reviews

  • View of “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now,” 2015. Clockwise, from left: Nari Ward, We the People, 2011; Renée Green, Space Poem #3 (Media Bicho), 2012; Sanford Biggers, Ghetto Bird Tunic, 2006; Terry Adkins, Native Son (Circus), 2006/2015. Photo: Nathan Keay.

    “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now”

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

    AT THE THRESHOLD of this exhibition is Glenn Ligon’s Give Us a Poem, 2007, positioned immediately adjacent to the show title that spans the entirety of the gallery’s outer wall. Ligon’s neon wall work quotes Muhammad Ali’s response to a 1975 Harvard audience’s request for a poem. Ali’s succinct answer—“Me / We!”—is illuminated in an alternating pattern, the two words stacked one atop the other. Ligon’s use of reflexive symmetry plays on the collectivity called for by Ali to amplify a central question of “The Freedom Principle”: How does contemporary art revisit black cultural nationalisms

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  • View of “Tony Lewis,” 2015.

    Tony Lewis

    Shane Campbell Gallery | South Loop

    In The “Calvin and Hobbes” Tenth Anniversary Book, Bill Watterson explains his decision not to commercially license his comic strips as an attempt to preserve the imaginative place generated by the characters: “Calvin and Hobbes was designed to be a comic strip and that’s all I want it to be.” “Pall,” Tony Lewis’s assured, sharply intelligent exhibition imbued with a nuanced political charge, placed Watterson’s strict medium specificity in dialogue with that of text-based Conceptual artists. Lewis presented works from three untitled ongoing series in graphite on paper: nine collages of altered

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