Saturday, October 29, 2011

Blaque Lyte and Keith Herzik

Tonight's the reception for Blaque Lyte, an exhibition of work shown under black lights at the Hyde Park Art Center.  Artists Chris Kerr and Paul Nudd curated this show with artwork from Chicago other parts of the world.  I checked out this show earlier this month and really enjoyed it.  Lilli Carre has a really nice vertical totem drawing piece.  There's a huge shag carpet wall hanging that undulates with imagery.  There are also a bunch of funny and raunchy pieces including work from Edie Fake, DeeDee Scaci, Leif Goldberg, David Shrigley, and Onsmith.

Chris and Paul also curated a retrospective show of concert posters and prints by printmaker Keith Herzik.  I'd seen his work here and there over the years but I had never really known who it was by until now.  The amount of work on display is insane.  There are over 200 prints in this show featuring his distinctive drawing style.  I was also blown away by the vitrine filled with many zines and handmade books by Keith.  I had never seen any of these before and I ended up going to Quimby's Bookstore a few days later and bought these two...

I'm glad this show was put together because it's interesting to see Keith's prints together as a body of work.  I also think it adds to the great and visually varied printing reputation that Chicago has.

Blaque Lyte
Keith Herzik: There Are Still Lofty Dreams, Meager Desires, and Still Silliness
at the Hyde Park Art Center
5020 S Cornell
Chicago, IL

Reception: Saturday, October 29, 2011
5 to 8pm
Both exhibitions will be on view through January 9, 2012

Friday, October 28, 2011

Skin Deep

River North's Carl Hammer Gallery will have a show of new drawings by CJ Pyle opening tonight.  I really loved the ballpoint pen drawings on vintage record covers he had on display there a few years ago.  There's more info on Pyle and images from the show at the link below....

CJ Pyle: Skin Deep
at Carl Hammer Gallery
740 N Wells
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, October 28, 2011
6 to 8pm
On view through December 30, 2011

Dia de los Muertos at Maya Essence

Art collective Escapism, in conjunction with fair trade store Maya Essence, will open a Dia de los Muertos show tonight in Lincoln Square. 

Dia de Los Muertos with Escapism
at Maya Essence
4357 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, October 28, 2011
8pm to midnight
The show will also be on view on Saturday, October 29th from 2 to 6pm


Curator Sergio Gomez put together this show of art by Latino artists, including the excellent photographer Joe Compean, multidisciplinary artist Saul Aguirre,  Diana Solis, and painter Marcos Raya. The full list of artists is in the link below. The opening is tonight at the Zhou B. Art Center in Bridgeport.

at the Zhou B. Art Center
1029 W 35th St
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, October 28, 2011
7 to 10 pm
On view through November 12, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Save Chicago Public Libraries!

On a personal note, Chicago's Mayor Emanuel released his proposed 2012 budget last week and wants to fire over 1/4 of the entire staff of the Chicago Public Library in a few months.  He also wants to cut hours on Mondays and Fridays.  This would affect service to the public tremendously especially since the library system laid off 120 Library Pages 2 years ago.  Pages put the books back on the shelves and have many other duties including working as clerical staff at the circulation desks.

This morning they announced that the rest of the Library Pages (146 of them) would be fired, as well as 24 Librarians, and 112 Clerks.  If you live in Chicago please contact your local alderman to put pressure on the mayor and to vote against this cut.

You can find the contact info for your local alderman here.
Info for the Mayor's office is listed here.

Don't Fret at Maxwell Colette

Don't Fret, a Chicago street artist whose drawings and work have also graced the walls of Brazil and beyond, will have a large solo show opening tomorrow night Saturday at the Maxwell Colette Gallery.  This exhibition also inaugurates the brand new West Town space for Maxwell Colette at a much more pedestrian friendly spot on Ashland Ave a block south of Augusta.  Maxwell Colette specializes in street art and has been instrumental in bringing several artists out to Chicago in the past year to share their work.

Here are some recent installation shots from their site, as well as new work on the streets of Chicago...

