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Old May 22nd, 2008, 05:37 PM   #1
tpe
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Arts Chicago

I intend this thread to contain news and discussions of the Visual and Performing Arts in Chicago.

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I had been meaning to post this NY Times article about The AIC's "new" director. It is not flattery when the article cites him to be very down-to-earth.

A recently deceased friend had a chance to meet Cuno when he was new in Chicago. I think it was one of the events welcoming Cuno as new director.

My friend, who was a member of the Old Masters Society, had great difficulty walking, and Cuno met him when he was trying to hail a cab back to his place after the event.

Cuno gave my friend a ride home, even though it took him all the way to Lakeview. My friend remembered the conversation as "one of the most engaging he ever had".


From: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/ar...chicago&st=cse

-----------------------------------------

A Man Who Loves Big Museums
By JORI FINKEL
Published: May 18, 2008


Construction of the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Peter Wynn Thompson for The New York Times
James Cuno


WHEN James Cuno stepped into his job as director and president of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004, employees were a touch nervous. The departing director, James Wood, had begun the most ambitious expansion in the museum’s history. But ground had not yet been broken. And although he had raised $120 million, at least twice that would be needed.

It was a pivotal time, and after 24 years at the museum Mr. Wood was handing the reins to a man who had led the Courtauld Institute in London for less than 24 months.

Then late one afternoon, one employee after another caught sight of Mr. Cuno moving into his office — by himself. Although the museum has a staff of nearly 600, he was carting and carrying stacks of books on his own. It was an early sign that Mr. Cuno, who goes by Jim and not James, would be a down-to-earth, hands-on leader, one with a deep commitment to recent art-historical scholarship.

“I’m a bit compulsive about my library — the way it’s organized, which is rather intuitive,” said Mr. Cuno, 57. “And physically putting the books away helps me to remember where they are.”

This month he can add a new title of his own to those shelves: “Who Owns Antiquity?,” published by Princeton University Press. While it is far from his first book (he has written about Jasper Johns and Joseph Beuys, among other artists), it is his first dedicated to the political minefield of cultural patrimony. A condemnation of cultural property laws that restrict the international trade in antiquities, the book doubles as a celebration of the world’s great border-crossing encyclopedic museums, among them the Art Institute and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The book carries a back-jacket blurb from Philippe de Montebello, the director of the Met. He calls it “a must-read for all concerned with the fate of our ancient heritage.” Others are calling Mr. Cuno one of the front-runners to succeed Mr. de Montebello, who has announced plans to retire.

In an interview at his office on a rainy April day Mr. Cuno sat at a coffee table near advance copies of his book. Blueprints for the Art Institute’s expansion by the architect Renzo Piano lined the wall.

He wore a dark suit and a clear plastic watch with orange and yellow hands and colorful gears. “It’s a Swatch watch designed by Renzo Piano,” he said. ”He gave it to me. I teased him: ‘What did you really do here? You just took the face off and colored the gears?’ But those are his characteristic colors and sense of transparency.”

He first worked with Mr. Piano over a decade ago in a failed attempt to build a new museum at Harvard, where Mr. Cuno headed the university’s museums. “I had the support of the president, but did not get the support of the corporation of Harvard — the trustees,” he said. Mr. Cuno later introduced Mr. Piano to Mr. Wood, who hired him for the Chicago expansion.

Now, in one of those satisfying full-circle moments, Mr. Cuno is overseeing the completion of Mr. Piano’s design for the Art Institute’s new Modern Wing. When it opens in May 2009, this three-story building will house galleries for modern and contemporary art, architecture and design. At 264,000 square feet, it is over three times the size of Mr. Piano’s new Broad Contemporary Art Museum in Los Angeles.

The Chicago project carries a price tag of $370 million, including an endowment to keep up the new space. When Mr. Cuno arrived, just $125 million had been pledged or received. He has since raised over $200 million, including $50 million from an anonymous family that declined naming rights for the wing.

