

“Re:Chicago” examines the careers and artistic reputations of Chicago artists for over more than a century. The artists range from well-known to found, from the early 1900s to the present, but all are the first to occupy the space of the new DePaul Art Museum – and who better to fill the new space than those born and/or bred in the great (‘first’) city of Chicago.

“Re:Chicago” will be shown at the new DePaul Art Museum through March 4, 2012.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Copyright © 2010 Sixty Inches From Center, All rights reserved.