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Home Explore Newcity Chicago May 2019

Newcity Chicago May 2019

Published by Newcity, 2019-04-23 14:29:35

Description: Newcity's May issue features our annual look at the city's emerging visual arts talent, Breakout Artists: Chicago’s Next Generation of Image Makers. Outgoing Art Editor Elliot Reichert reflects on the evolving state of the Chicago art scene and beyond. David Hammond reports on the Art Institute's forthcoming Manet exhibit. Plus: Mordin & Co. celebrates a half century, Renée Rosen writes Helen Gurley Brown, tech you can wear, spring/summer theater preview, and more!


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May 2019 BreAarktiosutst


MAY 2019 CONTENTS ARTS & CULTURE SEEWNHOLE ART The story behind the new Manet show at the Art Institute Theaster Gates and our changing worlds 9 35 Tomorrow's art stars today DANCE 15 Mordine & Co. dances at fifty 41 MAY Newcity DESIGN The Museum of Science and Industry explores wearable tech 43 DINING & DRINKING Chicago Meat Collective is fresh 45 FILM Olivier Assayas tackles “Non-Fiction” 47 LIT Renée Rosen channels Helen Gurley Brown 50 MUSIC A meditation on gospel music in Chicago 54 STAGE A roundup of the spring and summer on stage 56 LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL Teen Dream: How (not) to cheat at math 58 3

One of the most frequent questions I get asked when untreatable AIDS was wreaking its de- is, \"How big is your staff?\" To which I usually struction across so many undeserving commu- fumble with an answer, saying something like, nities, and the activism of that time in the face \"I'm not really sure. I need to count one of these of a hostile government was reshaping the culture at large, while shaping our then-young days.\" It's been a tough ques- personal worldview. tion ever since we convert- ed into a virtual company A recent conversation with Elliot Reichert, almost a decade ago, albeit a who is departing as our art editor with this company producing very issue, stirred the pot some more. It seems like tangible products. I can't yesterday I met Elliot, as he was leaving a cu- just count desks anymore, as ratorial position for graduate school. But the our full-time staff is tiny— four years he was with us, Elliot said, made his far less than what is needed Newcity tenure the longest-running, most sta- to produce the magazine, ble professional connection he's had in his our digital properties and still-relatively short life. our custom publications. So I just took a quick tally: last The passage of time and the joy and melancholy month's print edition represented the efforts of memories weigh heavily. We'll miss Elliot of just under thirty of us: publishers, editors, and wish him well. It's a graduation of sorts, ad salespeople, writers, artists and photogra- befitting the subject of this month's lead fea- phers, designers, drivers, etc. Add in quite a ture, “Breakout Artists,” which points out some few contributors to our web sites, and the num- lesser-known artists who deserve to be better ber of people it takes to be Newcity each month known. This issue brings back its own memo- is right about fifty these days. ries after sixteen years of creating it, dating back to 2004. Like the Newcity staff, Breakout It's humbling when you think about that num- Artists now number enough past subjects to ber over a continuum of time, dating back to constitute its own alumni network of sorts, our founding in 1986. Thousands, perhaps tens some of whom have become today's art-world of thousands, of folks have contributed to the superstars, others who've receded from the growth and sustenance of this enterprise over scene, and many who continue doing what our lifetime. they've been doing all along. Old days, and our people past and present, have In any case, behold the Breakout Artists Class been heavy on my mind lately. I just saw the of 2019. Gregg Bordowitz show at the Art Institute and Newcity MAY 2019 it, along with Rebecca Makkai's still-surging novel \"The Great Believers\" which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction this weekend, evokes vivid memories of those times in the late eighties when we started Newcity, 4

We invite you to be one in To start your journey, go to and: a million to help speed up 1 Create an account medical breakthroughs. 2 Give your consent 3 Agree to share your electronic health records The more researchers know about what 4 Answer health surveys makes each of us unique, the more tailored 5 Have your measurements taken (height, weight, blood our health care can become. pressure, etc.) and give blood and urine samples, if asked or more people nationwide to create a healthier future for all of us. After completing these steps, you’ll receive $25. To learn more and to enroll, contact us at: [email protected] | (312) 695-6077 | All of Us and the All of Us logo are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

CONTRIBUTORS S. NICOLE LANE (“Breakout Artists”) ON THE COVER is a journalist and an artist who finds Cover Art: Melissa Leandro MELISSA LEANDRO (Cover) was a comfort working with her hands. Newcity “Breakout Artist” in 2018. Leandro's Vol. 34, No. 1391 woven and embroidered surfaces explore ALISA SWINDELL (“Breakout Artists”) her composite cultural identity through is a PhD student in the Department of PUBLISHERS means of intuitive mark-making. Reflecting Art History at UIC. Her primary research Brian & Jan Hieggelke on her past and present travels, she interests are the history of photography Associate Publisher Mike Hartnett considers the impact of these environments and other modes of contemporary art on the fragmentation of identity and place. with a focus on race and sexuality. EDITORIAL Editor Brian Hieggelke ELLIOT REICHERT (editor, “Breakout ANASTASIA KARPOVA TINARI Managing Editor Jan Hieggelke Artists”) is accustomed to the process of (“Breakout Artists”) is a Chicago-based Art Editor Elliot Reichert “discovering” artists as Newcity’s Art editor. curator, writer, and arts administrator. Dance Editor Sharon Hoyer But this issue is a special undertaking that She is currently director at Richard Gray Design Editor Vasia Rigou draws not only on all of his experiences Gallery and was previously director at Dining and Drinking Editor but also on the vast talents of his art team. Rhona Ho man Gallery. David Hammond This May issue will be Elliot’s last, he’s Film Editor Ray Pride heading to the Indiana University Eskenazi CHRIS REEVES (“Breakout Artists”) Lit Editor Toni Nealie Museum of Art for a curatorial position lives and works in Chicago. He is currently Music Editor Robert Rodi in Contemporary Art. working toward a PhD in Art History at the University of Illinois Chicago. eater Editor Kevin Greene KERRY CARDOZA (“Breakout Artists”) is Newcity’s new Art editor. Kerry’s a VASIA RIGOU (“Breakout Artists”) is ART & DESIGN Northwestern alum, who has covered Newcity’s Design editor. A native of Greece, Senior Designers Fletcher Martin, visual art for Newcity since 2015. Vasia loves to travel, adding to her unique Dan Streeting, Billy Werch global perspective on our city. Designers Jim Maciukenas, Stephanie Plenner DAVID HAMMOND (“Seen Whole”) is Newcity’s Dining and Drinking editor and MARKETING a longtime food and travel writer based Marketing Manager Todd Hieggelke in Oak Park. OPERATIONS GEINNIUEVSERY ROOM General Manager Jan Hieggelke Distribution Coordinator Matt Russell Newcity MAY 2019 Robie House, photo by James Caulfield Distribution Nick Bachmann, Adam Desantis, Preston Klik, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT created a new American architecture Quinn Nicholson in Chicago. Be inspired by his vision at the world-famous Home and Studio, newly restored Robie House, Unity Temple, and more. One copy of current issue free at select locations. Additional copies, including YEAR-ROUND TOURS: FLWRIGHT.ORG 312.994.4000 back issues up to one year, may be ordered at IN T E R N ATIONAL G ATEWAY TO W RIG H T ’S CH I CA G O Copyright 2019, New City Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 6 Newcity assumes no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic material. All rights in letters and unsolicited editorial or graphic material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and subject to comment editorially. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Newcity is published by Newcity Communications, Inc. 47 West Polk, Suite 100-223, Chicago, IL 60605 Visit for advertising and editorial information.

