Category Archives: Exhibitions

Exhibitions of and by MAPH alumni

From MAPH to the Smart Museum: Diego Arispe-Bazan

The Smart Museum is on campus and always free.

Here’s a thoughtful piece from Diego Arispe-Bazan (MAPH 2011), who worked as a MAPH intern at the Smart Museum on campus after graduation. Diego talks about his work, focusing on the introduction of new technologies into the gallery experience and curatorial practice.

Here’s an excerpt:

The debate on interpretive technologies was lively among the Smart interns. It centered on the issue of how multiplicity in experience could be flattened out. The argument is not without basis: interpretive technology, used indiscriminately, can turn a gallery into an arcade. In fact, certain visitors who shared this view eschewed the iPads entirely. However, through my observation and the comments gathered from the museum guards, it became clear that those who chose to pick up the iPads were eager to embrace the integration of interactive digital media into the gallery experience.

You can read the rest here.

Impressions from South Africa, Curated by Judy Hecker (MAPH 97)

Check out this video featuring Judy Hecker (MAPH 97), Associate Curator in the Prints and Illustrated Books Department at MoMA in New York. She gives an introduction to her most recent curatorial effort, Impressions from South Africa, which runs through August 29. Judy studied art history at the University of Chicago as a MAPHer in the program’s inaugural class. Keep an eye out for her upcoming profile in Tableau. The cover story of the  fall issue will be “A Brief History of MAPH” offering some perspective on the successes and challenges that the program has faced since its inception.

September 10th Gallery Opening

After studying art history in MAPH, recent graduate Emma Stein ’10 is now the Gallery Director of Robert Bills Contemporary. Robert Bills Contemporary is a new gallery located in Chicago’s prestigious West Loop gallery district.  Named one of the top ten new galleries featured at Next 2010 on the Chicago Tribune’s Next Hotlist, the gallery opens its doors for the first time on September 10th. The owner, Robert Bills is also a University of Chicago graduate.  He completed his MBA in ’89.

The gallery’s first exhibition, oil, toil, WALLS, and foil, examines the tactics four artists employ to negotiate the fine line that divides figuration and abstraction. The exhibition investigates how each artist demonstrates his or her unique artistic vocabulary in a way that challenges the longstanding art-historical binary. While the individual artists each represent a dramatically different approach to the problem, the common thread that binds them together is the clarity of their distinctive artistic vision as it is demonstrated with remarkable skill.

Emma and Robert Bills Contemporary invite all MAPH graduates and their friends and family to attend the gallery’s fall opening reception on September 10th, from 6-9 pm.  The gallery is located at 650 West Lake Street, on the lower level.  For more information about the gallery or inquires about the reception, please contact Emma at emma@robertbillscontemporary.com.

Summertime is made for backyards at the Museum of Contemporary Photography

Beginning on June 16th and running through August 23, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College downtown Chicago will be showing its newest exhibit entitled, Beyond the Backyard. This exhibit offers up the works of contemporary photographers and their different conceptions of the modern backyard. These pictures include both yard scenes of small town and urban settings, re-envisioning the traditional conception of the American backyard and looking at some of its deeper, ideological and cultural significances. This show calls in to question how one understands and thinks of the backyard and compares these ideas with popular media conceptions, analyzing how these two align, or don’t align.

Special MAPH kudos for this event go to MCoP collections research fellow and MAPH Alum Karsten Lund (’07) who has written the essay introducing and describing the collection (much more succinctly and poignantly than I have done here), as well as made many of the crucial decisions concerning the exhibit’s layout and design.

The show is open to the public beginning June 16th and there will be an opening reception for the exhibit at the MCoP on Thursday, June 26 from 5-7pm.

Adaptation at the Smart Museum

The Smart Museum’s exhibition Adaptation opened today, and it includes a new work by ARTV 24103, a collective that includes current MAPHers Laura Heldt and Natasha Long. The work grew out of a practicum taught by Catherine Sullivan — Natasha writes about the project over on the Adaptation blog-cum-catalogue.

The other works in Adaptation — by Guy Ben-Ner, Arturo Herrera, Catherine Sullivan, and Eve Sussman & The Rufus Corporation — re-envision classic literature, painting, film, ballet, and even e-mail for new video installations. You can check out clips of all the works on the online catalogue. Or, better yet, brave the snow tonight and come out for free food, refreshments, and art at the opening reception and panel discussion, from 5:30-7:30 pm.