Archive for the 'Point of View (Opinion)' Category

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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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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Ragdale: An Appointment with the Muse

Ragdale House

I have just returned from the most amazing 2 weeks at Ragdale in Lake Forest, an artist's retreat. Never having participated in an artist residency, I did not know what to expect. This blog is an attempt to share some small part of the experience. (I say this because 3/4 of the artists I befriended at the residency were writers and poets, and I don't pretend to be one.)
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Chicago Cultural Center: The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project

The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project is on view at the [tag]Chicago Cultural
Center [/tag]until December 16th. This show is a stunning use of craft to make a wondrous work of art. Created as a collaborative crochet piece, the long coral-like re-creations explode with color, form, and texture that are tantalizing to the eyes. As you walk into the room displaying the coral reef project, you are met with two long stunning colorful replications of the Great Barrier Reef, which lies off the cost of Australia. Hanging on the walls are splendid dynamic colorful forms of the reef that are just majestic. In the second room is a display of jelly fish hanging from the walls and an example of a collaborative piece made by Chicagoland contributors.

Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef. NASA Satellite Photo.

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Art Theory: Jackson Pollack, Jack Kirby, American Art and Line Quality

Mark Staff Brandl 2 Jacks
The Two Jacks by Mark Staff Brandl, 1998,
black colored pencil on rag paper, 5 ft. x 3 ft.

I'm going to use several “verbotene” terms here — form and quality — so be prepared. Additionally, I will be handling conceptual art, painting, and comic art, as if they were potentially of equal interest and all equally capable of achieving excellence or not, depending on the creator. I will also be treating artists as if “the author existed” — as if they were largely in control of their tools or at least trying to be. Oh, piling heresy upon heresy!
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