POOJA PITTIE........ Moon Illusion “...the astronomer cannot prevent himself from seeing the moon larger at its rising than some time afterwards, although he is not deceived by this illusion.” Immanuel Kant, 1781 (clockwise from upper left) opening May 4 A song for Yesterday, 50 x 40 inches These Dreams are Already Spoken For, 48 x 36 McCormick Gallery • West Loop You Could Stay Here a While, 50 x 40 You’ve Been Here Once Before, 50 x 40

2019 DIGITAL Community STORYTELLING Film Workshop Chicago IPNroITdIAuTctIVioEn: Institute Informational Session The Production Institute, a program of the Logan Apr 22, 6pm Center’s Digital Storytelling Initiative, makes high-quality digital media production training more accessible to Application Period emerging filmmakers on Chicago’s South Side. The Apr 22–May 10, 2019 17-week program includes film aesthetics, directing, cinematography, sound, and editing courses. For more Film Aesthetics details, visit Screenings (mandatory) Apr 29, May 6, 13, & 20 6–8:pm Finalists Announced Jun 7 Production Institute Jun 24–Sep 21, 2019 Logan Center 773.834.7718 for the Arts 915 E 60th St loganUChicago

SEEN WHOLE The Making of “Manet and Modern Beauty” at the Art Institute of Chicago by David Hammond 9

We sat down to discuss Manet and the “Jeanne upcoming exhibition with Gloria (Spring)” Groom, chair of European Painting and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chica- go. I asked Groom about the challeng- es of mounting a show like “Manet and Modern Beauty.” Turns out, a big chal- lenge is to come up with a thesis, usu- ally suggested in the title of the show, like “Manet and Modern Beauty.” Of course, there are many other challeng- es along the way, and one of the big- gest is getting museums and others to agree to send their highly valued works of art to the Art Institute. “You’re dealing with real people, private collections, institutions in far-off coun- tries, all over the world,” Groom says. “How do you convince someone who doesn’t want to lend? Some small mu- seums are like, we can’t lend, because ‘If we lose this, we don’t have anything to replace it.’ There’s a widespread curatorial com- A “It’s always a challenge, and sometimes munity, national and international, you must make trips. You don’t just that communicates, makes deals and write to them [potential lenders] and updates one another on develop- say, ‘This is what we want.’ You need ments at their galleries. lthough Édouard Manet does not to go to the museum, for instance, and The idea for the “Manet and Modern tell them why we want their piece in Beauty” show came to Groom after fit neatly into the Impressionist the show. We explain to them and ask the curator at the Getty in Los Ange- canon—in the way that Monet, about what projects they might have les called her. The Getty curator told in the future that we Groom they’d just ac- Renoir and Degas do—the Im- might help them with. We quired “Jeanne,” a paint- pressionists owe him a debt of help each other out. “ ing of actress Jeanne De- You Marsy that was first gratitude. Manet is often consid- “With private collectors, need to displayed at the 1882 have a Paris Salon, one of the ered “the bridge between Realism you never go directly be- thesis last shows of Manet’s ca- cause you’re not sup- for the reer. “Jeanne” was intend- show. ed to represent spring- and Impressionism.” posed to know about time; Manet had another ” painting to represent au- them. They’re anony- tumn, but he died before he could finish winter and Manet spent the last years of his mous. So, you have to summer. The Getty cura- find somebody you know tor was excited about this acquisition, which was life painting, not in the open air, who knows the collector, sold for a feather over $65 million. as did so many Impressionists, but and you call that person and they pass the re- “He called me very trium- phantly,” Groom recalls. indoors. He was not well, perhaps quest along. They don’t “It’s a painting I’ve lusted suffering from locomotor ataxia, ask for compensation. No, no, no, no, no. Never. a side effect of syphilis. Édouard Manet.  For them, it’s the thrill of “Autumn (Méry Laurent),” having their artwork in a After Manet lost the ability to 1881 or 1882. Musée des larger context to give it travel far, models came to him to meaning they may not Beaux-Arts, Nancy. have understood. I mean, / Photo: P. Mignot. Newcity MAY 2019 sit for paintings. Some of those Édouard Manet.  that’s why it’s so import- after for years and years. paintings, many unfinished at the “Jeanne (Spring),” 1881. ant to have a good thesis It was definitely beyond time of his death, are the subject because when you go to collectors, our price tag. And he called me, and of “Manet and Modern Beauty” The J. Paul Getty you can’t just say, ‘We’re doing a I was like, okay, ‘We’re going to do an Museum, Los Angeles. Manet exhibition and we really think exhibition around it.’ And I thought your painting is beautiful and we can’t we’d do something pretty small, but opening at the Art Institute of wait to see it on our walls.’ You’ve got then we started thinking about it, and Chicago May 25. to have a cogent argument. You need it was like, this has not been done. to have a thesis for the show.” Let’s explore some of these things.” 10

MAY 2019 Newcity 11

One of the main things that Groom seeching her about is not known. damn if she’s going to pretend she’s wanted to explore was the concept of modern beauty, and how it was por- They both wear wedding rings on enjoying it. trayed in the late works of Manet. Looking at “Jeanne,” I was struck by their almost-touching left hands. the sobriety of the subject. We Amer- icans may smile too much; nothing Whether they are married to one an- One of Manet’s most famous paintings, wrong with being in a good mood, of course, but a smile for us is almost other is unclear. A conservatory is a “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère,” (which reflexive. Sometimes it doesn’t even signal that we’re happy. The female public place where a private rendez- will not be in this show) shows a subjects of Manet’s late period are uniformly stone-faced, beautiful, but vous could be arranged. woman whose stoic expression bor- betraying no affect, inscrutable, de- tached, almost disconnected from the people and things around them. Groom points out that the lack of a smile is typical of Manet and others in his period. “You’ll never see somebody showing their teeth. Think about ‘Olympia’ [an earlier Manet painting of a naked woman, reclining on a couch, looking out imperiously at the viewer] and every- thing he did before,” she says. “The mod- els have a distanced kind of look, dis- tracted maybe, even disengaged quality to them. And that’s very much Manet.” The fact that the profile of the sitter is set against a decorative background tends to “flatten” the image of the woman, making her almost “part of the wallpaper.” As Groom explains, the subject’s “personhood is completely obliterated by the profile, which you get a lot later in modern art.” For such reasons, Manet is sometimes Whether husband or suitor, it’s possi- ders on sadness, turning back the gaze considered the first modern artist. He’s painting around the same time as Im- ble the woman in this painting is sim- of the viewer. In the mirror behind her, pressionists, and using some Impres- sionist techniques. His paintings, how- ply bored with it all. we see her back, and ever, reveal a realism not found in many works of his contemporaries. Some critics have sug- “ we see the object of her gested the rungs on the Manet total lack of interest: a “In the Conservatory” long chair she sits upon was man who is trying to are reminiscent of pris- painting engage with her. She is “In the Conservatory,” another featured on bars, and it’s hard to impassive, expressing painting, also portrays an enigmatic imagine any place as ‘La no interest or inclina- female. The visage of the woman in boring as a prison, Parisienne.’ tion to respond; he elegant attire, with an umbrella rest- whether one construct- leans in (we see him in ing on her lap, betrays no emotion, no ed of steel bars or in- the mirror). She, like the clue as to what’s in her mind. I say this flexible social norms. woman “In the Conser- as a male, so maybe I’m missing something subtle, but the painting Édouard Manet.  ”In many of Manet’s vatory,” is trapped, this was by a male, so maybe it reflects “In the Conservatory,” Manet’s own uncertainty. time behind not wood about 1877–1879. The intent of the male in this painting Staatliche Museen zu paintings, it’s the man or metal bars but the li- seems unmistakable: he’s beseech- Berlin, Nationalgalerie. Newcity MAY 2019 ing the woman, his hand almost who is active and the quor bar, serving drinks, touching hers. What exactly he’s be- woman who is sedentary, almost pas- looking out at the world of the club, sive, submitting to what’s going on if which we as viewers are vicariously not, perhaps, all that happy about it. situated within. Her stolid demeanor She’s been put in this situation, and pushes back against the gaze of she’s dressed for the occasion, but the audience. 12

