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EXPO CHICAGO/2014
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JUNE // IN REVIEW


 

UNBOUND: CONTEMPORARY ART AFTER FRIDA KAHLO // MCA
by Hiba Ali

Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo hails Frida’s role as a harbinger of art and politics of the present. Her practice is encapsulated through current cultural politics and the performativity of gender – depictions of the body in this exhibition could be seen as acted upon by politics, and the industrial practices that spawned globalization. Kahlo’s first exhibition in the United States was at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in 1978, and so it is quite fitting that a context of contemporary art framed after her revolutionary legacy in Unbound should follow suit.
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MLADEN STILINOVIĆ // WHITE ABSENCE
by Heather Findling

The aftermath of war lingers through a visual expression of pain and silence in the current exhibition at Galerie Martin Janda titled, Mladen Stilinović: White Absence. Each piece in the show is ethereal and fragile. Considering all of the pieces at one glance, a convergence occurs between artwork and wall, forming a surreal compositional grouping that encourages a reassessment of where the art begins and ends.
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CHGO DSGN // CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER
by F. Philip Barash

Valicenti walked into the city’s offices carrying bound, 200-page books bursting with images. “Let’s start at the end,” he said. “Let’s pretend the exhibit happened and here’s your catalog.” The effect of the catalog prototype, and of the exhibition CHGO DSGN, now on view at the Cultural Center, is cumulative. The exhibition comprises work from more than 100 Chicago-based designers and spans decades.
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TARA DONOVAN // PACE GALLERY
by Nadiah Fellah

The scent of Tara Donovan’s recent work precedes any sight of it as viewers enter Pace Gallery’s New York space. The distinct, woodsy scent of paper overpowers the galleries, and becomes stronger upon approaching the columnar structure of her large, Untitled sculpture, created entirely from stacked index cards. In many ways, the earthy odor the work emits is appropriate, given the organic forms that the stacked cards simulate. Towering to a height of nearly thirty feet, and positioned brilliantly under the gallery’s skylights, the structure resembles those that might occur in nature, such as coral reef or stalagmite rock formations.
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MISTAKES HAVE HIDDEN INTENTION // DEVENING PROJECTS + EDITIONS
by Hiba Ali

Disruptions, fissures, and cracks figure largely in the press release for Mistakes Have Hidden Intention, currently on view at devening projects + editions. The work involves the act of displacement through the arrangement of forms. The artists featured in the exhibition are all affiliated with Scotty Enterprises, a gallery project in Kreuzburg, Berlin, that champions alternative approaches to the art market – where an upcoming Chicago-based exchange will also be on view, entitled On Stranger Ways, featuring Allison Wade, Volker Saul, Michael Pfisterer, Sterling Lawrence, and Dan Devening.
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PHYSICAL/ITY // BIAN 2014
by Dominique Moulon

This spring in Montréal was rich in digital arts events. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) welcomed the International Digital Arts Biennial (BIAN), while the Elektra and Mutek Festivals merged under the name EM15 for their fifteenth anniversary. Concurrently, the 7th International Digital Arts Market was held at the Phi Centre.
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PROFILE OF THE CURATOR // GERFRIED STOCKER
by Dominique Moulon

Gerfried Stocker has been the Artistic Director of the Ars Electronica Center in Linz since its opening on the north bank of the Danube in 1996. He co-manages the festival of the same name, which is dedicated to art, technology, and society – below is a transcript of our conversation, mainly about aspirations for a “Museum of the Future,” methods of documentation vs. notation, and the importance of a physical space that houses sometimes non-physical artifacts of new media artwork.
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JIMENEZ LAI // VENICE BIENNALE OF ARCHITECTURE
by Stephanie Cristello

You don’t have to travel to Venice to catch a glimpse of the 2014 Biennale of Architecture. On view now through August, Between Two Boxes: The Interstitial Imaginings of Jimenez Lai is currently installed at Clayco and Forum Studio here in Chicago. The Chicago-based designer’s work is featured in the Taiwanese Pavilion, with a project not unrelated to his local exhibition in Fundamentals, curated by Rem Koolhaas, which just opened the first week of June.
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MINDY ROSE SCHWARTZ // QT
by Stephanie Cristello

What qualities make an object mysterious? It is easy to assume that the affect is a result of the unknowable, or the more auratic, outside forces of the thing at hand. But one could equally say that it is the thing itself, stripped bare of its abstract potentials, its ability to exist without interpretation, without meaning, utterly alien as an object and nothing more, absent of associations that shadow an object in secrecy, and gives us pause. This strange, yet elemental, interpretation of the mysterious is the same world navigated by Mindy Rose Schwartz in her current installation on view at QT Gallery.
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CHICAGO DESIGN MUSEUM // STARTS/SPECULATIONS
by Ann Meisinger

The Chicago Design Museum is a peculiar entity; it is a permanent institution in a semi-permanent location. The space functions as a support base for the design community, and is looking forward to a decidedly non-for-profit future. After several years of itinerant status – doing yearly pop-up exhibitions – the museum opened their 2014 show Starts/Speculations: Graphic Design in Chicago Past and Future while simultaneously celebrating a newly acquired lease on the third floor of the mostly empty downtown mall, Block 37.
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PROFILE OF THE ARTIST // ALBERT MAYR
by Heather Findling

Through a re-contextualization of outdated technological media, Viennese artist Albert Mayr invites his viewers into an awareness of the future, albeit one that is at times unpromising. His work emits a kind of coldness that incorporates disheveled printer paper and computer monitors into his compositions. In a musing of both nostalgia and obsolescence, Mayr’s pieces convey the depersonalized effect technological products have had on our existence – be it through photography, sound, or replicas of traditional artistic tools of creation. His painted, wooden video cameras are in this case just as much aesthetically important as the final video piece produced from them.
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Image up top: Tara Donovan, Untitled, 2014. acrylic and adhesive, 10′ 1/2″ x 14′ 2″ x 12′ 10-3/4″. Courtesy PaceWildestein

 
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For more information about EXPO CHICAGO/2014
visit www.expochicago.com