Mixed Media

Cullen Washington Jr.: The Land Before Words at 808 Gallery

Untitled #4
2013
Canvas, paper, tape, found materials
7.5 x 7

From our friends at Big Red & Shiny, today we bring you a review of Cullen Washington Jr.’s paintings at 808 Gallery at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts. Author Shawn Hill points out, “Washington has embraced the American tradition of the readymade (Duchamp) and junk art (Kienholz) in creating these paintings, which draw from the past but refer to the still-charged state of race relations and[.....]

Yarn Trails: Visual Resonance Among Three Exhibitions in Chicago

Detail of Academic Connections: Media Atlas, 2014, an undertaking of Professor W.J.T. Mitchell’s Theories of Media class students, in a gallery at the Smart Museum of the University of Chicago. Photo: Saul Rosenfield.

The typical museum experience is controlled. A pathway describes a route from one artwork to another, each illustrated by its label and narrated by an audio tour. However, three exhibitions currently on view in Chicago invite the visitor to engage in a less predictable process. At the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, visual-culture scholar W.J.T. Mitchell and the students of his “Theories of[.....]

Nicolas Lobo: Bad Soda/Soft Drunk at Gallery Diet

Get Nexcited! So beckons the label of Nexcite, an aphrodisiac beverage once produced in Sweden. When it first came out in the early 2000s in the United States, it was sold under the moniker Niagara, and it was wildly popular. Shortly afterward, Pfizer filed a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement (the name is similar to Viagra), forcing the beverage to be renamed Nexcite. It was never able[.....]

Art(ists) on the Verge at the Soap Factory

Katie Hargrave, In Poor Tastes Good, 2014; mixed media, dimensions variable. Courtesy The Soap Factory. Photo by Lillian Egner.

Now through April, the sprawling, rough-and-tumble brick spaces of Minneapolis’ Soap Factory are filled with installation projects by five artists—the Art(ists) on the Verge, as it were. It is not quite fair to consider Art(ists) on the Verge as a single exhibition, as there is no curatorial or artistic conceit to cement the various projects into a cohesive entity. The works on view are the[.....]

Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

Sheila Pepe. Your Granny’s not Square, 2008; Crocheted shoelaces and yarn. 72 x 144 x 48 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, currently on view at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, confirms how productive a dialogue between queer theory and critical craft theory can be. The twenty-four participating artists in the exhibition interpret and complicate the rich histories of these theoretical frameworks in a variety of ways. The resulting conversation illuminates certain commonalities between the two fields,[.....]

Fan Mail: Hugo Orlandini

Hugo Orlandini. Fortune’s fool, 2011; cast white bronze; 17.5 x 30 x 19 cm. Image courtesy of Tatiana Kourochkina art gallery.

Diminutive triumphal arches, human-sized Playmobil figures, and model prison quarters (both to scale and miniature) are a few of the many forms Hugo Orlandini’s work has taken. For categorization’s sake, we could call Orlandini a conceptual sculptor; however, his work incorporates layers of visual and social research culled from public events that richly complicate this subject matter. Orlandini approaches each work by digging deeply into[.....]

Archive State at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College

David Oresick, Soldiers in Their Youth (still), 2009; digital video montage; 20 mins. Courtesy the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago.

On view across three levels of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College in Chicago, the exhibition Archive State presents five discrete bodies of work developed by six artists. (One of the installations is made by a duo.) Spatially expansive and ideologically packed, each of these five groups of works deserves individual attention. Likewise, the title of the exhibition itself is due some unpacking. Using the[.....]