He chalked up his success in part to the “instant and palpable” excitement generated by Millennium Park next door, with its popular sculptures by Anish Kapoor and Jaume Plensa and a band shell by Frank Gehry. A footbridge will connect the Modern Wing to the park.

He credited Mr. Wood for making his job easier: “There are always challenges to running a museum, but it’s not like I had to overhaul the place because it was broken.” (One cloud on Mr. Wood’s watch, the loss of $39 million of the museum’s endowment by the hedge fund Integral Investment Management, inspired a lawsuit by the museum that is still making its way through the courts.)

Mr. Cuno talks in terms of renovation, not innovation, and that is his goal for the museum’s main 1893 Beaux-Arts building. He said that by the end of this year 60 percent of its galleries will have been renovated and reinstalled to make for “greater clarity and coherence of presentation.” Still, Gustave Caillebotte’s “Paris Street; Rainy Day” from 1877 will retain pride of place at the top of the grand staircase.

He has also just completed a rebranding project with the Pentagram design firm. “We realized this is a moment of renewal for the museum, and we wanted to communicate that graphically,” said Mr. Cuno, noting that the museum’s name has received 20 graphic treatments in a decade.

He pulled out a magnet with the Art Institute’s new logo, pointing out “the Frank Lloyd Wright red” of the background and the “clear and crisp look” of the Topaz font. “The font has this contemporary edge but at the same time recalls Wiener Werkstätte or Secessionist architecture,” he said. It also harks back to antiquity in at least one very visible way: the letter U in “Institute” appears like a V in classic Roman fashion, as it does on the museum’s original Michigan Avenue facade.

Abbott Miller, a partner at Pentagram, was impressed by Mr. Cuno’s commitment to that angular U, which elsewhere “could have been focus-grouped to death and disappeared,” he said. “I have worked with directors of a number of large art museums, and I think everyone has a stake in rebranding. But with Jim I would say there were more meetings, more attention to detail, more investment — though I never thought it was excessive.”

Mr. Cuno said the choice of font was no small matter. “I think all of these things are terribly important because they represent the institution — everything from the museum shop to our Web presence to our graphic identity to our publications to our exhibitions to how our guards greet you when you arrive.”

But an expansion that created opportunity has also brought controversy. This summer the museum is lending some 92 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces once scheduled for temporary storage to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth in a deal involving payment by the Texas museum. Most museums loans are free or quid pro quo.

“It was said by some that we rented the pictures,” Mr. Cuno said. “That’s just not what we do. The Kimbell is covering costs associated with mounting the exhibition, with producing the catalog and with reframing the pictures.” He declined to disclose the total amount the Kimbell had paid, except to say that published estimates of $2 million were inaccurate.

If the critics are vocal, so are his supporters. James Rondeau, curator of contemporary art at the Chicago museum, for one, praised Mr. Cuno’s energy and his traditional — “I don’t want to say old-school”— leadership style. “He has a terrific dual focus on institutional growth as well as on the important core values of the museum — the collection, exhibitions, and scholarship.”

While his own background as an academic is in 19th-century French printmaking, Mr. Cuno has become best known for his writing and speaking about the role of art museums today. At Harvard he started a program for art museum directors that led to “Whose Muse?,” a book of essays that he edited about museums and “the public trust.” The overriding theme is that museums should take themselves seriously and not become theme parks.

This sense of a museum’s civic duties also shapes his new book. The title, “Who Owns Antiquity?” is disingenuous, as the book’s answer is clearly nobody, or everybody. In a polarized debate that has pitted archaeologists against collectors, he takes the increasingly unpopular pro-trade side but seeks to give it an ethical framework.

Mr. Cuno contends that “the accident of geography” should not give nations exclusive claims on archaeological material that happens to be found within their borders. He asserts that a country’s cultural patrimony policies reflect its political or diplomatic agenda more than a commitment to preserving culture. And he argues for the revival of partage, a practice in which museums or universities aid the excavation of an archaeological site in another country in exchange for some of the artifacts.