Perhaps the relatively flat expressions of Manet’s models reflect a modern social norm that Manet was attempt- ing to capture. “Manet was painting ‘La Parisienne.’ It’s a type, and that was his goal,” says Groom. “He wanted to paint the types of Paris, the women of Paris in the 1880s. She’s a fashionista; she needs stuff, she wears fine clothes. She looks like she may be married, but she also looks like she could be single. This type of chic had allure for Americans, like Henry James, you know.” “Boating” Manet’s “Boating,” with a composi- one-offs, pieces that are much more the digital display because you’d kind tion thought to be inspired by Japa- nese prints, is more decidedly Impres- intimate, much more what he did of need to have somebody explain it sionistic than “In the Conservatory”: an outdoor scene, seemingly un- when he wasn’t thinking about the to you.” posed, with tight, energetic brush- strokes, it captures an ephemeral mo- public reception.” [“Jeanne” is about ment, much as did the cameras that were coming into vogue. thirty-by-twenty inches.] So what makes “Manet and Modern As with “In the Conservatory,” the Beauty” an important show? “Toward man seems to be in charge, literally at the helm, and the woman seems to Another example of intimate commu- the end of his life, when Manet was be looking at something, anything, rather than the man. The man’s head, nications are Manet’s personal letters, contemplating where his major works however, is at the apex of a composi- tional pyramid and so draws the eye also in the exhibit. “The of the viewer. His passenger, on the other hand, seems to be astrally pro- letters are not like jecting herself to a planet far, far away. She’s mentally elsewhere, almost as those of Van Gogh. though she’s saying, in body lan- guage, “I’m here… but I’m not here.” They’re not like ‘I’m “Boating” represents a theme in Manet’s going to pour my awk- work: the tug between the public and the private. Both the man and woman wardness out for nine- in this painting are in a public space: the man, however, is making eye con- ty pages every day to tact with the viewer while the woman is off in her own private space. my brother.’ Manet’s The Artist We Think We Know letters are from a man “Boating,” “In the Conservatory” and who’s going to keep “Jeanne” are all on exhibit in “Manet and Modern Beauty.” “This is part of Édouard Manet.  his chic charm and what I think is so exciting,” Groom “Boating,” 1874–1875. who’s not going to let says. “Instead of it being an exhibition people know that he’s where everything looks like it has the The Metropolitan got these [health] is- same surface, you go from small por- Museum of Art, traits to big. You see the difference New York, H. O. between a salon exhibition piece [“Boating” is about three-by-four feet] Havemeyer Collection, sues. But he needs to and small, sometimes unfinished Bequest of Mrs. H. O. communicate, so he’s pieces that almost look like they’re Havemeyer, 1929. sending almost little snapchats to people, you know? ‘Oh, might be seen together, he said to his get in touch, send me some paper, friend [French journalist] Antonin Édouard Manet.  please come visit and wear your pret- Proust, ‘I must be seen whole.’ “Letter to Madame ty hat.’ I mean, they’re very, very up- Jules Guillemet, beat and at the same time you can tell “With this exhibition focusing on late Decorated with a that he’s longing. works, on works expressing Manet’s Portrait and a Still Life private and public vision, with works “It’s a communication, but what we that reveal a surprising repertoire of of a Bag and a Parasol,” July 1880. Private Collection. also found out, and I think it’s fasci- media, we are able to add the missing MAY 2019 Newcity / Image: Saint Honoré nating, is that sometimes he does wa- piece to a ‘whole’ understanding and tercolors on the letter paper, which appreciation of the artist we think Art Consulting, Paris. look very breezy, but he retraces them we know. in a very calculated way onto a piece “Manet and Modern of paper that he’s going to use for the Beauty” at the Art Institute of letter. We’ll show that process with Chicago, May 25-September 8, 2019 13

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BREAKOUT 2019 ARTISTS CHICAGO’S NEXT GENERATION MAY 2019 Newcity OF IMAGE MAKERS 15 ach spring, when thawed bulbs burst forth from the soil with their exuberant and ill-informed joy for a precocious summer, the writers of Newcity Art match the spirit of the season by profiling a few of the artists who represent the unbounded energy of art-making in Chicago. They make Chicago compelling, complex and worth being a resident and a viewer of art. They challenge us and bring us the questions we never dared to ask and might not want to engage. And they are but a few among many who are doing just the same. This is the fifteenth year of Newcity’s \"Breakout Artists\" and the fourth and final year of my tenure at the editorial desk of Newcity Art. I am proud to leave this brilliant publication with these recommendations for Chicago’s next generation of image-makers. This city wouldn’t be the same without them, nor would I. (ELLIOT REICHERT) Newcity’s Breakout Artists 2019 was written by Kerry Cardoza,S. Nicole Lane, Alisa Swindell, Anastasia Karpova Tinari, Chris Reeves, Vasia Rigou and Elliot J. Reichert.

1 Newcity MAY 2019 F O R A M I N A R O S S , a multihyphenate the institutional structures and artist who calls themselves an “undisci- gatekeepers in the art world. The plined creator,” medium and the concept artist recently traveled to the Neth- 16 are always entangled. As an undergraduate erlands to talk about their 2:22 proj- at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, ect, an experimental performance AMINARoss initially did a lot of photographic and piece that invites couples to film installation work but eventually felt more at themselves tickling one another. home working with fibers. “I feel like that Ross will take part in this spring's ROSScomes from fibers being an outcast in many Havana Biennial. In July, Ross will ways,” Ross says. “Because of the power show new work for the culmination relationships embedded in the medium, dis- of their 2018-2019 residency at Arts cussions of power, which feels really central & Public Life and the Center for the to my work, always were able to happen in Study of Race, Politics and Culture that space.”Initially from New York City, the at the University of Chicago. Ross’ Hyde Park-based artist relocated to Chica- desire to work outside of the insti- go for school but also because of what the tutional art world is of a piece with city itself had to offer. “It was really import- the belief that politics are inherent in every This interest comes across clearly in Ross’ ant for me to be in a space where I felt like choice an artist makes. There is a strong 3D animations, dreamy renderings that en- I could build community outside of school,” continuity of themes throughout Ross’ vision new worlds and ways of relating to Ross says. work—intimacy, technology, boundary- one another. In “from the center of my crossing—but all are seen through the per- earth-body / that’s where i love you / from,” That need for community-building is appar- spective of power. Lately, the artist has been a video on display at their 2018 solo show ent across Ross’ oeuvre, from “Beauty looking at power in new ways. “I spent a lot at Prairie, two purple bodies float side-by- Breaks,” a workshop series aimed at open- of time thinking about the way power works side in a silvery pool of liquid. The exhibi- ing up ideas of black beauty, to their cura- as oppression,” Ross says. “Now I’m really tion text, by Kemi Alabi, called the work tion of the festival “Eclipsing,” which invites interested in how those mediums can be “intimacy as life hack.” Two genderless bod- queer and trans artists of color to explore mobilized to generate a liberatory power. So ies, held by a body of water, sharing an in- the concept of darkness. “Eclipsing,” which rather than focusing solely on the oppressor, timate moment outside of any concept of recently completed its second iteration, al- or oppressing qualities of those things, re- time or place: a future depicting a yet un- lowed Ross to manifest one of their goals ally focusing on the liberatory potential, and known kind of love, made visible by Amina for this year: to show their work outside of the space in between.” Ross. (Kerry Cardoza)

2 MAY 2019 Newcity 17 3 1 Amina Ross / Photo: Hazel Magnolia 2 Amina Ross, \"Untitled (Joelle & Zach)\" 2018, unframed archival inkjet print, 24 x 18 inches / Image courtesy the artist 3 Amina Ross, \"by your hands i open/ spill out./ i’m the inside of an egg/ i pour/ we bloom/ magma rushing from a jagged crown of earth/ molten and dangerous and alive/ can’t you feel?\" at \"Re-Figure-Ground\" curated by Kelani Nichole / Photo: Christopher MacInnes

