Art Institute Chicago
The Art Institute has a wonderful Degas exhibit, which combines two subjects the artist explored extensively: horse races and ballet. Titled At the Track, On the Stage, we see action-oriented paintings of equestrian events and stage performances. There are also a couple odd-ball paintings, such as an imagined scene from Greek history, which the curators mean for us to contrast with the artist’s definitive work.
Another fascinating exhibit is Dionysos Unmaksed: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints. Appropriately for a deity so much associated with contradictions, the sum of the work on display doesn’t so much define Dionysos as present his mysteries. Artists render him sometimes as a bearded adult, other times as a sloppy old glutton, still other times as an androgynous youth, and even other times as a playful infant. Each of these guises reveals something about the god of wine, theater and madness, and they reveal something about our own secret selves.
Although I’ve already written about the Charles Ray show, I want to mention that he also has a piece displayed outside for all to see. I didn’t know this piece existed until I stumbled upon it when I was out taking pictures for an upcoming art project. The Charles Ray show closes October 4, so see it soon if you get the chance!
Interestingly, this piece had its own assigned security guard when I saw it. By default, the guard also had the job of explaining the sculpture to interested onlookers. There are no guards posted by any of the Art Institute’s other outdoor pieces, so I can only assume there are concerns about vandalism. As I explained in my first review, Ray is a divisive figure. I for one love his unflinching approach to nudity, but not everyone agrees with me. (In case you can’t tell, the outdoor piece depicts a clothed rider.)
Upcoming Art Show
As for the reason I was out taking pictures, I am collaging together recognizable Chicago structures with maps of Chicago. The photos serve as reference for drawings, and I turn the drawings into cut-outs.
I will be showing the final pieces at Natural Elements Salon, beginning with an opening on September 19. This is the show I mentioned ages ago, and it has been slowly gestating over the past 8 months. The date of the opening coincides with the salon’s 20th anniversary celebration.
Art on Ashland
I am also thrilled to announce that an art walk proposal I submitted to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has been accepted! They will help us promote the event as part of their specially-designated Chicago Artists Month.
Titled Art on Ashland, the art walk will take patrons up and down Ashland Ave between Chicago Ave and Milwaukee Ave. The neighborhood, East Village, includes ChiPRC. We will be showing artwork in our space along with other local businesses. I will also be one of the exhibiting artists.
Art on Ashland is different from our previous art shows in that it is a true collaboration between many minds. I look forward to working with and learning from the other participants.
I will have much more to say about this event in the months to come. For now, please mark November 7th on your calendar! Art on Ashland is one day only.
Framing Commission Update
For my final update, I want to let you know that a poster I was recently commissioned to frame has found its home — and it looks great up on the wall!
If you have an idea for a commission, send me a request by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.