“People will assume my argument in favor of partage is a thinly disguised argument for imperialism,” he said. “But partage helped to create not just the university museums and encyclopedic museums in this country, but also museums locally on site — like the national museums of Afghanistan and Iraq.”

An Air Force brat who attended high school near San Francisco but moved around a lot, Mr. Cuno drew on a wide range of sources for the book, including Thomas L. Friedman, the columnist for The New York Times; the Indian economist Amartya Sen; and the Palestinian-American cultural critic Edward Said.

He also champions the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah’s theory of “cosmopolitanism” — a kind of moral worldliness — as an alternative to nationalist ideology.

In his preface Mr. Cuno thanked Mr. Appiah for their conversations over the years. He also thanked Mr. de Montebello, who read — and apparently also copy edited — the first full draft. “I’m a terrible proofreader, so he corrected some spellings,” Mr. Cuno said.

As for Mr. de Montebello’s job, Mr. Cuno said nobody had contacted him about it. And if the Met were to call?

“It would be impossible not to have a conversation because of the importance of the museum and its role in the profession,” he said. (In an e-mail message later that day, he put it somewhat differently: “I have not spoken with anyone at the Met nor do I intend to.”)

He glanced around his office at the Art Institute. “To put it simply, this place is a fit,” he said. “I believe I have a personality that is Midwestern.”
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 05:52 PM   #2
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For anyone interested, we also have the Chicago Cultural Development News thread in the development news forum.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 06:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen View Post
For anyone interested, we also have the Chicago Cultural Development News thread in the development news forum.
Thanks hydrogen.

I wouldn't mind it at all if the mods merge this thread with the older one. The latter is sufficient, IMO.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 07:14 PM   #4
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No worries. We could still keep this one and gear it toward cultural news that doesn't involve the construction of new buildings, which is the province of the Chicago Cultural Development News thread.
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 07:57 PM   #5
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At the Newberry Library:

http://www.newberry.org/programs/ChicagoOperaS08.html

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Chicago Opera Theater: The Origins of Handel's Opera Orlando


Chicago Opera Theater's Orlando

Tuesday, May 27, 6:30 pm

Panel: Wendy Heller, Princeton University; Eleonora Stoppino, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Justin Wray, Chicago Opera Theater


Orlando, written in 1732 by George Frideric Handel, is based upon Ludovico Arisoto's epic 1532 poem, Orlando furioso. Orlando furioso inspired countless literary works and numerous pieces of music including three operas by Handel alone. The Chicago Opera Theater's May 28 - June 8 production of Handel's Orlando is Chicago's first in more than two decades. Join the director of COT's Orlando, Justin Way, musicologist Wendy Heller, and Italian literary historian Eleonora Stoppino as they explore Handel's music and Ariosto's epic poem about obsessive love that leads to madness.

Admission is free, but reservations are requested. For reservations email the Chicago Opera Theater at education@chicagooperatheater.org or call (312) 704-8420, extension 23.

Co-sponsored by the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, Chicago Opera Theater, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, and the Department of French and Italian at Northwestern University.

The Newberry Library
Center for Public Programs
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, IL 60610-7324

telephone: (312) 255-3700
fax: (312) 255-3680
e-mail: programs@newberry.org
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 08:21 PM   #6
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Coming soon at the Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago:

----------------------------------------------------

June 17 – September 7, 2008 | Joel and Carole Bernstein Gallery for Works on Paper

Street Level: Modern Photography from the Smart Museum Collection

In the early twentieth century, a number of photographers turned their cameras to their immediate environment, finding subjects in the everyday imagery and visual clamor of the streets in modern cities like Chicago, Moscow, New York, and Paris. Presented as objective and mechanical representations of ordinary urban life, these “straight” or “pure” photographs were in fact often inflected with other aesthetic and social concerns. In capturing daily city life, some photographers produced abstract and dislocating views of vast urban architecture, while others depicted much more intimate, narrative scenes of abject poverty. With photographs by Walker Evans, Georgy Zelma, Nathan Lerner, and Paul Strand, among others, this exhibition of works from the Smart Museum collection looks at the modern city as seen from the street.

