Daily Archives: October 20, 2009

a day in the park with est

We’ve been having a few days of showers here in Chicago this summer. It seems to be a rather odd 3 months of summer because each time the weather heats up, the city seems to cool itself down with a series of thunderstorms and chilly nights. But today was beautiful, sunny, and clear and Esteban joined me on a bike ride through our neighborhood and then we spent the rest of the afternoon reading and having lunch in the park. I hope it stays sunny all week!


A clear day indeed, with only the trees above us.

The grass was so beautiful you didn’t even need a blanket to rest on!

the suburban: shana lutker/steve berrens

Today was the opening of the first summer show at The Suburban. Included in this exhibition are two artist’s from L.A., Shana Lutker and Stephen Berens. Stephen’s photographs which documented a posting for a lost dog throughout a neighborhood in Los Angeles, lined the walls of one of the exhibition spaces. He also had some of his books on display of courtyards and plazas, a trip to Italy, and more imagery similar to that of the documented dog poster. In the other gallery space Shana Lutker’s large books lay opened on a table for viewers to peruse for a single minute or all day if desired. Many of the books were part of her craigslist ad collection while a large red book seemed to be a collection of her dreams for the past 2 years all laid out as if they were individual newspaper articles.

The opening (as always) was an enjoyable social event on the lawn of Ms. Grabner and Mr. Killam’s home. The show is not to be missed and I highly encourage anyone in Chicago to try to make it out to Oak Park to see these compiled collections of books and photographs.

For those of you not familiar with the independently run artist exhibition space in Oak Park, IL I have included a bit of their statement below:
“The Suburban is an independently run artist exhibition space in Oak Park, IL. We give complete control to the artists in regards to what they choose to produce and exhibit. Thus it’s a pro artist and anti curator site. The Suburban is not driven by commercial interests. It is funded within the economy of our household. Its success is not grounded in sales, press or the conventional measures set forth by the international art apparatus, but by the individual criteria set forth by the artists and their exhibitions. In this, The Suburban is more closely aligned with the idea of studio practice than that of the site of distribution.”
-Michelle Grabner & Brad Killam

Shana Lutker stands beside her book at The Suburban.

Stephen Berens is photographed here beside his installation.

For more information about The Suburban please visit http://www.thesuburban.org

the renaissance society: black is, black ain’t

Today I visited the Renaissance Society of Chicago, located in Hyde Park on the University of Chicago’s campus. “The Society presents art seldom seen
in the midwest, giving the public opportunities to investigate the most recent developments in contemporary art. At the same time, the museum is equally committed to fostering the development of Chicago’s own rich artistic resources”.

The current show , curated by Hamza Walker, is entitled Black Is, Black Ain’t. I was very impressed by the work included in the show from artist’s throughout the country, the show was powerful and many pieces have stuck with me. I enjoyed the works by William Pope L. particularly his cupped-flour sculptures which were scattered throughout the gallery on small make-shift shelves. The video pieces were interesting and very peculiar especially Joanna Rytel’s monologue-based performance/video work about a mixed-race relationship.

Artist’s included in the exhibition are as follows:
Terry Adkins | Edgar Arceneaux | Elizabeth Axtman | Jonathan Calm | Paul D’Amato | Deborah Grant | Todd Gray | Shannon Jackson | Thomas Johnson | Jason Lazarus | David Levinthal | Glenn Ligon | David McKenzie | Rodney McMillian | Jerome Mosley | Virginia Nimarkoh | Demetrius Oliver | Sze Lin Pang | Carl Pope | William Pope.L | Robert A. Pruitt | Randy Regier | Daniel Roth | Joanna Rytel | Andres Serrano | Hank Willis Thomas | Mickalene Thomas

Glenn Ligon, Warm Broad Glow, 2005
Neon, 39 x 192 inches (Courtesy of Sender Collection, courtesy of Levin Art Group)

Jonathan Calm, Baruch Runoff #2,2008
Pigment print, 40 x 50 inches (Courtesy of the artist and Caren Golden Fine Art, New York)

(portion of press release)
“Taking its title from Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, this exhibition will explore a shift in the rhetoric of race from an earlier emphasis on inclusion to a present moment where racial identity is being simultaneously rejected and retained. The exhibition will bring together works by 26 black and non-black artists whose work together examines a moment where the cultural production of so-called ‘blackness’ is concurrent with efforts to make race socially and politically irrelevant.”