1 the decks, toilet paper rolls for the chimneys, toothpicks and string for the railings. His love of collecting took over his bedroom— a safe space where he could be himself— and later his studio. “As I struggled with my sexuality through ad- olescence, my relationship to objects inten- sified—surrounding myself with things brought me a deeper sense of comfort and security,” he says. “My work borrows from the language of American commodity and material culture to engage the viewer in a broader conversation about consumption, but also about identity and normality, spe- cifically as it relates to gender and sexuality.” Newcity MAY 2019 Using 1990s vintage memorabilia, house- hold items, books and toys, Larose asks: How do we become who we are? What does it mean to be normal? And how do commodities and material culture impact identity development? Working between fashion, sculpture and installation since he graduated from the School of the Art Insti- tute of Chicago, where he’s currently a lec- turer, Larose describes his work as “sculp- ture with a fashion DNA.” “The zeitgeist of any time period, which is fundamental to fashion, is inherent to the objects we sur- round ourselves with; the things we buy, dis- card or preserve,” he says. Larose has had quite a year. He presented the installation, “Sauver les meubles,” that 18 “ I C O M E F R O M a typical Québécois ual orientation. And then something hap- transported the viewer into a boy’s bed- room, at the Chicago Artists Coalition’s family; a French-speaking, white, Catholic pened: When he was fourteen his father 2018 EXPO Chicago booth, while complet- and working-class family,” says Benjamin took his little brother and him to see \"Titan- ing its BOLT residency program. He had Larose. “We lived in a fairly homogenous ic.\" “It was a profound experience for me,” solo and group exhibitions in Chicago and community and by default, we held rather he remembers. “The story encapsulated ev- beyond, including his latest in Wisconsin conservative views. I remember how news erything I had struggled with over the pre- that features over 200 snow globes, coverage of the annual gay a Christmas-themed in- pride parade prompted us BENLJAARMOINSE stallation at Material Exhi- to mock homosexuals and bitions, and a collaborat- how shocked my class- ion with the MCA Chicago mates and I were to find out for the museum’s Family our fourth-grade teacher Days programming. was married to a black man.” It was soon thereafter that No matter how busy he realized he didn’t behave Larose gets, he still gets the way boys were expected out of the house and digs to behave. “I was barely through every bin, rack eight years old and deep and shelf at thrift stores down I knew boys weren’t around the country, a pro- supposed to enjoy dresses or Barbie dolls,” vious months: impossible love, societal re- cess he describes as “a research method- he says. “Through adolescence, I became strictions, injustice and loss.” ology.” “Each object that makes its way to extremely self-conscious and increasingly my studio was previously fetishized, hoard- more private. I systematically watched my- Larose distinctly remembers what followed. ed, loved and later discarded,” he says. And self for crossed legs, limp wrists and exces- “For the first time ever, I felt an urgency to each has a story to tell. With that in mind, sive hand gestures.” create,” he says, explaining how he started Larose always remembers to look inward: building a model of a ship—his version of “For me, to make art is to research the Larose found himself walking on eggshells the Titanic—using whatever he could find human experience,” he says. “It is to delve so as not to raise suspicions about his sex- around the house: empty cereal boxes for deep into one’s self.” (Vasia Rigou)

MAY 2019 Newcity 23 19 1 Benjamin Larose 2 Benjamin Larose, \"Swell\" 2018, 84 x 84 x 66 inches, adhesive, batting, dollhouse furniture, foam, headboard, plywood, puzzle pieces / Photo: James Prinz 3 Benjamin Larose, \"Bundles,\" 2018, 70 x 70 x 22, adhesive, card table, felt, jigsaw puzzles, shoe laces, plywood, sleeping bags / Photo: James Prinz

W H E N Y O U F I R S T examine Cathy between China and Taiwan produced CAHTSHIAYO Hsiao’s work, you aren’t entirely sure of trauma and mental instability for some what you’re gazing upon. The material of my family, including my mother.” A seems familiar, but the fragility, gentleness devout Buddhist, her mother shares a and sentimental appearance of the pieces respect with Hsiao for the natural surprise you. Layers of pastels—pink, green, world. “How I experienced nature was blue and yellow—are gently woven into the not exactly how it's perceived in the structures which appear soft but are, in fact, made of casted concrete. Working with a United States and more and more of material that is typically associated with foundations in landscapes and architecture, my practice is about reclaiming an the artist softens its surfaces with plant- based dyes and other organic materials. Her idea of nature that is able to account work puts life back into something that is unyielding, something that is seen as im- for or give voice to the culture around it ones I admire.” She says that she often penetrable. She makes work that makes you believe that if you breathed on its surface, without exoticizing or othering that experi- makes “work in cycles,” and these groups it could possibly blow away. ence as premodern or outside of capital.” of work, “Songbook for Sculpture” include Born in New York City, Hsiao spent her teenage years in Taiwan and was raised be- four movements. In movement III, she is ex- tween both. Hsiao explains, “Like many di- asporic and immigrant families, mine is Hsiao had a solo exhibition, \"Movement I, amining her “education as an artist between messy and the impact of all this upheaval Bloom,\" in February at Goldfinch. Her sculp- East and West, and especially between tural works were daring as they straddled Eastern and Western experiences of the the floor and cascaded down the walls. The natural world.” works were hung as a visual score which Hsiao accompanied with a sound compo- “For me, nature was experienced as some- nent and performances. “Sound as a medi- thing intimately tied with industry and craft, um and concept influences a lot of my work. with labor and with the decorative,” I don't call myself a sound artist or musician says Hsiao. Her inspiration lies, “in Ridley but I've been lucky enough to perform with Scott science-fiction movies, in Buddhism and Taoism, in Japanese 1 superflat-style woodblock prints and in Western post- Newcity MAY 2019 minimalism.” A show at Apparatus, \"Al- ways Touches on a Flower,\" featured more of Hsiao’s castings. By casting open C-clamps, the artist exhib- ited tools used in creating works, leaving the viewer to 20 speculate on what might be held together by them. “I imagine sculptural spaces or pockets where I would later place a flower or plant cutting that will need to be refreshed,” she says. As Hsiao traverses 2019, she is excited to be “pro- pelled forward entirely by the effort of women and the support of my partner Rob- ert Chase Heishman.” She says, “My Chicago Artists Coalition BOLT residency has also been so influential in helping me grow as an artist and Teresa Silva, the director, is an incredibly doting mentor to her flock. Goldfinch Gallery and di- rector Claudine Isé have also been extremely sup- portive, and Elizabeth Lalley, the assistant director, gave me my first solo show of my career.” (S. Nicole Lane)

2 MAY 2019 Newcity 3 21 1 Cathy Hsiao / Photo: Elizabeth Van Loan 2 Cathy Hsiao at Chicago Artists Coalition 3 Cathy Hsiao

1 for more introspection in the artist’s life and practice, as evinced in the work at Goldfinch, which was all made in 2018. “I’ve been able to move and be in a new space where I can rebuild myself, that alone has been visually playing into the work,” Thomas says. Their artwork is inherently personal, captur- ing moments from their own life and that of their family, and also drawing inspiration from Chicago. “That’s where a lot of the col- ors come from, even the rugged tactileness of it. The way that concrete breaks down on a wall,” Thomas says. “I love that kind of stuff: brick patterns, stuff that’s real urban. It naturally ends up in the work.” Newcity MAY 2019 This interest in using tactile materials has manifested recently through the use of win- dow screens, found fabrics, used Bibles and foam. Thomas, who primarily embroiders and uses paint as a secondary medium, likes to make work as three-dimensional as possible. This year they have begun a series of African-style masks, juxtaposing used and new fabrics sewn together to create facial planes and features. “I like to blend those two together—that kind of manufactured fabric with something that’s a little bit more personal. It creates some kind of harmony,” Thomas says. It still surprises Thomas that they are work- 22 ing as an artist. It wasn’t until their senior year at King College Prep that they even took an art class. Their teacher, Ms. Chung, assigned a project using embroidery thread, which Thomas hated at first. CHTAHNCOHEMLIFAFSON “I just thought it was so weird,” Thomas says. “It was a real challenge. I attempted to do it three times and I couldn’t. But I just said I was going to break down the colors how I saw them and when I could do that, I made a bunch of them. And then that got me into the Art Institute. That one project. That’s crazy. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I didn’t get that opportunity to work with her.” C H A N E L C H I F F O N T H O M A S ’ self- who identifies as queer, is constantly inves- Thomas doesn’t have a solid vision of what portrait, “Colossians 3:9” shows the artist tigating how they want to identify and pres- life will look like after Yale; they just care as a split being. Thomas strikes a stately ent themselves to the world. This oversized about being able to do the work, and are pose, arms akimbo, staring straight at the painting shown in their January solo show grateful that anyone is interested in it. viewer, as if daring you to meet their eye. at Goldfinch Gallery takes that internal One half of their body is dressed in pants, questioning and puts it on display. “It’s so weird that people are interested, you while the other wears a satiny fuchsia dress, know? But artwork really moves people, just the draped fabric hanging off the canvas. Although born and raised in Chicago, Thom- like music does. It’s so strange to think that Their bare chest is rendered in contrasting as is living outside the city for the first time, it has so much power, and I don’t have to planes using Thomas’ signature embroidery as a first-year master’s student at the Yale be a CEO of some kind of a company to thread. The twenty-eight-year-old artist, School of Art. The move has created space have power.” (Kerry Cardoza)