Curator: Rachel Furnari, Smart Museum curatorial intern and University of Chicago Ph.D. candidate in Art History, in consultation with Richard A. Born, Smart Museum Senior Curator.


Evans, Walker, American, 1903-1975
Halsted Street, Chicago (Two Blind Street Musicians), 1941
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 09:19 PM   #7
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In Evanston:

This review is from: http://www.timeout.com/chicago/artic...k-lloyd-wright

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“Design in the Age of Darwin: From William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright”

Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art, through Aug 24.

Northwestern University, 40 Arts Circle Dr
Evanston, IL | Map
847-491-4000
El: Purple to Foster. Bus: 201 Central/Ridge (24hrs).


Frank Lloyd Wright, Window for Frederick C. Robie Residence, Chicago, ca. 1909.

If it’s controversial to suggest the world was not created in six days, then the Block Museum’s decision to call its new exhibition “Design in the Age of Darwin” must be significant. Yet intelligent design—in a couple of senses—becomes the show’s true focus: Curator Stephen F. Eisenman, an art history professor at Northwestern, can’t quite prove that Charles Darwin’s 1859 publication of The Origin of Species had any influence on 19th- and early-20th-century English and American designers and architects, and the exhibition’s dazzling specimens are much more intriguing than its flimsy foundation.

According to the exhibition’s introduction, Darwin’s theory that random mutations and natural selection were responsible for the variety of life he observed offended the “formalists,” who believed in fixed biological archetypes created by God. One of them was Christopher Dresser, a Victorian designer whose brilliant, self-branded products for multiple clients make Michael Graves’s Target line and Karim Rashid’s ubiquitous Umbra blobjects look like they belong to a different phylum. Dresser’s study of botany helped him create innovative floral patterns for wallpapers, textiles and other household goods; his willingness to embrace new manufacturing processes made him a household name. The news that the man who is thought of as a proto-Modernist and the world’s first industrial designer rejected Darwin’s ideas is a (fascinating) surprise. And the exhibition’s link between Dresser’s stylized, idealized depictions of nature and his assumption that one creator devised plants’ “strict rules of structure and design” is convincing.

“Design in the Age of Darwin” never demonstrates, however, that most of its other primary subjects—Arts and Crafts leaders William Morris, C.R. Ashbee and C.F.A. Voysey; and architects Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright—had any direct response to evolutionary theory. For instance, its statement that Morris thought “contingency and perpetual change governed nature and development” is annoyingly vague. The exhibition emphasizes how much all of these men relied on flora and fauna for inspiration, presenting lovely patterns by Voysey involving snakes, birds and vines, as well as Morris’s patterns Pomegranate (1866) and Willow Boughs (1887). But artists and designers began borrowing motifs from nature at least 30,000 years before Ashbee enameled blue and yellow flowers on a toast rack: How are these designers’ motivations any different? More information about how Darwin’s ideas were disseminated to the public and how these designers might have encountered them would be helpful.

Without that context, tying Sullivan’s preoccupation with form and function to natural selection seems like a stretch. The show’s gorgeous examples of Sullivan’s stylized organic ornament from the Chicago Stock Exchange and his description of nature as an “archetype” that is “the basis of all successful design” position him as Dresser’s intellectual heir, not Darwin’s. Ashbee’s jewelry designs, Wright’s Prairie-Style furniture and Dresser’s silver-plated serving-ware are out of place: These are masterpieces from pedigreed sources such as London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and the private Crab Tree Farm collection in Lake Bluff, Illinois. But their connection to the show’s subject matter ranges from tenuous to nonexistent.

Only Voysey is explicitly said to have “embraced” evolution—yet one never learns how it affected his work in any detail. “Design in the Age of Darwin” is an enjoyable introduction to the work of its era, but its unusual thesis doesn’t bear fruit.


