reviews

  • Simon Starling, Bird in Space, 2004, Romanian steel plate, inflatable jacks, helium tank, hose, 6' × 20' 1/8“ × 11 5/8”.

    Simon Starling

    Museum of Contemporary Art / Arts Club of Chicago

    “Metamorphology,” the economical survey of Simon Starling’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, comprised just eleven works. But complementing the artist’s first retrospective at an American museum, an affiliated show that ran concurrently at the neighboring Arts Club of Chicago (titled “Pictures for an Exhibition”) additionally presented a major new, site-specific installation. Only a dozen works all told, yet each represents such a dense network of material, geographical, social, and historical narratives that one hardly needed more. The MCA exhibition began, appropriately enough, with

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  • Josef Koudelka, (Student on tank, eyes crossed out), 1968, gelatin silver print, 6 1/2 × 9 7/8". From the series “Invasion,” 1968.

    Josef Koudelka

    The Art Institute of Chicago

    Moravian-born French photographer Josef Koudelka gained renown in early-1960s Czechoslovakia for his portraits of social groups—from the Roma to avant-garde theater collectives—but it was not until 1984 that he came forward as the previously anonymous “Prague Photographer” who captured the 1968 Soviet invasion of that city. While this striking body of work (parts of which ran as photo-essays in London’s Sunday Times and Look magazine) earned the artist inclusion on the Magnum roster, Art Institute curator Matthew S. Witkovsky’s nuanced retrospective of the artist, “Josef Koudelka:

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