2 MAY 2019 Newcity 23 3 1 Chanel Chiffon Thomas 2 Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “Fresh,” 2018, plastic mesh, fabric, chalk pastel, acrylic, embroidery floss, thread, 37 x 52 inches /Courtesy of the artist 3 Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “Mastered,” 2018, fabric, embroidery floss, metal window screen mesh, thread, wood, 36 x 23 inches /Courtesy of the artist

1 Newcity MAY 2019 24 D E R R I C K W O O D S - M O R R O W says WOMOODRDSRE-ORWRICK that 2019 will be a year of rest and creativ- ity. This reciprocity of labor and play in his work has become a life practice as well. And while rest is well-deserved for a young art- ist who has been pursuing his career with passion and determination since graduat- ing with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016, he seems un- likely to slow down. He has several upcom- ing exhibitions, including a collaboration with Paul Mpagi Sepuya at this year’s Whit- ney Biennial. He just returned from a month- long research trip in New Orleans and is Woods-Morrow’s work: representation, making. This was surprisingly a moment of planning a new project. space and place. These themes come to life recognition that resonated in a significant in new ways and through new mediums as way. He operates through a black, queer His time in New Orleans was made possi- his work evolves. male perspective with a deconstructivist ble through the Artadia Award he received approach rather than a postmodern focus in 2018. While there, he worked with sever- Eschewing medium-specificity, Woods- on identity politics. Inspired not only by art al local archives collecting images of black Morrow is a visual artist in a broad sense histories but the work of authors like James and queer people at leisure during the Jim and has been learning new skills to expand Baldwin and Toni Morrison, his varied sourc- Crow era. He also collected soil from the his practice. And despite being recognized es and inspirations generate work that takes Katrina-devastated remains of a former by the arts establishment, Woods-Morrow on the intersection of erotic worlds and sys- segregated pleasure spot known as Lincoln said he did not see himself as an artist until tems of control. Woods-Morrow’s art reach- Beach. This land acquisition and anthropo- recently. When asked what was the most es out to black and other queers of color first, logical research will be the basis of new important moment in his career to date, he moving away from the Eurocentric gaze that work that ruminates on broad thematic con- recalled when he first realized that in asking has dominated the contemporary art world cerns that have been consistent in about his work, his mother meant his art for too long. (Alisa Swindell)

2 MAY 2019 Newcity 25 3 1 Derrick Woods-Morrow 2 Derrick Woods-Morrow, Excerpts from “Acts of Divination (II)—Negation of Sight,” 2019, Photographic documentation of two-hour durational performance 3 Derrick Woods-Morrow, “(Film Viewing Apparatus)— Chasing Adam,” 2018, steel tubing, police car seats, tires, “Safety Red” enamel paint, one hundred-year-old Chicago common bricks, glaze and film (The Roach is Coming, 15:01, 1920 x 1080 on flat screen monitor)

1 Spain’s José de la Fuen- te gallery, and perfor- mances at MCA Chica- go and Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. This fall, Rojas will teach at Bard College as part of a Mel- lon Foundation grant, and his work will be in- cluded in \"Remember Where You Are,\" curat- ed by Mia Lopez at the DePaul Art Museum. Newcity MAY 2019 Pushing the physical limits of his own body through durational per- formance, Rojas ques- tions the legacies of colonization, historical claims to power, migra- tion, and trauma re- tained within the body. Often mining historical archives, Rojas devel- ops physical installa- tions or performances that examine which bodies bear which bur- dens. His corporeal un- derstanding stems from his own migration from Mexico City, where he was born mere months before the devastating 1985 earthquake. In De- 26 cember, Rojas appeared before 70 million view- ers on CNN en Español with Camilo Egaña, all proof of the broad reso- nance of his critical, po- etic practice. “I’m invested in creating new forms of pedagogy, working with feminist and queer archives, being a translator and interpreter for migrant communities, and re- T H R O U G H O U T T H E F I V E days of of Reduction” examined the Columbian Ex- thinking new forms of aesthetic resistance EXPO Chicago 2017, Emilio Rojas balanced nude on a stack of books and slowly carved position’s celebration of colonialism and the within art and activism,” Rojas says. (Anas- into drywall an image of a colossal globe resting on a base meant to be as tall as the unrealized dreams of a Basque architect. In tasia Karpova Tinari) Eiffel Tower. The Spanish architect Alberto de Palacio designed this enormous monu- the year-and-a-half since ment for the 1893 World’s Columbian Ex- position, and although his design was se- that explosive performance, lected, it was never realized for lack of funding. Drawing with a historic 1892 silver Rojas has exhibited widely in EMRIOLIJOAS commemorative coin, Rojas’ “Memorial to Chicago and elsewhere, in- an Unbuild [sic] Monument and/or A Litany cluding “Traduttore, Tradi- tore” at Gallery 400, a BOLT solo exhibition at Chicago Artists Coalition, group shows at 6018North, Sector 2337, a solo exhibition in

23 MAY 2019 Newcity 1 Emilio Rojas / Photo: 27 Enrique Arechavala Garay 2 Emilio Rojas 3 Emilio Rojas

1 Newcity MAY 2019 “Maybe it’s about aesthetics An emphasis on clarity of expression in the end,” Packer tells me through color, feels, in the thick of whatever 28 on a sunny winter day that muck of postmodernism we are still wading is also the warmest Chica- through, like it should be entirely out of step, go has had in months. hopelessly nostalgic or elegiac for a condi- RPOANCIKER “Maybe it’s about having a tion in art long past. Yet, the minor miracle pleasing object, and you of Packer’s work is that upon viewing, even can sit there and go into the firmest anti-aesthete would find difficul- your own head, go to other ty in resisting that old Modernist relic that places that are not clear or her paintings proffer: to actually feel some- as concrete as other things thing. The surfaces of Packer’s painted in life.” works struggle to contain the vibrancy of the yellows, a feeling exacerbated by the The origins of Packer’s paint- occasional addition of another color doing erly obsession with the color its best to keep up. Packer’s colorist work R O N I P A C K E R ’ S P A I N T I N G S of yellow started in 2016 upon her return from feels like a gift, and they reveal that there is the last three years all feature the color yel- Tel Aviv—she was born and raised in the still room in art to operate outside of collec- low. The canvases also curl, fold, bend, twist city—to the United States, a moment that tive irony or distanced conceptualism. Her and dangle haphazardly by nails. They are culminated in a series of disasters, both po- paintings are akin to little rehearsals, tryouts punctured with grommets, cut with scissors. litically and personally. “I was in the studio for the real world or exercises in tenacity. They are unfortunate victims of discrete at- and it was the first time I couldn’t work. My “What does it mean to try? Again and again tacks from the artist on their otherwise paintings before this were all over the place and again,” Packer says, “Something I want painterly aesthetic planes. What Clement with color. All I could think about and see at someone to get from my work, is how can Greenberg loved about Modernist painting this moment was yellow, so I painted some we learn how to fail and live with that failure, was that it drew the viewer’s attention to panels.” The positive reaction to Packer’s and not be ashamed that we are not always the fact of painting: every brushstroke and new colorist direction, after her politically great.” Packer’s work was featured at Slow choice of color was a little reminder of the motivated paintings had been met with gallery this winter. She is in a two-person artist’s communion with their work, aesthet- mixed results, lead to very interesting con- show with Whit Forrester at Aspect Ratio ic triumphs made from gestures culminat- versations. “It was about one thing and that in July, and will have a solo show in Tel Aviv ing in the possibility of human greatness. was clear, and it felt good.” in December of 2019. (Chris Reeves)