— Lauren Weinberg
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Old May 23rd, 2008, 10:21 PM   #8
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Vivaldi and Rameau with the CSO this weekend (May 23 - 25), with The Four Seasons, the Piccolo Concerto, and the Orchestral Suite to Rameau's Les Boréades



Harry Bicket

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May 23 and 24 (Friday and Saturday):

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
The Four Seasons

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Harry Bicket, conductor
Jennifer Gunn, piccolo
Yuan-Qing Yu, violin

Vivaldi - Piccolo Concerto in C Major
Rameau - Suite from Les Boréades
Vivaldi - The Four Seasons

Two of the CSO’s own are featured as soloists in Vivaldi works led by baroque specialist Harry Bicket, the newly appointed artistic director of the English Concert. CSO Assistant Concertmaster Yuan-Qing Yu is showcased in Vivaldi’s popular The Four Seasons, and Jennifer Gunn is highlighted in his Piccolo Concerto in C Major.


----------------------------------
May 25 (Sunday)

Vivaldi The Four Seasons

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Harry Bicket, conductor and harpsichord
Yuan-Qing Yu, violin
Gerard McBurney, creative director
Laura T. Fisher, actress
Alessandra Visconti, actress
Lionel Bottari, zampogna

In early 18th-century Venice, one of the most beautiful and civilized cities in Europe, there were a number of celebrated boarding schools in which young girls were trained in singing and playing instruments to spectacular virtuosity. Antonio Vivaldi— composer, violinist, and Catholic priest—was the music director of the most famous of these schools, the Pietà. For the girls of the Pietà's orchestra he poured out a torrent of glittering music that astonished Europe. The immensely popular sequence of four concertos called The Seasons was published in a book called The Argument of Harmony and Invention. Each is preceded by a poem by Vivaldi himself, in which he describes the actions and delights of each season as it is depicted in his music with all the vividness of one of the great Italian paintings from the same period.


http://www.cso.org/
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Old May 24th, 2008, 12:43 AM   #9
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Please note that this is the last weekend for the Joffrey's acclaimed American Moderns:

http://www.joffrey.com/




American Moderns
May 14-25, 2008


Hit the ground running with four explosive modern works that show off the non-stop athleticism of The Joffrey dancers: Paul Taylor’s hip and elegant Cloven Kingdom, a wry social commentary on man as a social animal; Mehmet Sander’s intense Inner Space, a fascinating, funny, harrowing work for three dancers in a Plexiglas box; Chicago choreographer, Lar Lubovitch’s “…smile with my heart” ; and The Joffrey premiere of Twyla Tharp’s sleek, sexy, and zany Waterbaby Bagatelles featuring especially powerful dancing from the Company’s men lit by ever-shifting arrangements of fluorescent bulbs.
------------------------------

The Chicago Tribune review: http://www.chicagotribune.com/featur...,7487449.story

Joffrey Ballet's 'American Moderns' includes works by Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch
By Sid Smith | Tribune critic
May 9, 2008

"When she's good, she's very good," one critic wrote of Twyla Tharp's "Waterbaby Bagatelles."

We'll judge for ourselves next week, when the Joffrey Ballet adds the 1994 work to its repertory during the company's spring engagement at the Auditorium Theatre.

The widely acclaimed piece, originally crafted for the Boston Ballet, tosses dancers into a kind of high-tech aquarium, one tinted with aqueous blues and lit by rows of movable fluorescent tubes. The men are bare-chested, a la her "In the Upper Room," while the women wear headpieces said to evoke bathing caps: remembrances of Esther Williams visited the minds of more than one viewer.

Throughout her career, Tharp has proved to be one of the more eclectic choreographers in terms of her musical interests. Jazz great Willie "the Lion" Smith, Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan and Philip Glass are on her diverse list. "Waterbaby Bagatelles" is a case in point; the score includes strains from 12-tone experimentalist Anton Webern, tango's Astor Piazzolla and melodic contemporary composer John Adams.

Shelley Washington, the former Tharp dancer and stylist extraordinaire, once again came to stage the piece, as she did for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Tharp lineup years ago and as she does for so many Tharp revivals everywhere. The title term "bagatelles," by the way, variously means "a short and light piece of music," "an unimportant thing or trifle" and "a game on a table with a cue and balls." Trust Tharp to suggest all three.

