Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 East Chicago Avenue
Through June 18
Jason Lazarusâ€™ exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago centers around three pieces. The first, Untitled (2013), is a performance piece featuring a classical pianoÂ student playing Frederic Chopinâ€™s Nocturne in F minor,Â mistakes and all. Phase 1/Live Archive (2011-present) isÂ a collection of Occupy Wall Street signs, remade by both Lazarus and the public and based on images from print and online sources. The final piece is a project that explores the thin line between public and private sectors through media generated photography. In employing found photographsÂ he also comments on ways archives are used and on their relationship to history. Lazarus, a Chicago-based artist,Â is best known as a photographer, though he is also deeply invested in the art of sign making, both physically andÂ symbolically. He has recently expanded his artistic practice into art collector, archivist, and curator.
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
Through April 27
Aircraft Carrier examines the dramatic changes that occurredÂ in Israeli architecture between two catalyzing moments in global capitalism, 1973 and 2008. The events of the former, marked by irreparable changes in American relations to the Middle East and the fundamental structures of Israeli society, drastically altered the course of Israeli architecture. Presented through diverse works of photography and video art from international artist Florian Holzherr, Nira Pereg,Â Jan Tichy, Asaaf Evron, and Fernando Guerra, the exhibition explores this transformative period, the American imprint that endowed it, and the radical changes in Israeli architectureÂ that emerged from it.
Thomas Ruff: photograms and ma.r.s
David Zwirner Gallery
525 West 19th Street
New York, NY
Through May 4
This March, Thomas Ruffâ€™s seventh solo exhibition at the David Zwirner Gallery will be dedicated to two of the late twentieth-century German photographerâ€™s most recent projects:Â photograms and ma.r.s. Ruffâ€™s photograms series features aÂ unique collection of â€œcamera-lessâ€ photographyâ€”a techniqueÂ used by photographers in the 1920s in which objects are placed on photosensitive paper and exposed to light. The outcome is the negative image of the object revealing itself in the form of a grey or white shadow glowing against a black backdrop. Ruff adds layers to his visually intriguing compositionsâ€”which mostly depict abstract lines, shapes, and spiralsâ€”by adding color and implementing varying degreesÂ of transparency and lighting. To create his ma.r.s series, short for MarsÂ ReconnaissanceÂ Survey, Ruff manipulated black-and-white satellite images, taken by a NASA spacecraft of the surface of Mars, and dramatically increased theÂ saturation of the images, creating a striking representationÂ of the planetâ€™s rugged terrain.
American Standard Movement
Smart Museum of Art
University of Chicago
5550 South Greenwood Avenue, Chicago
Through October 6
Valerie Snobeck reuses left over construction materials fromÂ a project on the University of Chicago campus in her exhibitionÂ American Standard Movement, which is showing at the Smart Museum of Artâ€™s courtyard. In doing so, her work presents questions of art, materiality, temporality, andÂ significance. The exhibition displays a net tacked up against a wall and adorned with markings derived from repair toolsÂ that measure the small inner parts of watches. The functionÂ of netting is twofold: to catch the constructionâ€™s falling dustÂ and debris and to serve as a visible indicator of the constructionÂ site and its parameters. Netting acts as a temporary stand-in for a wall during construction, but, due to its malleable natureÂ and woven fabric, is physically unlike a wall. Snobeckâ€™s net is not being used in its typical function, but is not necessarily functionless. She asks viewers to consider what is behind netting and what is being built or rebuilt. American Standard Movement proposes a connection between the body and space measured in parts. The piece questions efforts to dictate the future in physical and speculative ways.
Kate Gilmore: Body of Work
11400 Euclid Avenue
Through June 9
Through performance-based art, Kate Gilmore presents her body battling through strenuous physical absurdities while wearing whimsical feminine outfits, like fitted dresses and high heels. Her clothing makes the chaotic and messy actions all the more uncomfortable and comical. Gilmoreâ€™s performances reexamine the feminist performance art that became popular in the 1970s. By injecting humor into her work alongside visible awkwardness and distress, she explores the female identity while breaking down accepted masculine art practices found in modernist history. Her aggressive movements against feminine tones make the performance visually interesting. For her first solo show, the artist will display ten years of video works. The exhibition will also feature a recently commissioned performance in the form of a sculpture and video.
Travis Somerville: A Great Cloud of Witnesses
Catherine Clark Gallery
150 Minna Street, San Francisco
Through April 13
In his solo exhibition at Catherine Clark Gallery, Travis Somerville presents a mixed-media exhibition, layering past and present. He continues his work investigating historical memory and questioning how particular fragmented stories are simplified into collective truths. Specifically, Somerville uses imagery from the Civil Rights movement to exploreÂ the status of human rights in our contemporary society. ByÂ presenting current stories of immigration, Uzbekistanâ€™s childÂ labor, and the uprisings of the Arab Spring against collages,Â images, and objects from the Civil Rights movement, Somerville explores our â€œpost racialâ€ culture. One installationÂ presents a line of reproduced racially designated water fountains mounted to a gallery wall.
