Hairy Who exhibit captures sixties mood

Jim Nutt. “Miss E. Knows,” 1967. The Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth-Century Purchase Fund. © Jim Nutt.
Jim Nutt. “Miss E. Knows,” 1967. The Art Institute of Chicago, Twentieth-Century Purchase Fund. © Jim Nutt.

There’s an exhibit, actually a divided exhibit, up at the Art Institute of Chicago that humorously and poignantly portrays six artists’ views of the world, of the battles between the sexes and of the troubled sixties.

At first glance you might think that the works of the six artists who comprise the Hairy Who, Jim Falconer, Art Green, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum, all graduates of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, are alike.

Well, yes their style is similar enough to group them together. They gravitate to comic book and advertising colors for their picturesque commentaries. And they enjoyed puns and colorful wordplays.

But when going through the glass doors separating the main entry lobby from the museum,  take a left into print and drawings gallery. You get to know the works of each artist in rooms basically dedicated to his and her prints and drawings.

By the time you head west through the museum to see their finished works in the Rice building you should be able to know whose work you are seeing without looking at the painting ID.

Gladys Nisson "The Great War of the Wonder Women," Watercolor on Graphite on paper. (J Jacobs photo)
Gladys Nisson “The Great War of the Wonder Women,” Watercolor on Graphite on paper. (J Jacobs photo)

The exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of a Chicago show, but in Rice building  the works are primarily grouped by the Hairy Who’s six exhibitions from 1966 to 1969 in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Washington D.C.

Among the best commentaries made on the wall descriptions of each show is one that notes that in San Francisco, the art teachers where the show was held disliked the exhibit but the students understood and loved it.

A phrase in the Art Institute’s online site about the show perfectly sums up the Hairy Who’s messages as “progressive ideas that challenged prevailing notions of gender and sexuality, social mores and standards of beauty, and nostalgia and obsolescence.”

DETAILS: “Hairy Who? 1966-1969” is at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., through Jan. 6, 2019  For hours and admission information visit artic.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Enrico David works get recognition

 

 

Enrico David, "Tools and Toys III"2014 on view at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Photo)
Enrico David, “Tools and Toys III”2014 on view at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA Photo)

When seeing a picture of “Tools and Toys III, 2014, an eye-sculpture sculpture by Italian-born, London-based artist Enrico David, I imagined it was life-sized.  But upon going through the David exhibit, now up at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, I found it to be 23 ¼ in. by 20 1/3 in. by 3 in., thus small compared to several other works in the gallery. But it was definitely significant.

“Tools and Toys III” is a human figure of jesmonite and graphite that is slightly a tilt, but with copper prongs radiating out in all directions as a field of energy.

As seen by the figures that filled the exhibition, David found a variety of choices for artistic and emotional expression in the human body, sometimes elongated, sometimes partnering with other humans and sometimes as unusual variations of the head. But in “Tools” the figure appears mystical.

Enrico David “Untitled” Ombre Rosse), 2017, wool on canvas. (J Jacobs photo)
Enrico David “Untitled” Ombre Rosse), 2017, wool on canvas. (J Jacobs photo)

The large wool on canvas work, “Untitled” Ombre Rosse), 2017, appears to also have either mystical or primeval figures.

Indeed, many of David’s works seem to be either tortured figures or antiquities found in caves or dug in ruins such as “Fortress Shadow” 2014 of jesmonite and patinated steel.

In some cases they may be one figure that has been replicated as if rising such as “The Assuumption of Weee” 2014 or “Ploud Mary”2014 whose figure of celotex, jesomonite, glass fiber and copper has been divided into multiple parts and turned on its side.

Enrico David, "Fortress Shadow" 2014 at MCA Chicago. (Photo by J Jacobs)
Enrico David, “Fortress Shadow” 2014 at MCA Chicago. (Photo by J Jacobs)

“I’ve been following his career for years,” said MCA Chief Curator Michael Darling. “I felt it was the time to do a survey of his work. This is the first large survey of Enrico David in the United States,” Darling said.