The Joffrey's "American Moderns" bill also includes the Chicago premiere of "…smile with my heart," native son Lar Lubovitch's 2002 tribute to Richard Rodgers, originally created for American Ballet Theatre. Lubovitch spans a broad spectrum of Rodgers' work and partnerships, with selections including "It Might As Well Be Spring" with Oscar Hammerstein, "Do I Hear a Waltz?" with Stephen Sondheim and "My Funny Valentine" with Lorenz Hart, the song whose lyric gives the work its title and was featured in the Joffrey movie "The Company." This will be the first time the troupe has performed the entire Lubovitch piece.

Paul Taylor's signature favorite, "Cloven Kingdom," on the bill at many of his own company's recent performances in New York City, and Mehmet Sander's eerie, unusual "Inner Space," enacted by three dancers inside a Plexiglas box, complete the bill. On May 25, "Inner Space" will give way to Maia Wilkins and Michael Levine in Gerald Arpino's "Sea Shadow" and Wilkins and Willy Shives in Arpino's brilliant elegy "Ruth, Ricordi Per Due," all three dancers' farewell performances.

A good cry will be had by all. If you see only one Joffrey program all year, make it this one.

•Who would have thought? We have two ballet bookings in the near future, not bad for outdoor-beckoning May.

The Civic Ballet of Chicago, the youth company of the Ruth Page Center's school of dance, is presenting "Black Tights and Spanish Rhythms," including a new work by Harrison McEldowney, "Les Femmes en Collants Noir," or "Ladies in Black Tights," and "Suite Espanola" by Irma Ruiz.

The concerts are May 9-10 at the Ruth Page Center, 1016 N. Dearborn St. (312-337-6543) and May 17-18 at Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave. (773-442-4636).

sismith@tribune.com



"American Moderns"
Bare chests, bathing caps and Richard Rodgers

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 16 and 23; 2 and 7:30 p.m. May 17 and 24; and 2 p.m. May 18 and 25.

Where: Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Pkwy.

Price: $25-$140; 312-902-1500 or www.ticketmaster.com.

------------------------------

The closing party will be in the renovated Blackstone Hotel in the South Loop:


Last edited by tpe; May 24th, 2008 at 12:55 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #10
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Kavi Gupta is interviewed in the latest issue of Art and Auction magazine, and he has some interesting comments on the state of Contemporary Art here in Chicago, especially after the lows during the 1980s and early 1990s.


He was very prominent this year in Art Chicago's newest fair: "Next" (see http://www.chicagoreader.com/feature...siness/071206/)

The Gallery website:

http://www.kavigupta.com/exhibit/exhibitions.php

The Review of his gallery at Centerstage Chicago:

http://www.centerstagechicago.com/ar...kavigupta.html

---------------------------------

835 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago
Tel: (312) 432-0708
Fax: (312) 432-0709

Editorial Review of Kavi Gupta Gallery

Kavi Gupta's West Loop gallery is spacious, bright and clean. So clean, in fact, that you can actually smell it. Spotless hardwood floors and fresh white walls perfectly accentuate the bold colors and contrast the dramatic black of the pieces on display. Kavi Gupta doesn't limit his collection to strictly paintings and other wall art; he avidly shows video, sculpture, photography and performance pieces as well. The gallery consists of a large main room, a separate smaller showroom and a dark video room where viewers can sit and watch the latest video piece on display. The gallery focuses on an international mix of artists and pieces; this global focus allows the gallery to participate in a broader range of styles and cultures, with a main interest in what artists are creating "now."

Kavi Gupta, a businessman with a strong appreciation of art, opened his gallery in 1998. As a gallerist, he works with collectors to help them find and sell their pieces. What's most important to the gallery is helping the artists to get "out there" and get into collections. Since Kavi Gupta Gallery focuses on international art, it travels around the world to participate in art fairs. Shows include MACO Mexico, Mexico City; Volta Show; Basel, Switzerland; Art Forum, Berlin; and NADA Art Fair, Miami.

