“Color is the most relative medium in art,” according to Josef Albers. Its relativity, along with the subjective nature of visual perception, forms the basis of the immersive light installations that comprise “Exact Dutch Yellow,” the most recent exhibition of Chicago-based collaborative Luftwerk (Petra Bachmaier and Sean Gallero), who transformed the fourth-floor galleries of this cultural institution into an oasis of complex optical phenomena.
Shunning mere esthetic representations of industrial ruin, the strength of Chris Larson’s project is the artist’s deep engagement with the material conditions of the factory itself—from its textile remnants to its architecture to its deserted machinery—and with the residual traces of human labor that such objects bear.
At once a celebration of beauty in all its opulence and material forms, Nick Cave’s Forothermore, the artist’s largest museum survey to date, is also a eulogy to Black lives lost to police violence and those harmed by societal bigotry and racism.
A new memorial project in Budapest, Memory of Rape in Wartimes: Women as Victims of Sexual Violence, will commemorate female victims of wartime rape, while establishing a culture of dialogue around rape and violence in Hungarian society and the region. In the following interview, art historian and critic Edit András discusses the origins of the memorial, the process for vetting proposals, and how contemporary public memorials to collective trauma should be conceived.
ŠTO TE NEMA (Where have you been?) by Bosnian-born artist Aida Šehović is an annual nomadic monument to the victims of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide that has traveled internationally to 15 different cities from 2006 to 2020. This participatory public monument, consisting of more than 8,372 fildžani (small porcelain coffee cups) that have been collected and donated by Bosnian families from all over the world, addresses issues of trauma, healing, and remembrance.
The subjects who populate the 22 quilts that comprise Bisa Butler’s exhibition Portraits transcend their historical sources–vintage photographs of anonymous African Americans, whose visages Butler transforms through vibrant layers of fabric and thread.
Revealed throughout Mirror of the Universe, a suite of four exhibitions recently on view at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center exploring the life, work, and influence of Lenore Tawney (1907–2007), is an artist whose creative and everyday lives were intimately intertwined.
The exhibition Forgotten Forms at the Chicago Cultural Center pairs the works of Edra Soto and Yhelena Hall, whose transformations of architectural elements of the everyday interrogate narratives of place to configure new urban landscapes marked by traces of memory.
An American City, the inaugural edition of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, is an experiment in urban development: a cultural laboratory that hopes to reshape the image of this post-industrial city by positioning itself as a “heartland documenta.”
At a time when our own political moment has given rise to dangerous neoliberalism and right-wing nationalism across Europe and the United States, Revolutionary Russia of a century ago with its promise of social equality and transformation continues to seduce our imagination (at least in the former West), despite the ultimate failure of the Soviet project. This seduction fueled two recent shows in Chicago that marked the centennial of the October Revolution through the art, design and material culture of its artists and social architects.
Whether working on the street, in the studio, or in residence with communities, Dawoud Bey imbues his subjects with a psychological presence, while also challenging the formal traditions of photographic representation.
Throughout her prodigious work, Anne Wilson employs human hair and found cloth (damask fabrics, table linens, family heirlooms, remnants of clothing), as stand-ins for the body and as fragments of memory imbued with their own personal and collective histories.