2 MAY 2019 Newcity 3 29 1 Roni Packer 2 Roni Packer, \"Yellow is Mine (Not My Yellow)\" 2018 3 Roni Packer, \"Yellow Gesso,\" 2017

1 camera to her day-to-day moments in a way that has become naturalized in her social circles. Najeebah’s artistic practice and life are deeply intertwined. The exhibition also incorpo- rated types of art-making that Najeebah has taken up more often: moving images, video, films and collages of found video work. This work stems from her think- ing about the ways black women’s bodies are con- sumed on the internet and especially through social media and historic films. She has collected film clips and videos and re- worked them into video collage and montage that questions and reframes this consumption. Najeebah is a working art- Newcity MAY 2019 ist, an art teacher and re- cently, a curator. She sees the relationships she nur- tures through collabora- tions with her subjects, her teaching and curatorial practice as coming togeth- er in her artwork. All of this helped her rethink how to 30 listen to people and her ideas around gender and queerness. A lot of her work these days comes out of thinking about love and desire in ways often not given space in the academ- ic conversations that she looked to earlier for an- swers. At this stage of her career, Najeebah has found ways to combine her schol- arship with this willingness P H O T O G R A P H E R Z A K K I Y Y A H touch of the personal, created in the to engage these “feminine” qualities in her N A J E E B A H is interested in how people homes of the pictured women and femmes. work allowing her, as both artist and curator, construct their lives and identities through Najeebah took Nan Goldin’s work as inspi- to bring her deliberate style of care, vulner- day-to-day intimacies. Reaching a place in ration for thinking about documenting ability, and belonging to her audiences. her career where she has the conviction intimacy and like Goldin, she brings her (Alisa Swindell) and confidence in her artistic voice, she has unapologetically made the lives of black women and femmes, especially queer women, central to her work. Her ZAKNKAIJYEYEABHAH most recent exhibition, “A Different Kind of Love Story: For Us” at ADDS DONNA, cen- tered on a series of Polaroid diptychs that juxtaposed images of these candid mo- ments to formal portraits of the same sub- jects. Even the formal portraits contain a

1 Zakkiyyah 2 Najeebah 31 2 Zakkiyyah Najeebah, 3 \"Chelsea,\" 2018, 35mm film 3 Zakkiyyah Najeebah, \"Tabatha,\" 2018, Polaroid diptych MAY 2019 Newcity

CNL PROJECTS Artists and Organizations Thriving Together Creatively Art Consultation | Curatorial Services Program Design | Professional Development Art of the Neighborhood at Willis Tower MELISSA STANLEY On view until June 1 Visit Produced and Curated by CNL Projects email: [email protected] (in partnership with the Chicago Artists Coalition) or call 773.320.9234 Free tours of April 27 – July 6 the exhibition Fridays and Saturdays at 2 pm 60 W. Walton St.

\"Too Heavy for Your Pocket\" Chicago premiere at TimeLine Theatre Company. Opens May 1. rts & CultureAyanna Bria Bakari (top) and Jalen Gilbert (bottom) in TimeLine Theatre Company’s “Too Heavy for Your Pocket”/Photo: Kenny Nakai, Nakai Photography

PLAY STAYCONNECTED. every day every way Day Camp *Late Summer Camps June 24 - August 2 August 5-16 (varies by park) *offered at select parks Online Registration Begins Monday, April 22 (for parks WEST of California Ave.) Tuesday, April 23 (for parks EAST of California Ave.) In-Person Registration Begins Saturday, April 27 for most parks Some parks begin on Monday, April 29 Help send a kid to camp! Financial assistance is available for Donate to the camp scholarship fund eligible Chicago residents. Learn more at: at City of Chicago For more information about your Chicago Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners Park District visit Michael P. Kelly, General Superintendent & CEO or call 312.742.7529 or 312.747.2001 (TTY) Newcity MAY 2019 34

Art What's Good, Chicago? Another Leap into the Void By Elliot Reichert Theaster Gates. installation view of \"Every Square Needs a Circle\", Spring 2019 A little under four years ago, I wrote my time will depend on your age and outlook, but and other cultural workers. Critics are human MAY 2019 Newcity first column as editor of Newcity Art, titled for me, it might as well be a lifetime. I have beings, not arbitrary arbiters of quality, taste “What Good is Art?” I had just taken the difficult experienced significant personal and and meaning. We cannot hide behind serif but necessary step of leaving a secure professional milestones at this desk, and I type and glossy images, nor the illusion that curatorial position to spend the next three have been fundamentally transformed by our evaluative processes are more than just an years earning master’s degrees at the School these years of immersion in Chicago’s artistic idiosyncratic homebrew of exposure, educa- of the Art Institute of Chicago. As I wrote then, communities. I am grateful for every studio visit, tion and inherent bias. And those who mourn I felt that I was “ventur[ing] deeper into the every invitation to speak or participate in the “death of good art criticism”—read: white, tangled economy of art-making and its critiques, and every nervous chat over plastic male, cis, hetero—as a once-great Chicago art contingent endeavors,” questioning my own cups of wine at openings. And for the record, I publication recently did, cling to standards of judgment and the very value of the work that I was the nervous one. My chronic imposter quality and taste that were only standard and myriad others partake in each day. “What syndrome surges at art socials. because of how tightly the boundaries of the good is art?” I asked myself repeatedly, unsure field were drawn by those who had the power if any answer would comfort my anxieties or Quite honestly, I have struggled at this desk for to define them. No, art criticism has not died. satisfy my desires. I imagined myself as Yves a number of reasons. Foremost, I am not an It has merely failed to find the language yet to Klein in his “A Leap Into the Void,” arms artist and I do not necessarily understand the address an art world that does not resemble spread wide, head face forward as he leapt off challenges that artists face in the same way what once was. a Parisian rooftop into the air. that they experience them for themselves. For that reason, I have always written in the first I have also struggled in this role to maintain the I have been the editor of Newcity Art for four person, in order to take direct responsibility for diversity of coverage and contributorship that years. Whether or not that seems like a long my responses to the works of artists, curators reflects the true image of Chicago’s artistic 35

