For more than two decades Frances Stark (American, born 1967) has made a variety of work—from essays, drawings, and iPhone photographs to moving-image work, performances, and PowerPoint presentations—about the confluence of her art and her life. More specifically, Stark focuses on the working life of an artist as it converges with the non-working life of an artist, and vice versa; the contiguous spaces of productivity and procrastination; and the simultaneous sensations of pride and doubt.
Stark’s primary mode is appealingly, even alluringly, confessional, yet not simply autobiographical. The distinction is key. She is blazingly honest—indeed, equal parts courageous and audacious—in her acts of self-assessment and self-exposure. She is likewise forthcoming in her deployment of the confessional mode to assess and expose art-world pressures as well as the pressures and rhetorical devices of self-presentation more broadly. Further, while Stark calls herself “pathologically open,” her gift for sharing intimate content is part and parcel with her gifts for both formal refinement and manifest theatricality.
The word Intimism—the title of Stark’s exhibition—often refers to late 19th- and early 20th-century French paintings of small-scale, jewel-like domestic interiors, richly decorated and quietly inhabited. But the term can also be more broadly applied and is in fact renewed by Stark’s work, which invests questions of privacy, affinity, proximity, and communion with both affective and political urgency.
Part of the focus series, this exhibition marks the first comprehensive survey of Stark’s video and digital production, from her prescient, lo-fi Cat Videos, begun in 1999, through slideshows derived from her Instagram feed, @therealstarkiller. Presented in both the Abbott Galleries and the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries and enhanced by a brief residency by Stark on the museum’s Instagram account, the presentation is framed by early and new works on paper as well as a key selection from the museum’s historical holdings, juxtaposing “moving” images with “static” ones. Stark has a gift for balancing intimate content with a sense of theatricality; here the natural allure of the artist’s confessional mode is matched by her concerted desire to draw the viewer into varying states of arrest, passage, and attention.
The following downloadable posters are components of Bobby Jesus’s Alma Mater b/w Reading the Book of David and/or Paying Attention Is Free (2013), a multichannel projection with sound, images, and text on view in the Donna and Howard Stone Gallery.
14 hours 23 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago Fullerton Hall
Free to Illinois residents or with museum admission
Brazilian artist and scholar Andreas Valentin recalls his time in New York City with artist Hélio Oiticica and screens a series of short films the two produced in collaboration.
*Museum admission is free for Illinois residents every Thursday, 5:00–8:00—including during this event.
14 hours 47 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago NOW ON VIEW—Rodney McMillian: a great society
a great society represents artist Rodney McMillian's work in video over the last decade. Grappling with the complexities of class, race, and place in America, McMillian employs elements of performance, public speaking, oral history—and his interest in the science fiction genre—to expose the social and psychological consequences of economic inequality, endemic racism, and the failed promise of freedom and prosperity for all of its citizens. While McMillian's work engages the often stark realities of history and contemporary culture, it is motivated by the potential for alternative realities and future transformation.
Closing March 26—http://bit.ly/2l5Ja6e
19 hours 30 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—John Massey: Cartón de Venezuela
One of Chicago’s great design stories emerged from the Container Corporation of America (CCA) in the middle of the 20th century. Upon his appointment in 1964 as the CCA's head of design, Chicagoan John Massey formed a research arm, the Center for Advanced Research in Design (CARD), that enabled great creativity and innovation within a corporate structure.
This exhibition features a set of posters by Massey for the CCA’s subsidiary Cartón de Venezuela. Each poster represents a different month of the year, with strong, clean lines and bold colors reflecting one of Massey’s primary influences, the Swiss school of design.
Closing March 5—http://bit.ly/2lYlz6I