This should be a fun show and I highly recommend it.

Don't Fret: Man... the times... man
at Maxwell Colette Gallery
908 N Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Saturday, October 22, 2011
6pm to 9pm

Madison Zine Fest

Tomorrow Saturday is the Madison Zine Fest in Madison, WI.  A contingent of Chicago zinemakers including Erik of Junk Drawer will be out there.  There'll also be people from the Chicago Zine Fest present (I'm on the organizing committee).  This fest will be held as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival and is free to attend.  Full schedule and information in the link below.

Madison Zine Fest
Varsity Hall
Union South
1308 W Dayton St.
Madison, Wisconsin

Saturday, October 22, 2011
10am to 6pm


SUBP-A-ROHT has just released issue #2 of their drawing-oriented art zine.  Printed on oversize newsprint,  this free publication based in Thailand is dedicated to showcasing artwork by contemporary Southeast Asian artists and designers.  SUBP-A-ROHT is the brainchild of Logan Bay and Sandy Voratanitkitkul, who moved to Thailand from Chicago a few years ago.  Logan and Sandy began meeting many in the Thai art and design community and also started a site called Sook Yawd! to feature interviews with artists.  The title of the magazine is the English phonetic spelling of the word "pineapple" in Thai.

Issue #1 featured work by Thai artists.  Here are some pictures I shot at the local release at the Chicago Printers' Ball a few months ago...

The new monster/Halloween-themed issue #2 has expanded to also include contributors from Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, and Cambodia.

SUBP-A-ROHT will be available free tonight Friday at the MDW Fair in Bridgeport as well as a few other locations in Chicago.  It'll also be available in Miami, NYC, and San Francisco.

20 Years of Lumpen Magazine

I remember first exploring Wicker Park in the early 90's.  Back when the whole neighborhood was an interesting and slightly dangerous adventure.  I'd see people openly dealing drugs in the park, I witnessed a drive-by shooting around the corner by the Double Door, and the neighborhood was just starting to become a locus for the art scene in Chicago.  Within a few years, the Around the Coyote art festival was bringing thousands of people into the neighborhood to check out artists and their studios, which in turn sped up the gentrification of the neighborhood and its transformation into Lincoln Park West.

But in that period 20 years ago a lot of excellent independent galleries and organizations opened up in Wicker Park including Quimby's Bookstore, Myopic Books, Billy "Upski" Wimsatt's Vision Village (a hip-hop oriented activist center), The A-Zone (an anarchist community center) , the activist black bookstore Lit-X (in the basement where Starbucks and Flash Taco are now located), and galleries like Beret International and Ten-in-One. 

Another well curated and low budget art space that opened during that period was Buddy, which was the precursor to the vast Lumpen/Co-Prosperity Sphere/Public Media Institute/Version Fest/Select Fest/and Proximity magazine media and art empire that Edmar (Ed Marzewski) and friends currently run.  They also began Lumpen Magazine at that time.  

This was a period when new computer programs were allowing people to design and publish interesting magazines themselves.  Magazines would come and go, lasting only a few issues.  I'd pick up Lumpen with its mix of politics, art, and music coverage and then find another issue months later that was magically several issue numbers after the one I had last seen.  I started keeping an eye out for it every time I went to Wicker Park because I liked it and the drastically different cover designs that they had.  

Well, 117 issues later they've now reached their 20th anniversary.  This is an amazing run for any kind of publication and I'd just like to say congratulations!   They've carried articles on timely topics that I first read about there, they've been a source of independent comics, and their pages have also functioned as a diary of the Chicago art scene, including the infamous Party Steve columns.

The special all-color 20th anniverary edition of Lumpen will be released free at the MDW Fair tonight (which I wrote about below) as well as other spots in Bridgeport.

In addition to the 80-page issue there'll also be a 24-page bonus publication inside featuring highlights from previous issues...
Click on the covers to view all the image madness.

More info here on the Proximity magazine site.  You can also catch some of the old issues at Lumpen's former site.