Fortunately for those of us who aren't afforded so many travel opportunities, Kavi Gupta features exciting shows right here in the Chicago gallery, including new work by Jeff Carter, Simon Watson, Scott Anderson, Claire Rohan, Joe Jackson and David Noonan. Be sure to scope out the Kavi Gupta Web site for more information about current and upcoming shows.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:10 PM   #11
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** Double post. Deleted. **

Last edited by tpe; May 27th, 2008 at 05:23 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpe View Post
May 25 (Sunday)

Vivaldi The Four Seasons

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Harry Bicket, conductor and harpsichord
Yuan-Qing Yu, violin
Gerard McBurney, creative director
Laura T. Fisher, actress
Alessandra Visconti, actress
Lionel Bottari, zampogna
The Tribune review of Sunday's performance:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entert...,6364266.story

-----------------------------

CLASSICAL REVIEW

Vivaldi's familiar 'Four Seasons' seen in new light
By John von Rhein | Tribune critic
May 27, 2008

Gerard McBurney, the creative mastermind and spirited narrator of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's "Beyond the Score" series, realizes that even the most familiar music has plenty to teach the average listener.

He had a wealth of unexpected insights to impart on behalf of Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" at the series' season finale Sunday in a packed Orchestra Hall.

Sharing the stage with CSO assistant concertmaster Yuan-Qing Yu, conductor-harpsichordist Harry Bicket, two actors and a small CSO string ensemble, McBurney used the descriptive sonnets with which Vivaldi prefaced each of his four violin concertos as his starting point. From there the hourlong program became a multimedia examination of each concerto, Vivaldi's career in Venice and the profound influence "The Four Seasons" had on program music for centuries to come.

Musical excerpts, biographical details, readings from poems, letters and diaries, and samplings of artwork from Vivaldi's time—projected onto a large screen over the orchestra—delighted the eye in much the same way the Baroque composer delighted the ear with his re-creations of the sounds of nature.

Close-ups of Yu's playing were transmitted via video camera directly to the screen, illustrating Vivaldi's remarkably innovative string techniques.

It could not have been easy for the violin soloist to maintain her concentration with the camera lens constantly zeroing in on her, but Yu played with as much virtuosic grace as the two Chicago actors, Laura T. Fisher and Alessandra Visconti, delivered the spoken portions of the program.

Chicago performer Lionel Bottari, decked out in folk costume, briefly sounded a dissonant drone on the zampogna, or Italian bagpipe, whose effect Vivaldi incorporated into his music. The thing sounded truly awful, but that, too, added to the audience's enjoyment.

McBurney's discerning eye for pertinent visual art once again revealed itself in his choices of paintings by Canaletto and others, many of which were juxtaposed with film footage of today's Venice. The artwork afforded telling glimpses into the everyday life of ordinary Venetians, the kind of folks who very much populate "The Four Seasons."

Yu, Bicket and the CSO presented a complete account of "The Four Seasons" after the intermission.

It's good news that the "Beyond the Score" program on Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, taped in January, has just been released as a free video download. You can access it and earlier productions in the series at beyondthescore.org.

jvonrhein@tribune.com
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the info, tpe. Per our posting guidelines, please include only a small portion of the article you wish to post (first few paragraphs). We've had some issues in the past.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen View Post
Thanks for all the info, tpe. Per our posting guidelines, please include only a small portion of the article you wish to post (first few paragraphs). We've had some issues in the past.
I see. Thanks hydrogen. I shall do so in future post.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #15
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Free concert for today:

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts: Popular Romantic Duets
Chicago Cultural Center, GAR Hall
78 E Washington St, second floor


When: Today 12:15pm
Ticketing: FREE

Artists:

Johanna Franzon, violin
Kuang-Hao Huang, piano

Program:

Brahms, Scherzo in C Minor
Saint-Saens, Havannaise
Chausson, Poeme
Paganini, Moto Perpetuo, Allegro Vivace
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Old May 29th, 2008, 08:28 PM   #16
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Please note that The AIC's "Ed Ruscha and Photography" exhibition finishes this Sunday, June 1:

-----------------------------------------------------

http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/exhibition/ruscha

Since the beginning of Ed Ruscha’s career in the late 1950s, photography has been both an inspiration and a source of discovery for this seminal Pop and Conceptual artist. This exhibition, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, features over 100 photographs and his signature photographic books...

