Took a quick jaunt to Northern Illinois and Chicago this weekend for the holiday, and of course you can’t be cruising down Michigan Avenue and not stop at the Art Institute of Chicago. The museum is always killer, but I was blown away by one artist in particular whose work was being exhibted in the Modern Wing as part of the Art Institute Society for Contemporary Art Acquisition for 2013.
Anna Boghiguian is an Egyptian-born artist working between Cairo, Europe, and the United States. What was specifically impressive about her exhibition was the fact that it was a collection of 80 notebook-sized drawings/paintings/collages that hit on everything from 19th-century colonialism to old French textbooks to the division of Germany to the current War on Terror to the Arab Spring. Boghiguian combined drawings with crayon and pencil with splashes of watercolor and digital images to create a series of works that was really intesely personal while also having an air of the historic.
I don’t have any detailed shots of the pieces because I didn’t have a camera on me in the museum (even on my phone, I know), but even so it really is an instillation that’s better experienced starting at one end of the wall and working your way down, looking and absorbing each page on its own and slowly getting a sense of how all of these historical and personal events flow from one to another. Because each page is ripped straight from a notebook, the whole installation views like a wide and dirty travelogue of the last 200 years. I also really enjoyed the fact that much of her handwritten script on the pages has a hint of influence from one of my favorite artists, Jean-Michel Basquiat.
And of course, what better way to end a museum trip than a stop at the gift shop? I always like to pick up a print or a poster each time I visit a museum (even if I’ve been there before) as a sort of notebook on where I’ve been and what I’ve seen. This time I grabbed a poster of Stuart Davis’ painting Ready-to-Wear from 1955. It’s a great piece of hard-edge painting from American mid-century modernism.
Ellsworth Kelly, White Relief Over Black (2012) + Mila Kunis
Thrilled and excited to have a feature I wrote on UK photographer Spencer Murphy up today on Paper Journal. In it, I looked at Murphy’s series The Abyss Gazes Into You, a pretty fantastic set of images that details life on the edges of progress and documents what happens when the world keeps moving forward without you. A little excerpt:
Murphy seems to be grasping at the ominous cloud hanging in the present, obscuring the future. His work lies in the turbulent, tectonic moment where past and eternity grind into each other.
I’m really looking forward to contributing more to Paper Journal – it’s a pretty fantastic new online magazine covering contemporary photography and visual arts, and the writing on there is, to say the least, fantastic. The website has sections for features (like this), reviews of new photo and artist’s books and some killer long-form interviews with contemporary photographers.
Right now, I’m working on a similar feature on Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, a duo of artists working out of England. They won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize this year for their absolutely incredible book War Primer 2, and are being exhibited everywhere from London to Belfast to Paris to MoMA in New York right now. Broomberg and Chanarin are simply making books and pieces that are light years ahead of anyone else, and it’s incredible to watch and write about.
More progress: proud to announce I’ll be joining the Blood of the Young team as a media/PR intern for Blood of the Young, an independent publishing house out of Toronto that works with established and emerging photographers and artists with a focus on producing hand-made artist’s books and zines. Go check them out and buy a watch or something (I have one and love it).
At the end of October, The Maneater’s editorial board gathered on a lazy Saturday afternoon to discuss, argue, decide and ultimately endorse our preferred candidates for the following week’s election. The conversations were spirited and occasionally fiery, and while we ultimately realized that we most likely wouldn’t be swaying any voters’ minds on the most important race, we attempted to cover as many of the main issues as possible and develop our editorial opinion carefully.
You can read which candidates we threw our weight behind here, here and here. Obama, McCaskill, Schaefer. Those races were all critical in their own ways, but arguably a fourth race stood out in importance to us as students at MU.