I agree. His works are in the collections of the Tate Modern, Hirshorn Museujm and sculpture Garden, Hammer Museum and the MCA but deserve to be more widely known.

DETAILS:  “Enrico David, Gradations of Slow Realease” is at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 220 E. Chicago Ave. through March 10, 2019. For museum hours and admission  call (312) 280-2660 and visit MCAChicago.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Chicago becomes art central last September weekend

 

Visitors at the opening night Vernissage event see Expo Chicago exhibits. (Expo Chicago photo)
Visitors at the opening night Vernissage event see Expo Chicago exhibits. (Expo Chicago photo)

When Art Expo rolls around each year, lots of galleries and art institutions not only participate in the Expo’s Navy Pier events and exhibits, they also hold their own new exhibitions

With so many places taking part as partners ranging from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, The Block Museum of Art and the Elmhurst  Art Museum to the American Writers Museum, Chicago Artists Coalition, Chicago Cultural Center, the Richard H. Driehouse Museum, the Dusable Museum of  African American History and Peninsuala Chicago,(to name just a few) about the only way to fit in all the terrific art and events is to plan ahead. So take a look at what is being offered when.

Art Expo

Held Sept. 27-30, 2018 at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall, Art Expo visitors get to can see works that are making statements in 135 galleries from 63 cities around the globe. For hours and tickets visit tickets.

For a special viewing opening night, Sept. 27, that includes cocktails and benefits a fine Chicago institution see Vernissage.

While at Expo,  look for the large sculptures and hanging works of the In Situ artists including Judy Chicago’s “Cartoon for The Fall from the Holocaust Projgect 1987″ from the Jessica Silverman Gallery of San Francisco and NY.

Try also to take in one of Expo’s informative treats, Dialogues – Symposium on Sept. 28. It is a day-long progam that has a variety of  informative discussions with artists, curators, and other art professionals. Dialogues partners  include theArt Institute of Chicago, Art Design Chicago and Terra Foundation for American Art..

To learn about other fine exhibits and programs by partnering organization and museums visit art week.

One place you don’t go inside but will see if you are near the Merchandise Mart after dark is “Art on the Mart” Sept. 29. Look for an artistic light show on the front of the Mart starting at 6:30 p.m. Wacker Drive will be closed to traffic between Wells and Franklin Streets because of the projections,  a Lantern Procession by Light Up My Arts, food trucks and a DJ.

Jim Nutt "Miss K Knows" at the Art Institute of Chicago in the" Hairy Who" exhibit opening Sept. 26, 2018. (AIC photo)
Jim Nutt “Miss K Knows” at the Art Institute of Chicago in the” Hairy Who” exhibit opening Sept. 26, 2018. (AIC photo)

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Expo weekend is the last chance to see “John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age” which closes Sept. 30. It surprises viewers with the depth of art styles used by Sargent who is best known for his portraits.

But this week is also the opening of “Hairy Who,” another surprising exhibit. The name is attached to a group of six influential Chicago artists known for their unconventional, graphic works.

Museum of Contemporary Art

“Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release” opens at the MCA Chicago Sept. 29 of Expo weekend. Within an easy bus ride from Navy Pier, the show introduces viewers to this Italian-born artist who currently resides in London and has works in such renown institutions as the Tate Modern and Hirshhorn Museum.

The MCA show is the first United States exhibition of Enrico David’s work.

 

Jodie Jacobs

 

 

 

New Chicago Architecture Center definitely worth a visit

 

Chicago city model at Chicago Architecture Center on East Wacker Drive. (Photo by Anthony Tahlier)
Chicago city model at Chicago Architecture Center on East Wacker Drive. (Photo by Anthony Tahlier)

The Chicago Architecture Foundation has moved to a perfectly placed space on Wacker Drive across form the Chicago River and near the starting point of its famed Architecture Boat Tour.

Called the Chicago Architecture Center, the space is more than a good place to pick up tickets for the boat or other tours previously stamped CAF, now CAC.

See the Chicago City Model

On the main floor is the start of a two-level exhibit that contains a room-long model of downtown Chicago basically from the South Loop up to Lincoln Park.

