Visual Art

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

John Lewis's struggle for civil rights continues in March: Book Two

Posted By on 03.25.15 at 02:00 PM

Congressman John Lewis holds a copy of March, Book 2, the second volume of his graphic memoir of his years as a civil rights activist. A comic book about Martin Luther King inspired him to join the movement.
  • AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
  • Congressman John Lewis holds a copy of March, Book 2, the second volume of his graphic memoir of his years as a civil rights activist.
In October of 2013, 73-year-old Congressman John Lewis was arrested on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. during a rally to spur action on an immigration bill. It was hardly the first time that the Georgia Democrat had been picked up for nonviolent civil disobedience. More than 40 incarcerations dot the civil rights advocate’s record, and some of them are chronicled with great care in March: Book Two, the second volume of his poignant black-and-white graphic memoir trilogy, drawn by Arkansas-born comics artist Nate Powell, with writing and editing support from congressional aide Andrew Aydin.

In the dense and accelerated March: Book Two, Powell, who has tackled weighty issues with hallucinatory artwork in his pre-March graphic novels Swallow Me Whole and Silence of Our Friends, re-creates vicious battles with police and aggressive white mobs.

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Soul Summit's broken record is target practice on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 03.25.15 at 07:00 AM

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ARTIST: Scott Williams
SHOW: the Soul Summit DJs with Rich Medina, Sloppy White, Dave Mata, and Duke Grip at Double Door on Sat 3/21
MORE INFO: scottwilliamsdesign.com

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Shakers' strikingly modern design arrives in Chicago

Posted By on 03.24.15 at 03:00 PM

Shaker chairs on pegs
  • courtesy LUMA
  • Shaker chairs on pegs
Of all the religious sects in the world, there is probably none more American than the United Society of Believers, or Shakers, who combined mysticism and a utopian vision with Yankee ingenuity, talent for entrepreneurship and PR, and excellent design sense. The Loyola University Museum of Art is currently showing three exhibits of their art, music, furniture, and architecture, collectively known as "Shaker in Chicago," the first major exhibit of Shaker art, architecture, and artifacts here.

"The Shakers wanted to recreate what they thought heaven on Earth would be," says Pam Ambrose, the museum's director. "That was one of the tenets of Shakerism." It also provides the title for the first of the three exhibits, "As it is in heaven," which features Shaker art and music from the mid-1800s, the so-called "Era of Manifestations" when both Shaker membership and mysticism were at their height.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015

The food at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art really rocks

Posted By on 03.21.15 at 08:00 AM

This breakfast rocks.
  • Courtesy of the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
  • This breakfast rocks.

Every so often we ask you to show us something. This week it's Sylvia Josefek's food-shaped rocks.

"The Rock Cafe" is serving up some seriously solid foods at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art through June 7. Among the three meals on display is the "Paul Bunyan breakfast," which includes bacon made of onyx marble, sunny-side up eggs, the yolks of which are Mexican onyx, and a side of aragonite grits. For a midday snack: fruit salad (more Mexican onyx), cheese (feldspar), and to wash it all down a glass of ice water (calcite stands in for the cubes). The decadent dinner course consists of caviar (black onyx) with crackers (quartzite), steak (petrified wood), spinach souffle (jasper), and a dessert of gelatin squares (fluorite).

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chicago comics artist Lucy Knisley talks about storytelling, growing old, and cruises

Posted By on 03.18.15 at 01:00 PM

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  • Fantagraphics Books
About three years ago, when she was 27 and single and awaiting the publication of her second book, the graphic memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, comics artist Lucy Knisley had the opportunity to do some traveling. She spent one September in Europe, speaking at a comics conference, visiting friends, and having a sweet but doomed relationship with a Swedish man who lived on a commune. Six months later, she accompanied her grandparents on a Caribbean cruise as their caretaker. On both trips, as she does whenever she travels, Knisley kept a detailed travel journal in pictures.

Afterward, when she looked at the two journals, she realized the trips were mirror images of each other: one about freedom and exploration and possibility, the other about responsibility and confinement and mortality. Now they've been published as companion travelogues: An Age of License, about the Europe trip, came out last September, while Displacement, about the cruise, appeared last month. Together, the books recreate a very particular stage of life. "You're at loose ends," Knisley summarizes. "You're flailing. You feel like, 'I am on Mars right now.'"

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Of Montreal becomes a roadside attraction in the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 03.18.15 at 07:00 AM

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ARTIST: Daniel MacAdam
SHOW: Of Montreal and Deerhoof at Metro on Fri 3/13
MORE INFO: crosshairchicago.com

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Artist Doris Salcedo discusses her MCA retrospective

Posted By on 03.13.15 at 04:02 PM

Thou-less by Doris Salcedo
  • Ute Brunzel, © MHK
  • Thou-less by Doris Salcedo
When in the presence of Doris Salcedo's artwork, it should be understood that though the pieces were created and overseen by Salcedo, the work isn't exclusively hers. The stainless-steel fused chairs of Thou-less or the encased shoes within the gallery walls of Atrabiliarios don't really belong to her—they belong to the countless individuals she's interviewed, as well as the thousands who have suffered from a war-torn country. They belong to human beings, and all those who have withstood heartbreak and death.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Catfish and the bottle of love potion on the gig poster of the week

Posted By on 03.11.15 at 07:00 AM

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ARTIST: Les Herman
SHOW: Catfish & the Bottlemen and Wild Party at Schubas on Tue 2/24
MORE INFO: leslieherman.com

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

With Lens 2015, the world comes to Evanston's Perspective Gallery

Posted By on 03.10.15 at 03:30 PM

The winning entry: Catrina with Prey by Jill Flyer
  • courtesy Perspective Gallery
  • The winning entry: "Catrina with Prey" by Jill Flyer
The Perspective Gallery may be a small collective of 19 photographers located in Evanston, but it's had no shortage of interest in Lens, its annual juried photography exhibition, now in its fifth year. Lens 2015 received submissions from more than 180 entrants, says gallery board member Chris Schneberger, about one-tenth of which were from overseas.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Sex workers exhibit their art to raise awareness

Posted By on 03.06.15 at 09:00 AM

Painting by Stella Rosen
  • Painting by Stella Rosen
In honor of International Sex Workers' Rights Day, the Sex Worker Outreach Project of Chicago (SWOP Chicago) is hosting an art show this Friday, March 6.

The exhibit focuses on portraits of sex workers in a variety of mediums: paintings, photographs, performance pieces, film, sculpture, and musical compositions. All of the art was created by current and former sex workers, as well as people working in the adult industries. Sex work, as SWOP Chicago's website defines it, is "any type of labor where the explicit goal is to produce a sexual or erotic response in the client."

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Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Power Goes Museum of Contemporary Art
March 20
Galleries & Museums
The Secret Lives of Objects Chicago History Museum
March 21

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