Pop-UPtown is a new pop-up art event opening tonight in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood.  An area full of creative people but low on art exhibition spaces, this event will highlight local artists and DJ's.  It's free and runs from 6 to 11pm.

4664 N Broadway
Chicago, IL
In three storefronts across the street from the main entrance of the Red Line Wilson station

Friday, October 21, 2011
6 to 11pm

Thursday, October 20, 2011

MDW Fair

Fresh off the success of their inaugural edition this past spring, the Midway Fair (MDW) is back again at the Geolofts in Bridgeport.  Featuring several floors of exhibitions and publications, this fall edition will focus more on solo and duo art shows curated by various collectives, curators, artists, and independent galleries from around the country.  There'll also be a publishers' area on the 3rd floor.  Check out this link for the floorplans, schedules, and map to the Geolofts.

List of participants includes:
2612 Space
Alderman Exhibitions
Bad at Sports
Chicago Artists Coalition
BOLT Residency
Chicago Urban Arts Society
Devening Projects + Editions
Drawn Lots
Green Gallery
Happy Collaborationists
Harold Arts
High Concept Lab
The Hills
Hinge Gallery
Iceberg Projects
Trevor Martin
Abr Gallery
North Branch Projects
Old Seoul
Packer Schopf Gallery
Peanut Gallery
portage ARTspace
Reuben Kincaid
Roots & Culture
Sixty Inches From Center
Small Space
Spudnik Press
Uncle Freddy’s Treats
Linda Warren
Western Exhibitions
What It Is
Propeller Fund grantees 2010
Publishers and other organizations:
Alternative Press Center
AREA Magazine
Golden Age
Green Lantern Press
Klein Art works
Make Magazine
Neoteric Art
Proximity, Lumpen, Materiél
Soberscove Press

at the Geolofts
3636 S Iron St
Chicago, IL

Friday, October 21, 2011
from 8 to 11pm
Saturday & Sunday, October 22 & 23, 2011
from noon to 6pm
$5 admission

If you're taking public transportation an easy way to get there is to take the CTA Red Line to 35th St and then take the #35 35th st bus west to Iron St.  Or take the #8 Halsted bus to 35th st and walk several blocks west as well.  You can also get there from the Orange Line and from the Ashland bus.

There's free parking in the lot just south of the building.

Def Jam 25: A Conversation with Bill Adler and Cey Adams

Pilsen's Chicago Urban Art Society will be the first stop after the new Def Jam 25 record label book comes out in NYC this week.  Cey Adams and Bill Adler, Def Jam Records' original creative director and publicist respectively, wrote this book about the long and influential history of Def Jam.

The book features numerous interviews with perfomers and the people behind the scenes at the label, as well as photography by some great photographers including Glen E Friedman and Annie Leibovitz.

Cey Adams will have a slide presentation/talk about the book and there'll be a Q&A afterwards.

Def Jam 25: A Conversation with Bill Adler and Cey Adams
at the Chicago Urban Art Society
2229 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL

Friday, October 21, 2011
6 to 10 pm

3 Man Weave

Uriel Correa, Revise CMW, and Sam Alcarez will have a pop-up show opening tomorrow night Friday in a beautiful historic space on Chicago's West Side.  I'm a fan of Uriel's drawings and Revise's paintings.  I'm not familiar with Sam's work but if they invited him then it must be good.  There's going to be a tamale truck stationed outside as well as some craft beer.  It should be a fun time!

3 Man Weave: Uriel Correa, Revise CMW, and Sam Alcarez
2620 W Washington Blvd (corner of Talman & Washington)
Chicago, IL

Friday, October 21, 2011
6pm to 9:30pm

Saturday, October 15, 2011

OpenhouseChicago 2011

This weekend is OpenhouseChicago, where over 130 buildings, studios, houses, and other normally private locations will be open to the public for free tours.  Check out the link for the full list of locations.  There will also be shuttle buses to take you to places within the different featured neighborhoods.

Highlights include the Emil Bach house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Rogers Park, backstage areas of the Pritzker Pavilion at Millenium Park, the art deco murals at the former Chicago Motor Club building, and the former offices of the Chicago Tribune's publisher on the 24th floor of their building.

