Monday, May 17, 2010

Adventures in Chicago

I have just returned from an art-packed trip to Chicago for the opening of "A New Angle: Portrait Group Show," at the Schneider Gallery, where two of my triptychs are on display along with work by Jennifer Greenburg, Ursula Sokolowska, and Jowhara AlSaud.

The opening was absolutely wonderful, and I got the chance to meet Ursula Sokolowska and Jennifer Greenburg in person, though sadly Jowhara AlSaud wasn't able to make it. I was also thrilled to meet Martha Schneider, the gallery's Director, and Jennifer DeCarlo, the Assistant Director, after many months of friendly e-mail exchanges. I also had the great privilege of meeting Dawoud Bey, whose work I greatly admire. Below are photos from the show and opening as well as photographs of each artist's work.

Outside of the gallery

My two photographs

Me at the gallery

Ursula Sokolowska's photographs

Jowhara AlSaud's photographs

Jennifer Greenburg's photographs

Me and Anna at the opening

Jennifer and I at the opening

Me and Martha at the opening

Ursula talking with guests

Kevin Malella, a photographer represented by the Schneider Gallery, at the opening

I had been so busy preparing for this show that I hadn't given a great deal of thought to just how much there is to see in Chicago. I visited the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and saw Anish Kapoor's "Cloud Gate" in Millennium Park. I was amazed by how much public sculpture there is around the city, especially around the park and loop area. Below are a few images from Cloud Gate as well as another shot taken in the park.

One highlight was visiting Columbia College and the Museum of Contemporary Photography. The school and museum both seem to be amazing places with a lot of great energy. At the museum, I saw Sarah Pickering's exhibition "Incident Control," which I found fascinating. I'm not scared of many things, but I am afraid of fire. Sarah's images are frightening, but my reaction to them was mixed and complicated, knowing that the fires were set intentionally for the purpose of study. Or, in the case of the explosion images, knowing that the bombs were dropped intentionally and presumably, safely. Her images of constructed cities built to train the British Police Service are equally as alarming, both in their sense of fake reality as well as their heavily imbued sense of class and socio-economic status. The museum's website says the following about Sarah's work:

"Ultimately Pickering’s photographs raise questions about the efficacy of preparedness and hint at the psychological effort needed to combat and recover from trauma—the struggle to live with the anxiety that can accompany security."

There was also an exhibit by artists Geissler/Sann called "The Real Estate," where the artists photographed foreclosed homes around Chicago, which I found intellectually interesting but not as emotionally moving.

Another major highlight was visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, where I saw the William Eggleston show as well as a great deal of the permanent collection. There was also a wonderful photography exhibit called "In the vernacular," which "presents the work of artists who chose instead to strategically use photography’s everyday forms as a source of inspiration, consciously appropriating, reworking, and interrogating the aesthetics, content, and means of distribution associated with vernacular photography. Photographs by Walker Evans, Andy Warhol, Lee Friedlander, Cindy Sherman, Martin Parr, Nikki S. Lee, and others represented in the Art Institute’s permanent collection challenge us to reevaluate the impact, value, and status of the photographs we encounter in our daily lives." (description taken from the museum's website)

And, I couldn't resist snapping a photo of these wonderful paintings:

At the Art Institute of Chicago

All in all, it was a fantastic trip full of art! I'm looking forward to going back to Chicago again soon.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats Jess! Sounds like a great experience.