Archive for November, 2007

CAC Perspectives: Can Modern Art and Religion Get Along?

The December issue of Chicago Artists’ News contains another installment of “Perspectives,” a column in which invited artists, critics, gallerists, and other art-world figures weigh in on an issue or phenomenon that has caught their attention.

This month, James Elkins of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago addresses what he takes to be the “largest issue in art education”: the lack of dialogue between contemporary art and religion. We’d like to know what ArtStyle readers think about this issue. Is there space for genuine religious content in contemporary art? Or is contemporary art inimical to sincere religious expression? How might art writing accommodate religion? What exactly accounts for the gap between modern art and religion?

Jeremy Biles, Editor
Chicago Artists’ News

Bridging the Gap Between Modern Art and Religion
by James Elkins

As a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I've noticed that art students who make work with religious or spiritual significance often can't get interesting criticism. Their instructors will often shy away from religious or spiritual themes, and talk instead about safe things like color and form. At the professional level, if artists make work that is infused with religious themes, they typically cannot get shows in the main art galleries, or places in biennales or art fairs.

Piss Christ
Andres Serrano, Piss Christ, 1987, Cibachrome, silicone, plexiglass, wood frame 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm); framed: 65 x 45 1/8 inches (165.1 x 114.6 cm) ASE/N-42-A-PH. Courtesy of the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery.

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Dear ArtStyle: Venice Dreams

Clothesline 1

Dear ArtStyle,

I have returned from Italy without sending you a postcard as I had hoped.

I plowed through the Venice Biennale for two days, spent a week in Florence, and ended up driving around in Tuscany. I was simply too over stimulated — taking in art, old and new, by the urban and natural environment, by the way of life, the food, the people — to sit down and focus on one thing.

It is Thanksgiving weekend, and I thought I would send something that would be easily digested.

I have picked out what have become my favorite images from the trip: the clotheslines of Venice. My dream is to import this custom to Chicago!


Clothesline 2

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Q&A with Matt Harris: Not Your Typical Ceramist

Bourgeois Tomb Guardian

ArtStyle: Where were you born and where did you grow up?

Matt Harris (MH): I was born in Blacksburg, Virginia, raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, and then my family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where I attended high school as well as completing my undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin.
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Interview with Edra Soto: Taking Chances

Documentation. Courtesy of the artist.

Edra Soto, a Chicago artist born in Puerto Rico, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has shown extensively in the Chicago area, nationally, and internationally. She is a mixed-media, installation, and performance artist, as well as a teacher and curator.
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CAC Perspectives: Chuck Thurow on the Death of Artists

The Chicago Artists’ Coalition is pleased to introduce its first contribution to ArtStyle Blog with an article from Chuck Thurow, Executive Director of the Hyde Park Art Center. The Chicago Artists' News, the CAC's monthly paper, has a new feature called “Perspectives,” in which established artists, critics, and other art-world figures pinpoint and analyze art-related practices and developments that have caught their attention, with the aim of eliciting discussion about those phenomena.

In this article, which appeared as a “Perspectives” column in the November issue of Chicago Artists’ News, Chuck raises the question of how to facilitate arts patronage in Chicago so that artists can flourish.

We want to hear from you with your thoughts about the state of arts patronage in Chicago. How can artist-patron relationships be established and maintained? How might the arts patronage community be democratized? And what role should critical art writing — in newspapers, journals, or blogs — play in all of this? As with all future contributions, we would look forward to your responses to the issues raised in this column, so please don’t hesitate to join in the conversation.

Jeremy Biles, Editor
Chicago Artists’ News

Roger Brown, Mothra At Inner Circle Drive, 1988, o/c, 48 x 72″.
Courtesy of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
and the Brown family. © SAIC

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