Art Life in Chicago
It is not just the usual artworld circuit of New York City, Miami and Los Angeles anymore. In the last decade Chicago has now emerged as a player on the national artistic landscape partly due to its many artists and curators through the Art Institute of Chicago. This art institute has now moved to the modern wing of the University of the school of Art Institute of Chicago. Add to that Chicago's vibrant street life with many anonymous artists like Bored, Don't Fret and Penny Page all built on Chicago's rich body of public art. Here are 10 young Chicago artists that will soon be household names.
Luke Armitstead at lukearmisstead.com is a graduate of the school of Art Institute of Chicago. He is trained as a ceramicist. Armistead puts together textured ligatures of clay that can hang on the wall, stand on pedestals or draped over pre-existing forms. Sometimes the results are enormous and often resemble creatures that inhabit a post pop art children's book.
The artist Don't Fret at dontfretart.com describes himself as a vaguely anonymous human from Chicago on a mysterious Facebook page. However the art has made a name for itself. Don't Fret is a unique visual language of scratchy lines and bright saturated colors which depict daily life in the city. Some examples are a couple making out in the back of a taxi, two ice cream vendors, commuters and busy chefs. This artist enlivens urban space by adding a touch of humanity and humor.
Nazafarin Lotfi at nazafarinlotfi.com is an Iranian born artist who makes the real sculptures that seem to be floating by themselves in the air of a gallery space. Using a broken stool or spin wooden dowels as pedestals, the sculptural forms resemble crumpled milk cartons and have a weightless quality. Along with the sculptures this artist makes drawings on paper in which fields of dots ebb and flow creating celestial volumes.
Molly Zuckerman-Hartung at mollyzuckermanhartung.com Created "95 Theses on Painting" quickly become iconic. Partly a manifesto and partly personal statement that theses have a place for painting and art history and civilization as a whole. Number 48 states that art is passionately committed to its history and sometimes, nostalgically resigned to its pastness, but always, painting looks backward.
Kasia Houlihan at cargo collective.com/kasiahoulihan Is an artist who wants to push yourself to take risks. This empathetic approach plays out in her photography, video, and works on paper with great intimacy. From her portraits of single figures isolated and man-made landscapes to hand-drawn imaginary books, Houlihan's arts is deeply felt and a comfort in isolating times.
Laurie Jo Reynolds at artandistory.uic.edu works in the medium of art called public practice. She calls her work "legislative art" since it works within public systems such as governments and prisons to create change. This artist spent a decade working in a super max prison that was infamous for its inhumane practices of solitary confinement. Thanks in part to Reynolds work the prison was closed in 2013.
Jason Lazarus at jasonlazarus.com is a student and now a professor of the school of Art Institute of Chicago and was trained as a photographer but is now working on sculpture who specializes in postmodernism.
Carol Jackson at jacksoncarol.com has recent solo exhibitions around Chicago and as long been a part of the city's artistic fabric. Her specialty is aesthetic loopy swirls and mechanical detritus as it moves across media to sculpture and painting on photography. I was able to find her paintings at ebay.com half price with Memorial Day coupon codes. So next time check current eBay coupons while shopping for your favourite artists.
Academy records even though it sounds like a music label or record store is a platform for live performance, recorded events and prints ephemera and is run by Stephen Lacy at academyrecords.org.
Born in 1986 Tony Lewis was the youngest artist to participate in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Engaging in the political moment Lewis work deals both directly and indirectly with race and text about race relations in the US through words and letters which break through the noise of our already image heavy culture shanecampbellgallery.com.