Filled with more than 4.200 buildings that do more than just sit there looking pretty, the city model tells stories.Read More

‘Flesh’ exhibit at Art Institute of Chicago explores Ivan Albright

Ivan Albright. Picture of Dorian Gray, 1943/44. Gift of Ivan Albright. © The Art Institute of Chicago.
Ivan Albright. Picture of Dorian Gray, 1943/44. Gift of Ivan Albright. © The Art Institute of Chicago.

No one looked at the aging process of the human body quite like Chicago artist Ivan Albright (1897–1983). His obsession with the body’s physical decay earned him the well-deserved title, “master of the macabre.”

The Art Institute of Chicago has curated more than 30 Albright in a retrospective called “Flesh,” now showing through August 5, 2018.

Based on Albright’s 1928 “Flesh,” the exhibit covers many of his paintings. They demonstrated every wrinkle, boil and fold of human skin, equally depicting unflattering portraits of men and women.

Albright’s process was painstaking and labored, often taking him many years to complete a work. Some paintings he just gave up on to pursue other projects.

“That Which I Should Have Done I Did Not Do (The Door),” considered his most important work, is a prime example of a painting that took him ten years. But it leaves us with an acknowledgement of life’s brevity and the road often not taken.

Former Indiana University faculty member, Jerry Findley, PhD, said, “This work focuses on moments that humanity finds hard to address –  about regrets and the human experience.”

Albright’s portrayal of the body’s decay led him to his most important commission – painting The Picture of Dorian Gray for the 1945 film of Oscar Wilde’s haunting novel. This hideous, well-detailed portrait captures the essence of Wilde’s “Gray” as he descends into madness.

“The works they selected were excellent choices of Albright’s depiction of flesh of the human body… the vulnerability of time that overtakes all of humanity,” said Findley.

In exploring “the way of all flesh” throughout his career, Albright purposefully pushes the envelope of decency to shock his viewers.

“Flesh” is at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, through Aug. 5, 2018.  For more admission and other information, call (312) 443-3600 and visit AIC/IvanAlbright.

Mira Temkin

 

 

Fun Museum exhibits for summer vacation

 

Find out about how the characters, objects and scenery are created in Pixar movies. (Jodie Jacobs photos)
Find out about how the characters, objects and scenery are created in Pixar movies. (Jodie Jacobs photos except from the MCA)

It’s no accident that Chicago’s museums plan fun exhibits to open right when youngsters are out of school and tourists jam downtown streets.

Recent fruitful pop-ins at a few of the city’s museum’s revealed the following summer bucket list of exhibits. They either just opened or will do so soon. Go because they are perfect for kids or go to satisfy your own curiosity..

A fascinating, hands-on exploration of the “The Science Behind Pixar” used in “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo” opened May 24 at the Museum of Science and Industry. The Shedd Aquarium’s stunning “Underwater Beauty” exhibit that opened May 25 shows off the colors, patterns and movements of more than 100 species.

The Field Museum’s eye-opening “Antarctic Dinosaurs” opened June 15 and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s insightful “I Was Raised on the Internet” opens June 23.

Read More

Four new exhibits worth a look

The Chicago Cultural Center is worth visiting at any time but try to get there to see an exhibit up now that brings back Chicago's musical legacy.
The Chicago Cultural Center is worth visiting at any time but try to get there to see an exhibit up now that brings back Chicago’s musical legacy.

You know Chicago’s heart beats in time to jazz, blues and ragtime and turns dramatic with modern gospel. So a new exhibit, starting this weekend at the Chicago Cultural Center, that brings back the history of the city’s music legacy is an exciting event.

Up north in Glencoe, an important exhibit is going up next weekend at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It paints eye-catching, environmentally-driven botanical stories.

Also next weekend, a world renown painter’s disturbing views of the human condition opens at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Then, another picture of life in Chicago, the good, the bad, the real, opens the following weekend at AIC.

