Looking Back, Looking Forward: Part 4

Dec 29, 2012

Continuing our series looking back at the highlights of 2012 and thinking ahead to some reasons to be cheerful in 2013, as chosen by frieze editors and contributors.

Jason Foumberg is a contributing culture critic at Chicago magazine, art editor and columnist at Newcity, and contributes art criticism to Photograph and Sculpture magazines.

Chicago picks of 2012 and ones to watch in 2013

Alberto Aguilar, Photo Tubes (Rachel Herman), 2012, from the ‘domestic monuments’ series, installation view

• Jeroen Nelemans deconstructs light boxes as they’ve been used in the history of photography, at The Mission Projects in January.
• Alberto Aguilar decorates an iconic Mies van der Rohe-designed residence with “domestic monuments” as part of Elmhurst Art Museums’s ‘Open House’ series (January 19 – April 20)
• Queer Thoughts is a new gallery showcasing emerging artists.
• Aspect Ratio is the first gallery in Chicago dedicated solely to video art, showing Chelsea Knight, Guy Ben-Ner, and more.
• Edie Fake draws the history of queer culture in Chicago, at Thomas Robertello Gallery.
• Kavi Gupta Gallery will expand and open a second location in Chicago, an 8,000 square-foot space.
• Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford will open a solo show at the Hyde Park Art Center. There are rumors of naked artists on horseback at the opening.
• Jason Lazarus will open his second solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Visitors will be able to carry Occupy Wall Street
protest signs throughout the museum.

Jessica Stockholder, Color Jam, 2012

• Artist residencies: This past summer, dozens, if not hundreds, of artists attended residencies in the Midwest, at Oxbow, ACRE, Harold Arts, and the new Summer Forum. They returned to the city refreshed and energized, with new networks formed. The city seems like a friendlier place to live and work after everyone vacationed and collaborated together.
• New art fairs: Expo sought to revitalize Chicago’s presence in the global art fair arena, while MDW opened its third artist-run fair, an experimental carnival of emerging-artist projects.
• University galleries rise: Solveig Øvstebø will join the Renaissance Society (University of Chicago) as its new director in 2013. Also at the University of Chicago, Monika Szewczyk is the new visual arts program curator at the recently opened Logan Center for the Arts. She joins her husband in Chicago, Dieter Roelstraete, who is senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). Lisa Corrin became the new director of the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University, and will be filling up the galleries with contemporary art.
• Jessica Stockholder created the largest-ever public art sculpture/painting, called Color Jam, by wrapping a downtown intersection in colored vinyl.
• Industry of the Ordinary opened a retrospective at the Chicago Cultural Center and invited just about every local artist, and all viewers, to participate in their performative artworks.
• Jan Tichy took over the entire Museum of Contemporary Photography and re-presented its collections both in the galleries and online.
• Former MCA curator Tricia Van Eck opened 6018North, an historic mansion-turned-art-house for artists to refurbish with site-specific projects.
• ‘24 Hours/25 Days’ is an exhibit open all day every day (for 25 straight days) to herald the closing of artist-run space New Capital.
• Martin Creed has been the first artist-in-residence at the MCA, and issued a new artwork each month.

Heidi Norton at the Museum of Contemporary Art
‘The Great Refusal: Taking on Queer Aesthetics’ at the School of the
Art Institute of Chicago
Ramón Miranda Beltrán, ‘Chicago Is My Kind of Town’, at Julius Cæsar gallery
Dawoud Bey retrospective at the Renaissance Society
Benjamin Bellas at Slow Gallery