ART TOP 5 community. Recruiting writers with an array of 1 Pooja Pittie. interests, perspectives, McCormick Gallery. backgrounds and Frenetic gestures, long drips experiences results in fuller, and staccato dapples defy fairer coverage—this has the eye in Pittie's paintings. always been my highest Opens May 4 priority. I am confident that my successor, longtime 2 Karl Wirsum. Corbett contributor Kerry Cardoza, vs. Dempsey. Wirsum will far surpass me in this continues to surprise and effort, and I look forward to delight, and we're lucky to seeing Newcity’s art have him. Through June 22 coverage grow and change in the coming 3 New Age, New Age: years. Strategies for Survival. DePaul Art Museum. With the On the larger matter of world seemingly at a breaking point, this exhibition takes the diversity in the arts, I have long view of artists embracing horoscopes, chakras, crystals often remarked on the and all sorts of alternatives to traditional Western culture. contradictory demands Through August 11 placed upon cultural 4 Can You Hear Me Now?. Museum of Contemporary workers and institutions to Art. This timely exhibition considers how speech, be at the avant-garde of listening and public discourse is parsed in contemporary progressive practices while practices. Through September 29 subsisting entirely on low 5 Laura Letinsky. wages and the benevolent Document Gallery. Document continues to show largess of capitalist challenging and experimental photography, with new works captains. I do not disagree by Laura Letinsky. Through June 1 that spaces of culture 36 should embody our most profound social ideals. Would anyone expect the Yves Klein, \"Leap Into the Void\", 1960 banks, the prisons and the schools to do the same? Of course not, but perhaps we should. Perhaps could deny the pure pleasure of that repur- posed Rothschild Liquor neon marquee with we should begin at the root rot instead of his elegant intervention, “Mama’s Milk” trimming the dead leaves. The recent crisis scrawled in glowing cursive through the logo? over the cultural patronage of the Sackler opioid empire shows us that we are collectively Gates has exercised maximalist restraint in this spare and impressive installation of a few new more concerned with the appearances of sculptural works and a large scale architectural things than the substance of them. Outrage erupts when tear-gas profits fund the Whitney monument. The artist combines upcycled or killer drugs maintain the Met. But now more materials and minimal forms to produce the than ever—and thanks to the very same social most refined expression yet of his signature vocabulary. A giant rectangular slab of media that fuels these outbursts—these basketball court flooring hangs to the left of moments come and go as the underlying conditions of exploitation persist. The paradox the liquor sign, a perfectly minimalist salvage wallwork in the spirit of his earlier works of lies in the fundamentally representational character of art. Because art is sensory, and stretched firehoses. Behind the stage-like steel structure, three tar paintings appear like a largely visual at that, we forget that it merely depicts our values and does not enact them. triptych in the apse of a basilica, the center work even echoing the semicircular shape of The fault is not on art, nor art institutions per this structure. The religious overtones of Gates’ se, for failing our expectations. It’s on us for work have always been apparent, but they expecting art to enact our values when it take on a secular connotation in this gal- merely reflects them. lery-temple. A few neons, some paintings and One of the most significant changes I have some found objects with delicate transforma- witnessed in the past four years as editor has tions—a slam dunk of a market-ready been the migration of Chicago’s galleries from contemporary art exhibition. the near West Loop to the further-flung Given that the rise of Gates dovetailed with the pockets of the West Side, Ukrainian Village and Fulton Market West. I’ve written previously mayoral career of Rahm Emanuel, I wonder if Gates will see any drop in popularity now that Newcity MAY 2019 about this onward push to the industrial his most adamant and powerful advocate is hinterlands. All the same, I was surprised to leaving office. If so, it didn’t stop the two from realize that Richard Gray’s new space, Gray appearing together to unveil Gates’ long-await- Warehouse, cropped up in the same ed 95th Street Red Line terminal installation neighborhood where the nonprofit Chicago days after his exhibition opened at Richard Artists Coalition recently moved. Gray. Chicago is changing once again, and Last month, I visited the space for the first time there’s something very fitting about that for me, to see Theaster Gates’ latest exhibition. Who this end of the line.

HUTOPIA APR 25– SEPT 6 Vera Berdich ( 1915 - 2 0 0 3 ) • Mentor of Chicago Imagists • Collected by MoMA, Smithsonian, and the Art Institute of Chicago MONGERSON GALLERY MAY 2019 Newcity 2251 W. Grand Avenue | 312-943-2354 | 37

EXHIBITIONS THE ARTS CLUB OF CHICAGO DEPAUL ART MUSEUM 201 East Ontario Street At DePaul University 312 787 3997 935 W. Fullerton Avenue [email protected] / 773 325 7506 Tues–Fri 11-6, Sat 11-3 [email protected] / May 22–August 3 Amy Sillman: The Nervous System Mon–Tues closed, Wed–Thurs 11-7, Fri–Sun 11-5 May–June Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford: Garden Gipsoteca closed April 1-25 April 25–August 11 New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival THE BLOCK MUSEUM OF ART April 25–August 11 Eric J. Garcia: The Bald Eagle’s Toupee At Northwestern University MONIQUE MELOCHE GALLERY 40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 847 491 4000 451 N. Paulina Street [email protected] / 312 243 2129 Tues, Sat–Sun 10-5, Wed–Fri 10-8, Mon closed [email protected] / Through July 21 Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, Tues–Sat 11-6 April 5–May 24 Genevieve Gaignard: Black White and Red All Over and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa May 2–June 23 Art Theory and Practice MFA Thesis Exhibition MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY CARL HAMMER GALLERY At Columbia College Chicago 740 N. Wells Street 600 S. Michigan Avenue 312 266 8512 312 663 5554 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Sat 11-5:30 Mon–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 May 10–June 29 New Acquisitions: Bill Traylor, Joseph Yoakum April 11–July 7 Birmingham, Alabama, 1963: and others Dawoud Bey/Black Star April 11–July 7 Chicago Stories: Carlos Javier Ortiz DEPARTMENT OF VISUAL ARTS AND LOGAN CENTER EXHIBITIONS and David Schalliol At the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts THE NEUBAUER COLLEGIUM 915 E. 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637 FOR CULTURE AND SOCIETY 773 702 2787 [email protected] / At the University of Chicago Tues–Sat 9-9, Sun 11-9, Mon closed 5701 South Woodlawn Avenue May 10–26 2019 MFA Thesis Exhibition, Part I 773 795 2329 May 31–June 16 2019 MFA Thesis Exhibition, Part II [email protected] / Mon–Fri 10-5 Through September 6 HUTOPIA: Alec Finlay, Patrick Lakey, Goshka Macuga, Guy Moreton, John Preus, Ewan Telford

POETRY FOUNDATION SCHINGOETHE CENTER 61 W. Superior Street of Aurora University 312 787 7070 1315 Prairie Street, Aurora, IL [email protected] / 630 844 7843 Mon–Fri 11-4 [email protected] / May 10–August 22 Yoko Ono: Poetry, Painting, Music, Mon, Wed–Fri 10-4, Tues 10-7 The Museum is Closed May 1–September 23, 2019 Objects, Events, and Wish Trees September 24–December 13 Fall Exhibit THE RENAISSANCE SOCIETY SMART MUSEUM OF ART At the University of Chicago At the University of Chicago 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Cobb Hall, 4th Floor 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue 773 702 8670 773 702 0200 [email protected] / [email protected] / Tues–Wed, Fri 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Sat–Sun 12-5 Tues–Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-8, Fri–Sun 10-5 April 27–June 23 Liz Magor: BLOWOUT Through May 19 Solidary & Solitary: The Joyner/Giuffrida Collection Through May 19 Smart to the Core: Embodying the Self RHONA HOFFMAN GALLERY ZHOU B ART CENTER 1711 W. Chicago Avenue 312 455 1990 1029 W. 35th Street [email protected] / 773 523 0200 Tues–Fri 10-5:30, Sat 11-5:30 [email protected] / April 19–May 25 Deana Lawson & Dru Donovan Mon–Sat 10-5 May 31–July 6 Derrick Adams: The Ins and Outs: New Figures April 19–May 3 IMPACT Exhibition, featuring work by MFA students in the Urban Landscape from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago May 10–June 7 Graduate Seminar Class Group Exhibition, RICHARD GRAY GALLERY Photography Department of the School of the Art Institute Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock: 875 N. Michigan Avenue, 38th Floor of Chicago, presented by 062 Gallery Mon–Fri 10-5:30, Sat by appointment May 12 Calcium Deposits, Performance Art curated by Gray Warehouse: 2044 W. Carroll Avenue Sarah Kathryn Skaggs, presented by Defibrillator Gallery Tues–Sat 11-5 May 17 Performance Art by Allen Conkle (San Francisco) + 312 642 8877 Jeremy Pauly (Belgium), curated by Sarah Kathryn Skaggs, [email protected] / presented by Defibrillator Gallery April 4–June 29 Theaster Gates: Every Square Needs a Circle May 17–July 12 Secondary Meanings: Figural Diptychs (Gray Warehouse)