 

“Bronzeville Echoes: Faces and Places of Chicago’s African American Music”

Located in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Garland and Landmark Chicago Galleries, “Bronzeville Echoes” is filled with such artifacts as 1920s records, old sheet music and even a telephone booth. Up April 28, 2018 through Jan. 6, 2019,the exhibit is an excellent way to become acquainted with the city’s musical history. Presented by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, entry is free. The Chicago Cultural Center is at 78 E. Washington St. BTW The building itself is worth a visit. For more information visit DCASE Events.

“Against Forgetting”

The show is a non-forgettable statement by Santa Barbara-based artist Penelope Gottlieb on what is happening in the plant world. The works, representative of the three groups: Extinct Botanicals, Vanishing Series, and Invasive Series, range from vibrant to reflective. The exhibit is up in the Joutras Gallery in Chicago Botanical Garden’s Regenstein Center, May 4 to Aug. 12, 2018. The Chicago Botanic Garden is at 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe. Entry to the Garden is free but there is a parking charge. For more information visit CBG Exhibitions.

“Ivan Albright”

A retrospective of this Chicago native known for his nightmarish paintings will be at the Art Institute of Chicago’s Gallery 273, May 4 through Aug. 5, 2018. Considered controversial, fascinating and macabre, his works made him the perfect artist to have painted “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for the 1945 movie. For more information visit Albright.

Along with visiting old favorite works see a couple of new exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Along with visiting old favorite works see a couple of new exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Never a Lovely So Real: Photography and Film in Chicago 1950-1980”

The exhibit, whose title was taken from a Nelson Algren description of the city in Chicago: City on the Make, opens May 12 at the Art Institute of Chicago. Up in Galleries 1-4, the show reveals different sides of city during the second half of the 20th century. “Never a Lovely So Real” is part of Art Design Chicago sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. It runs through Oct. 28, 2018. The museum’s admission is fee based with some free days and times. The Art Institute of Chicago is at 111 N. Michigan Ave.. For more information  visit ARTIC/exhibition.

Enjoy!

Jodie

 

 

 

Stinky Spike almost ready to leave

Spike the a corpse flower is in the semitropical greenhouse at the Chicago Botanic Garden the last weekend of April 2018. (Photos by Jodie Jacobs)
Spike the a corpse flower is in the semitropical greenhouse at the Chicago Botanic Garden the last weekend of April 2018. (Photos by Jodie Jacobs)

 

Head over to the Chicago Botanic Garden before Spike, a nearly seven-foot tall flower, is moved from the semitropical display greenhouse back to its production home on the grounds.

Called the corpse flower because of its rotting garbage odor when it blooms, Spike’s real designation is Amorphophallus titanium (titan arum).

Spike fully opened to show off its huge flower with burgundy fringe (spathe) and emitted its telltale smell on April 26.

But even though it is now closing and the odor has mostly dissipated, a bit of colorful fringe can still be seen. And, after all, a flower this tall, the largest corpse flower to bloom at the Botanic Garden, is still a site to behold.

“It certainly is something to see. You can still see the burgundy color of its spathe and then turn around and read about it in the posters,” said Botanic Garden outdoor floriculturist Tim Pollak.

“It’s never going to close tightly,” Pollak said. He thought Spike might stay on display through the weekend and possibly move on Monday or early next week.

When moved, it will go dormant then start the cycle over from having its corm (bulb) repotted  to leafing out and regaining the energy needed to bloom.

“Next time it will be big, the corm will be big. This weight was over 100 pounds. Then in three to five years it may bloom again.

With Mother Nature, you don’t know. Spike did try to bloom in August, 2015 but didn’t seem to have enough energy to open.

See this corpse plant in the leaf stage in the tropical greenhouse at the Chicago Botanical Garden.
See this corpse plant in the leaf stage in the tropical greenhouse at the Chicago Botanical Garden.

To see what a corpse flower looks like when leafing, go next door to the tropical greenhouse. The plant looks like a tree and has a number, not a name.

“We don’t name them until they flower,” Pollak said.

Of the 14 titan arum plants in the Botanic Garden’s collection, Sprout, Sunshine, Alice, twins Sumatra and Java and Spike have been named.

However, there are relatives visitors can see when visiting the Botanic Garden such as the anthurium in the tropical greenhouse.

