chicago

Maddie Reyna, Fantasie, 2014, ink-jet print, 36 × 24".

Maddie Reyna

Julius Caesar

Maddie Reyna, Fantasie, 2014, ink-jet print, 36 × 24".

Maddie Reyna is emerging as a dutiful acolyte of the British Conceptual artist Stephen Willats. “Jamaica Sweethearts,” Reyna’s recent pop-up installation at Julius Caesar, a prominent Chicago artist-run project space, examined art’s social agency in an apparent endeavor to demonstrate Willats’s cool polemics. Indeed, the show could have been pulled from the pages of Artwork as Social Model, Willats’s 2012 manual for artists “looking to find a meaningful relationship with contemporary society, and intervening to transform norms and conventions, to provide a new vision of a possible future.” Reyna built a crude foamcore environment into Caesar’s small white cube (located in a dingy Garfield Park studio building), literalizing the “glass ceiling” effect while drawing on a range of stereotypes: teenage-girl aesthetics, alternative art spaces, contemporary abstraction, and thrift

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