Designing Tomorrow: America’s World’s Fairs of the 1930s
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue
Through March 31
Designing Tomorrow presents relics from six depression-eraÂ expositions that brought new visions of progress and prosperityÂ to a struggling nation. Tens of millions of Americans flocked to fairs in Chicago (1933/34), San Diego (1935/36), Dallas (1936),Â Cleveland (1936/37), San Francisco (1939/40), and New York (1939/40) to catch a glimpse of the futurist oracles that would soon become post-war realitiesâ€”from glass skyscrapers,Â superhighways, and the spread of suburbia, to electronic home goods and nylon hosiery. The fairs helped America toÂ look forward to an era of opulence and innovation, spreadingÂ from the metropolis to the living room. Modernist furniture, streamlined appliances, vintage film reels, and visionaryÂ renderings drawn from the museumâ€™s collection are presentedÂ together.
Triggering Reality: New Conditions for Art and Architecture in the Netherlands
Centro per lâ€™arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy
Curated by Giampiero Sanguigni with the collaboration of Marco Brizzi
The economic crisis may be a global phenomenon, but in the Netherlands it has shown its effects in full swing. During the ’80s and ’90s, Dutch architects and artists benefited from generous public funding supporting architecture and the arts. Nowadays, they face the same shortages as their European counterparts.Â Yet, history teaches that in the face of a recession, architecture shrinks; it hides by borrowing from other disciplines: sculpture, decorative, and performative arts.
Triggering Reality displays the work of young (and not-so-young) professionals, whose works range from decorative pieces of urban sculpture like Atelier Van Lieshoutâ€™s made-from-recycled-material cow, to small and ephemeral vanishing pieces of architecture like Dus Architectsâ€™ bubble building.
History also teaches that crisis can sharpen a personâ€™s wits, and architects sometimes grow their works within existing structures. The work by Krijn De Koning, for example, consists of small reinventions of interiors. Overall an example of how even now, with less money, the Netherlands can build architectural examples to reflect upon.
Lessons From Modernism is the smartest and most compelling exhibition ever mountedÂ in New York (and maybe anywhere) on the influence of nature and the environment in architectural design. This Cooper Union exhibition looks at and analyzes 25 iconic modern buildings from architects like Le Corbusier, Paul Rudolph, Jean ProuvÃ©, and Oscar Niemeyer. Conceived and curated by Cooper Union Professor Kevin Bone, Lessons From Modernism brilliantly demonstrates how these and other important modern architects integrated environmental concerns into their designs and “explores the extent to which these practices have produced environmentally performative and distinctive architecture.”
In MoMA’s Applied Design exhibition, which opened over the weekend in The Phillip JohnsonÂ Architecture and Design Galleries, celebrity curator Paola Antonelli brings us a diverse sampling of recent and contemporary design, from old school video games like Tetris and Pac-Man to 3D printed furniture and energy efficient medical equipment. As in last yearâ€™s Talk to Me exhibition, museum guests get the opportunity to interact with the objects on display, including playing the video games. While the connections between the different pieces may be tenuous and visitors may struggle to identify the relationship between Ido Brunoâ€™s Earthquake Proof Table and The Sims, Applied Design allows viewer to see items that have been churning up quite a bit of hype around the blogosphere, such as Massoud Hassaniâ€™s wind-powered mine detonator, pairing them with modern relics from the MoMA archives, including drawings from Lebbeus Woods and Douglas Darden. While disjointed, Applied Design does afford a glimpse of the wide varieties of methods, technologies, and materials utilized by todayâ€™s design vanguard. The exhibition is on view through January 14, 2014.
The Storefront for Art and Architecture is bringing AircraftÂ Carrier, the 2012 Israeli pavilion atÂ the Venice Biennale, to New York. The exhibitâ€”one of the mostÂ pointedly political statements at theÂ biennaleâ€”confronts the influence of the United States and itsÂ foreign policy in the Middle East andÂ how it has affected Israeli architecture. The pavilion points to the year 1973 and theÂ OPECÂ oil crises as a watershed in global capitalism whenÂ American strategic interests helpedÂ enable a new level of corporate architecture in Israel.Â The resultingÂ reflected glass skyscrapers set against the optimism of Tel Aviv’sÂ White City could not be more a poignantÂ modernist image.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogueÂ published by German publisher Hatje Cantz and edited byÂ the curators, which contextualizes the phenomena in largerÂ transformative processes. The book include texts by MiltonÂ Friedman, Justin Fowler, and Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen and visualÂ works by participating artists Florian Holzherr, Nira Pereg, JanÂ Tichy, Assaf Evron, and Fernando Guerra.
Exhibition Opening: March 7, 2013, 7PM
Exhibition: March 7 – April, 29 2013
Victoria Sambunaris: Taxonomy of a Landscape
Museum of Contemporary Photography
600 South Michigan Avenue
Through March 31
Victoria Sambunaris has photographed the American landscape from coast to coast, investigating human interaction with and relationship to the natural environment. Over a decadeâ€™s worth of color photographs taken with a 5 by 7 field camera capture the multiple layers of Americaâ€™s expansive landscapes that are interrupted by human development. Born to Greek immigrant parents driven by the American dream, Sambunaris has become fascinated and identifies with the unease of the Mexico/United States border. Her photographs of over 2,000 miles of these borderlands suggest an innate similarity between the two lands in spite of national boundaries. Taxonomy of a Landscape also includes a complete archive of Sambunarisâ€™ travels with maps, journals, road logs, collected souvenirs, and sketches.