OK, they are not quite so big but we can get anthurium from nurseries and we can find another relative, the Jack-in-the-Pulpit, in the wild.

For more information on Spike visit CBG/Spike. For Chicago Botanic Garden parking and other information call (847) 835-5440 and visit CBS.

Enjoy

Jodie

 

Around Town: Spring tiptoes into early May

 

No matter how dismal April has been (minus one great beach day) Spring is in the air. You know that because organizations and institutions such as the Shedd Aquarium are celebrating Earth Week with a clean-up day April 21, because One of A Kind Spring Show will be back at the Mart with lots of gift ideas for Mother’s Day, friends and family and because it’s time to fly a kite in Lincoln Park.

 

A Glad group clean up a beach. Photo courtesy of Shedd and GLAD
A Glad group clean up a beach. Photo courtesy of Shedd and GLAD

Shedd gets down and dirty for Earth Week  

Shedd, working with a GLAD team (Great Lakes Action Days) is looking for volunteers at some specifically designated beaches from 10:30 a.m.to noon on April 21. For beaches in the program and how to sign up visit GLAD or call (312) 692-3330. You’ll be GLAD you did.  For more Shedd info visit Shedd Aquarium Conservation.

 

Visitors look for gifts for themselves, friends and family at the One of a Kind Spring Show. A One of a Kind Show photo
Visitors look for gifts for themselves, friends and family at the One of a Kind Spring Show. A One of a Kind Show photo

Think art, gifts and craft demonstrations

The One of a Kind Spring Show ® returns to the Merchandise Mart April 27-29, 2018. This year’s show features more than 300 art and gift booths and the Lillstreet Art Center’s demonstrations and hands-on activigties. The Merchandise Mart is at 222 Merchandise  Mart Plaza on the northside of the Chicago River west of Wells Street. For more information visit One of a kind show.

 

Kites fly high over Lincoln Park during Kids and Kites Festival. Photo courtesy of City of Chicago
Kites fly high over Lincoln Park during Kids and Kites Festival. Photo courtesy of City of Chicago

Kites fly on Cricket Hill

Kites will be flying high on Lincoln Park’s Cricket Hill (Montrose and Wilson)May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Lake Shore Drive between Montrose and Wilson). Fine if you have a favorite kite but if not Chicago Kite will be selling kites. Part of the fun though of going is too watch professional kite flying demonstrations with unusual kites. For more information visit Chicago Kids and Kites.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Penguins take limelight at Brookfield Zoo

 

Penguin colony at Brookfield Zoo wear colored ID bands. Chicago Zoological Society photos
Penguin colony at Brookfield Zoo wear colored ID bands. Chicago Zoological Society photos

Listen up Penguin lovers. April 21 is World Penguin Day so Brookfield Zoo is celebrating with special events from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Stop by the Living Coast area where the Humboldt penguins reside. The first 1,000 children to participate in the activities get a World Penguin Day ID wristband similar in color to those the penguins wear. Youngsters can find the matching penguin color on the ID guide at the Living coast’s Rocky Shores habitat.

The penguins will be fed at 10:30 a.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. These are good times to hear about the penguins because there will also be “Zoo Chats” about Brookfield’s penguin colony. Other good times to hang out at their habitat are noon and 1:30 when the staff does enrichment with the penguins and answer visitors’ questions.

To see some penguins paint, be at these “artists’” habitat for their watercolor activity from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. To win one of three paintings made that day, visitors, age 13 or older, can enter a drawing held between 9 a.m. April 11 through 5 p.m. April 25 at CZS.org/PenguinDay. Winners will be announced on the zoo’s Facebook page and website April 26.

A fun activity, is to try walking like a penguin parent who has to balance an egg on the feet to protect it.. Replica eggs will be available and penguin artifacts from volunteers at an information station.

Zoo admission includes Penguin Day activities and is $21.95 adults and $15.95 children aged 3 to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Parking is $14. Brookfield Zoo is at 8400 31st Street, Brookfield. For more information about World Penguin Day at Brookfield Zoo, visit CZS.org/Events or call (708) 688-8000.

Jodie