For more information about the Renaissance Society please visit http://www.renaissancesociety.org/site/

the contemporary arts council: shape-shifters

On Friday, May 23rd, Alfedena Gallery was pleased to host the Contemporary Arts Council’s 14th annual show of emerging artists, Shape-shifters, curated by critic Jason Foumberg.

Three works of mine are included in the show Scratching Peace Symbols on Your Eyes, Shiva, and Something I saw in the desert. All are constructed out of paper and finished with paper mache and enamel paint; some are coated with shark teeth while others are mounted with marbled orange rocks collected from Arizona. The opening reception was really exciting and a great number of individuals made it out to see the show. I decided to keep what I have to say to a minimum and I have included a portion of the press release below for you to enjoy! If you can make it out to the opening there are a lot of great artists involved in the show and it is not to be missed.

Artist’s included in the show:
Mike Andrews
Reed Barrow
Brian Getnick
Sarah Hicks
Chris Kerr
Elliot Layda
Josh Mannis
Samia Mirza
Melissa Pokorny
Mindy Rose Schwartz

Samia Mirza, Scratching Peace Symbols on Your Eyes.

Reed Barrow I Believe I Can Walk through Walls, 2006 and Sarah Hicks, objects from Things Lasting No More than a Day, 2008

An image of Shiva

After the opening we went to Zocalo for the post-opening dinner.

Curator, Jason Foumberg and catalog designer, Ryan Swanson.

Remnants of Digested Culture Re-Purposed in: Shape Shifters
Presented by the Contemporary Arts Council
Curated by Jason Foumberg
May 23-July 3, 2008
Opening reception May 23, 5pm-8pm. Performance at 7pm.

Chicago — Alfedena Gallery is pleased to host the Contemporary Arts Council’s 14th annual show of emerging artists, Shape-shifters, curated by critic Jason Foumberg. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Friday, May 23rd from 5-8 pm. A performance to be held in the gallery by artist Brian Getnick the evening of the reception will start at 7 pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public.
Like a whale’s vacuum-suck mouth that efficiently consumes the ocean, we too devour our surrounds. The art objects in Shape-shifters are remnants of digested culture, re-shaped and re-purposed. Olympiad bodies, zombies, household gods, and urban myths: by holding many pieces of culture in balance inside us, we become a conglomerate body—an animate spawn of the culture that nourishes us.

This is the Contemporary Arts Council’s 14th annual exhibition of new and emerging Chicago-based artists. In order to support contemporary art and artists in Chicago, to seek out the new and valuable, and to foster the insight and enjoyment that good art provides, the Contemporary Arts Council works each year with an independent curator to flesh out his or her idea. A catalog in the form of an exquisite corpse game is available with essays by Jesse Ball, Reed Barrow, Elijah Burgher, Jason Foumberg, Brian Getnick, and Dan Gleason.

rooftop summer bbq

Now that summer has begun, every meal has been made with the bbq. Esteban and I have access to our rooftop where we have been hosting a number of summer feasts. Today we enjoyed bratwursts, macaroni salad, squash and mushrooms with our dear friends Alex and Clay, it was our first celebration together since graduation. The sun shone brightly and the food was delicious!

Alex and Esteban enjoy the summer heat while waiting for lunch to be ready.

lincoln park zoo

Since my mom and brother have been in town I have been spending a lot of time with them. Today we decided to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo since it has been a pretty chilly week until today that is. The zoo was packed to the brim but we managed to see everything we set out to look for and the animals were not a tad bit shy. The tiger roared and the gorillas napped and did things that gorillas often do. We spent the entire day over at the zoo and upon exiting our attention was caught by the various peddle boats in the river nearby. Amir and I decided to give it a go and we had so much fun peddling our passenger, otherwise known as Mom 🙂 a ride around the river. It was a great day!

Ice cream, boat rides, and the sea lion tank.

The gorilla sleeps in its world.

A view of the angry tiger who roared for several minutes as spectators gathered around to see him.

kites a soarin’

Esteban came over to the Gold Coast today to fly kites with Amir. It was a very cold day but the wind blew beautifully and we could not help but fly our kites. We decided to go to the park near the MCA. I spent some time chatting with my mom while the two of them ran across the park with their kites in the sky.

Amir and Esteban flying kites.