Chicago Art Magazine’s Week in Review by Kathryn BornJuly 30th, 2010
The Collision of Art and Life
I think one of the characteristics of art today is that we want it to be in our lives, and not something, or someplace that we only encounter in certain places, at certain time. There’s also the trend of the world at large looking at their artistic side. One area Anna Schier explored this week is the intersection of science and art, saying, ” The International Museum of Surgical Science is secretly an art museum.” Then Lynn Basa, my favorite thought-leader, said on my Facebook page said “So is Fermilab.”
And she’s right, but the list of science-meets-art venues just goes on and on. In her subsequent “Museum Science Roundup,” which includes on the list the Field Museum, an unlikely art place. “Another scientific institution that enthusiastically embraces artistic integration is the Field Museum. While the museum contains several cultural exhibits that include artifacts which are certainly artistically relevant, two of their five temporary shows particularly stand out. Lasting Impressions: Chinese Rubbings from The Field Museum incorporates the aesthetic element of history and kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa explores questions of identity, race and self-perception by showing photographs of multiracial individuals and their handwritten responses to the question “What are you?” Amongst its jungle creatures and dinosaurs, the Field Museum makes plenty of room for art.”
The subject of art-meets-daily-life, Peter Fetterman Gallery gave us a nudge to talk about Henri Cartier-Bresson’s retrospective at the Art Institute. Another form of the same art/life integration. HC-B could really be considered a “new media artist” in the 1920’s. The portable camera had just become available to the public, and for the first time, you could walk around and take photos without a tripod and a lot of setup. And walk around and take photos for 50 years, he did. He always had his camera with him, and there was no line between living and photographing what he saw. He is considered the founding father of photo journalism, and influenced by his training as a painter, he took it to a new level. This retrospective alone has 300 images, from the 20’s to the 70’s. Telling the story of the camera, designed to be so utilitarian, became the ultimate art-making machine.
Kathryn is the Editor-in-Chief of Chicago Art Magazine, which includes a network of additional websites about arts and culture. She is a conceptual artist and writer, whose work has appeared on Chicago Public Radio, Time Out, RedEye and Chicago Tribune. She has three books due to be published, the first being The Lovers, the Death, and the Crimes, published by StepSister Press due for release on September 23, 2010.