OpenhouseChicago 2011
Saturday & Sunday, October 15 & 16, 2011

Annual 18th St Open Studios

It's time once again for one my favorite art walks in Chicago.  Pilsen contains many more artists than the ones with studios in the Halsted St area.  This particular open studio weekend covers the entirety of Pilsen between 16th St and 24th St area and between Western and Halsted.  There's a lot of unusual spaces to explore and great artwork to discover.  There's a map and list of the over 40 participating locations in the link below.

18th St Open Studios
throughout the neighborhood of Pilsen
Chicago, IL

You can pick up maps at the studios and at Colibri Studio Gallery at 2032 W 18th St.  This is also where free buses will start their route to take you to different parts of the neighborhood.

Saturday & Sunday, October 15 and 16, 2011
Noon to 6pm

Le Petit Monstres

OhNo!Doom Gallery in Wicker Park opens a show tonight Saturday featuring work by artists/toy designers Abe Lincoln Jr, Scott Tolleson, and Patricio Oliver.  All three will have tiny monsteriffic work on display.  It should be a fun show.

Le Petit Monstres: Abe Lincoln Jr, Scott Tolleson, and Patricio Oliver
at OhNo!Doom Gallery
1800 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Saturday, October 15, 2011
6 to 10 pm
On view through November 5, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

There is a Wanderlust Growing in Your Bones

Daniel Danger will present new paintings and prints tonight Friday at Rotofugi Gallery in Lincoln Park.  Rotofugi will also unveil this new paper lantern featuring a design by Daniel...
Daniel Danger: There is a Wanderlust Growing in Your Bones
at Rotofugi
2780 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL

Snacks by Fritz Bakery and music by DJ Carrie Weston

Opening reception: Friday, October 14, 2011
7 to 10 pm
On view through November 6, 2011

Yesterday's Losers

Hebru Brantley will open a huge show of his paintings tonight Friday. There will also be an installation by Chicago graffiti artists honoring graffiti writer DARE, who was killed several weeks ago.  I've heard good things about this show from several people who've had a sneak peak.  Here's a video shot during the install...

Yesterdays Losers from Bradley Murray on Vimeo.

Hebru Brantley

Hebru Brantley: Yesterday's Losers
at 2150 S Canalport (between Chinatown and Pilsen)
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, October 14, 2011
6 to 9pm

Alberto Aguilar & Michelle Harris at Roots & Culture

Chicago artist Alberto Aguilar and Michelle Harris will have video work on display at Roots & Culture in West Town.  There's an opening reception tonight Friday.

Alberto Aguilar & Michelle Harris
at Roots & Culture
1034 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Friday, October 14, 2011
On view through November 12, 2011

Saturday, October 08, 2011

James Gallagher at Pawn Works

Pawn Works in Ukrainian Village presents a collage show tonight Saturday by NYC-based artist James Gallagher.  James curated a traveling group show titled, "Cutters Edges" earlier this year featuring collage artists from around the globe.  Gestalten published a corresponding catalog for that show as well.  Tonight's show at Pawn Works should have some interesting work.

James also recently made some t-shirts for Stussy.  In this video he explains how he started working with collage....

Stussy - James Gallagher from Stussy on Vimeo.

James Gallagher: Frequent Fits
at Pawn Works
1050 N Damen Ave
Chicago, IL

Opening reception: Saturday, October 8, 2011
7 to 10 pm

Tigers, Totems, and Tamales

Tonight Saturday is the closing party for the Tigers, Totems, and Tamales show at Oxala Gallery in Pilsen.  Featuring paintings and illustrative work by Chema Skandal, Diana Solis, and Eric Garcia.  Chema Skandal moved here to Chicago from Mexico a few years ago and I've enjoyed seeing his work popping up here and there.

Tigers, Totems, and Tamales
at Oxala Gallery
1653 W 18th. St
Chicago, IL

Closing reception: Saturday, October 8, 2011
6 to 9 pm