To complement the Chicago presentation of Ed Ruscha and Photography, paintings, drawings, and prints from the museum’s outstanding holdings and from local private collections are also on display. These works bring to the fore the key motifs that course throughout Ruscha’s practice and confirm the centrality of his work to the Pop and Conceptual art movements of the 1960s and 1970s...




Edward Ruscha. Phillips 66, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1962. From Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1963. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #17
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In 20 minutes:

break :: the :: box 2008

City Hall
121 N La Salle St (between Washington and Randolph Sts)
Loop/West Loop, Chicago | Map
708-383-8873

Prices
Tickets: $20, members $15

Description
Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple Restoration Foundation presents this series on “challenging assumptions, undermining preconceptions and rejecting the norm”—a theme reflected in organizers' unconventional punctuation choices. Today's installment, “visit chicago city hall's green roof :: close to nature*,” offers participants a rare chance to explore City Hall's rooftop garden, a groundbreaking part of Mayor Daley's plan to make Chicago the greenest city in the U.S. A reception follows the event. Registration is required.

When
Today 2pm.

http://www.timeout.com/chicago/event...ks/64383/break
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Old May 30th, 2008, 09:30 PM   #18
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Handel's Orlando
The Chicago Opera Theatre

Conductor: Raymond Leppard
Director: Justin Way

Sung in Italian with English supertitles.
Approximate running time: 2 hours 42 minutes with one intermission

May 28, 31, June 3, 6, 8, 2008
All performances at 7:30pm, except Sundays at 3pm.

All performances held at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.

http://www.chicagooperatheater.org/index.html


Scene from Torquato Tasso's Gerusalemme Liberata, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, The Art Institute of Chicago
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Old May 30th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #19
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A few other things to do this weekend:

----------------------------------------

Chicago Gospel Music Festival
Today 4pm–9:30pm, Tomorrow, Sun 11am–9:30pm

Millennium Park 55 N Michigan Ave, at Washington St, Loop/West Loop, Chicago (312-744-3315)

Gospel-music performers and their fans take over Millennium Park for the 24th annual Chicago Gospel Music Festival.

----------------------------------------

Inspired by Nature: The Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago’s West Side.
Today–Thu 9:30am–5pm Ongoing through Jun 6.

Chicago Architecture Foundation 224 S Michigan Ave, at Jackson Blvd, Loop/West Loop, Chicago (312-922-3432)

A display of photographs, maps, illustrations and narratives comes from the eponymous book penned by park historian Julia Bachrach and Ann Nathan.

----------------------------------------

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Today 1:30pm, Tomorrow 8pm

Symphony Center, Orchestra Hall 220 S Michigan Ave, between Adams St and Jackson Blvd, Loop/West Loop, Chicago (312-294-3000)

Michael Tilson Thomas, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony, brings Dvorak's rustic Symphony No. 8 to Orchestra Hall along with Charles Ives's New England Holidays.

----------------------------------------

Cathy Heifetz Memorial Concert
Tomorrow 8pm, Sun 4pm

University of Chicago, Mandel Hall 1131 E 57th St, between Ellis and University Aves, Bronzeville/Hyde Park/South Shore, Chicago (773-702-8068)

The University Symphony Orchestra goes out in style with Mahler's fiery Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” as led by Barbara Schubert.
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Old May 31st, 2008, 12:40 AM   #20
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Seems like Lincoln Avenue has been staged circa 1920 for the John Dillinger gangster movie, with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale:

http://www.chicagolive.com/entertain...d_for_dilling/
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