Jason Foumberg

“Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago”

Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago

April 2016

Whether or not the sixteen artists known as the “Monster Roster” liked their moniker is ultimately not up to them, given that this first serious survey of their work canonizes their collective mood into a movement. The name is fitting, as … READ ON


Alex Chitty


February 2016

As the term “intelligent design” already has a use, we should appropriate it for art. It could describe the way artists assign consciousness to designed objects and the way consumers implant personae into mass-produced items. Alex Chitty’s … READ ON


Fraser Taylor


May 2015

Fraser Taylor’s work in “Orchid/Dirge,” an overdue thirteen-year survey, perfectly captures the transactional relationship between viewer and art object—the artist’s surrogate body. A “Missed Connections” personals clipping implanted in the… READ ON


Doris Salcedo

Museum of Contemporary Art | Chicago

March 2015

Ten major series of sculptures by Doris Salcedo fill the museum galleries like a labyrinthine graveyard for the artist’s first retrospective. Clumps of human-scaled objects summon an atmosphere of collective mourning, similarly provoked by … READ ON


“Lands End”

Logan Center Gallery, University of Chicago

January 2015

Curated by Zachary Cahill and Katherine Harvath, “Lands End” updates the enduring genre of landscape art with new critical, conceptual, and even romantic perspectives on mytho-geography, featuring works by thirteen artists, including Susan … READ ON


Allison Smith

Allison Smith discusses her exhibition at the Arts Club of Chicago

November 2014

In “Set Dressing,” Allison Smith’s first solo exhibition in Chicago, the Oakland-based artist shows photographs taken at living-history sites such as Colonial Williamsburg and Plimoth Plantation, where quotidian stories of American settlement… READ ON


Sabina Ott

Chicago Cultural Center

November 2014

I had an epiphany about Sabina Ott’s sculptures while riding a rollercoaster. Sliding through the Swiss Alps on Disneyland’s Matterhorn, beneath the Southern California sun, I saw it: pastel lights glowing on faux snow. Ott’s similarly garish,… READ ON


Matthew Girson

Chicago Cultural Center

July 2014

Matthew Girson contemplates the Jewish American experience in his solo exhibition at the Chicago Cultural Center. “The Painter’s Other Library” comprises sixty-eight oil paintings and one video that portray three primary subjects: a library… READ ON


It Takes Practice

The 102nd College Art Association conference in Chicago

February 2014 CHICAGO

EVER WONDER why so many art and art history professors are leftist liberals? No, that’s not the setup for a joke. The answer may become clearer if I rephrase the question: What does social activism have to do with art and with teaching? … READ ON


Faith Wilding

Faith Wilding on her life and work

February 2014

Born in 1943 in Paraguay, Faith Wilding is an artist, activist, and professor emerita of performance art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Wilding was a key figure in the the nation’s first feminist art programs, at Fresno State… READ ON