Derrick Adams D The Ins and Outs: New Figures in the Urban Landscape MAY 31–JULY 6, 2019 The Joyner/Giuffrida 1711 WEST CHICAGO AVENUE Collection CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60622 WWW. R HOF F MAN G A L L E RY.C O M Presented by The Helis Foundation 40 January 29–May 19, 2019 AAdllmariesswioenlciosmalew. ays free. DONNAA’NTMTHESSAVE MFA THESIS SHOWS 2019 Newcity MAY 2019 May 10-26 May 31-June 16 Opening Reception: Opening Reception: May 10, 6-8pm May 31, 6-8pm Maggie Jensen Jazmine Harris Michal Koszycki Brandon Sherrod Cristen Leifheit Krista Varsbergs Kevin Pang Terence Wong University of Chicago . Department of Visual Art Logan Center for the Arts . 915 E 60th St . Chicago

Dance The original cast of “Three Women” in 1975. Photo: Charles Osgood. DANCE TOP 5 A Lifetime of Work 1Butoh Non Festival. Various Venues. Workshops and Mordine & Co Celebrate Fifty Years of Making and Mentorship performances in the Japanese avant-garde discipline with local By Sharon Hoyer and visiting artists. May 1-31 As a working artist matures, their creative mentored by Mordine. I caught up with 2 The Pygmalion Effect. MAY 2019 Newcity influence amplifies exponentially, not only in the Mordine and dancers Timothy Tsang and Auditorium Theatre. work they directly produce, but in the lives and Melissa Pilarella after rehearsal to talk about Boris Eifman’s St. Petersburg- the work produced by all those they’ve the program. based ballet brings a new twist influenced. Here in Chicago, the epitome of to an old myth, placing influence in modern dance is Shirley Mordine, What did you have in mind as you put Pygmalion in a ballroom dance founder of the Dance Center of Columbia together a program for a fifty-year setting. May 17-19 College and of her eponymous company anniversary? which turns fifty this year and celebrates with a Mordine: “Three Women” was one of the 3 Art of Resilience 2.0. showcase May 17 and 18 at Links Hall. oldest pieces we have that still has dancers DuSable Museum. Red Clay around who were in it. The other two are Dance and DJ Sadie Woods The program features three representative some of the most successful pieces we’ve create a site-specific work that pieces of repertory by Mordine from over the had in some time. guides the audience through decades—”Collisions I” (2017), “I haven’t Chicago’s Black Belt. May 16-18 heard from you...” (2003), and a re-imagining Pilarella: What’s really interesting about these of “Three Women” (1974)—as well as three works, and I think Shirley’s work in particular, 4 Dance Shelter 2019. new works by company members who were is that it’s an old repertory piece but it has Hamlin Park Fieldhouse. Chicago Moving Company and artists-in-residence Rachel Bunting and Ayako Kato, and New York-based Jesse Young share new work. May 2 & 3 5 Mandala Makers Festival. Green Line Performing Arts Center. Three emerging choreographers blend dance styles and traditions while sharing personal perspectives from the South Asian diaspora. Plus snacks. May 18 41

such relevance today. And the same thing about performance now. do have my opinion about people being exists in “I haven’t heard from you...” That given the opportunity to change and go piece was created… Speaking of which, tell me a little about where they want to go, but for some people, the reworking of “Three Women.” it’s their lives. Tsang: …in response to the initial threat of Mordine: We have really accurate tapes, so the war in Iraq. We were trying to make we could kinetically rework it. When I Tsang: Thanks to the MacArthur Foundation sense of why this is happening. created it, I was reading a lot of literature by there was a trip to India, led by Hema women out of the South. It was just Rajagopalan [director of Natya Dance Pilarella: It’s cool to see the progression of painstaking to read about their lives. I was at Theatre], to develop the piece. work and the legacy of work—who the Columbia College as the chair and was the original dancers were and who they are only woman there for several years. One day Pilarella: It was probably a four-year process today. There are few dancers in Chicago I walked to the financial office where I to get to the final work. And we didn’t just who don’t have connection to Shirley in presented my budget for the year and said, look at collision just as conflict. We talked some way. “Can I have a raise so my salary would be about different forms and relationships more comparable to the men?” “No.” “Why?” collisions take on. Tsang: We are both, like, third generation. I “You’re not the head of the household.” went to Columbia and a lot of my teachers That’s what I was told. I was scared to Mordine: I think all these pieces are very were Shirley’s students.Pilarella: When we death; I had three children to raise by myself. representative of the company. talked about what we wanted to build in this program—how do we celebrate a lifetime of Pilarella: A lot of that is in the original version What’s next for Mordine & Co? work—Shirley didn’t want it to be just of the piece and as we started to recreate it, Tsang: One project we’ll be working on is repertory, she wanted it to be inclusive of her it was the beginning of the #MeToo archiving our rep. Even for some of the as a mentor, a teacher as that’s been such a movement so we talked about who these pieces we’re doing now, we went through large part of her career in the dance characters are in today’s world, and the the process of getting it from reel-to-reel, to community. It was fun getting together with underground power we have using our DVD, to digital.Mordine: I think to myself, old company members and getting their voices more, what conversations are we still “What would be interesting to do at your age take on what pieces they really remember, having? Shirley?” I want to make it ongoing, not just what they would be excited about. We had a what I did all those years, but what is it huge list of things to find in DVDs and And you chose “Collisions I” for similar about this time, my age, my experience, that decide what to include. reasons? would be of particular value. Mordine: We live in a time of collisions. Mordine: What it also implies is change. The People really coming up against each other. Links Hall, 3111 North Western, Friday and way I thought about performance then is Sometimes you want to be sympathetic and Saturday, May 17 and 18 at 7pm. $10-$50. probably different from how people think at other times it’s prohibitive and negative. I Tickets at BERNSTEIN SONDHEIM INCLUDING FAVORITES LIKE “MARIA,” “TONIGHT,” “AMERICA,” AND MORE! MAY JUNE , Newcity MAY 2019 A coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Glimmerglass Festival. Lyric premiere of Bernstein’s West Side Story generously made possible by Lead Sponsor The Negaunee Foundation and cosponsors an Anonymous Donor, Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin, Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison, Mrs. Herbert A. Vance and Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance, and Northern Trust. Major in-kind audio support provided by Shure Incorporated. .. WESTSIDESTORYCHICAGO.COM SAVINGS FOR GROUPS OF OR MORE .. 42

consumption, nor casual meat-eaters with comes from, are crucial to restoring that Cellar Door Provisions has hosted the CMC a lot of free time on their hands. These are natural balance. twice, once for a charcuterie and cheese people who appreciate the kind of flavor, pairing class and again with all that plus wine. texture and satisfaction only meat can offer, McCullough came to the art of butchery out of Dairy specialist Erika Kubick, known on Twitter but feel conflicted about the legitimate sheer curiosity. In 2013, she enrolled in a as @cheesesexdeath, taught on cheese and concerns of sustainability around meat-eating, course at the Portland Meat Collective, the Selection Massale’s Nadim Audi poured classy or alienated by the quality of industrial meat mothership of the meat movement spearhead- Jura wines to match the region’s famous processing. On both issues, the CMC ed by Camas Davis. After an enlightening Comté and Mont d’Or. All the while, they broke educates consumers on the sustainable sojourn in the southwest of France, where she down a pig’s head into fromage de tête. practices of their local source farms and the learned the ways of whole-animal butchery ways that cutting meat with precision ensures and localized agriculture, Davis returned to The CMC has also made inroads to Gary, less waste and a greater yield. And if one can Portland to found the Portland Meat Collective, Indiana, where McCullough teaches a do that at home, you get a closer relationship and later, the Good Meat Project nonprofit, butchery class for United Steelworkers in an between consumer and product. with a mission to develop ethical meat education enrichment program. She tells an consumption through education. After her amusing anecdote about a coordinator “Meat should be expensive,” McCullough says studies with Davis in Portland, McCullough worrying that she would bring a live hog to the bluntly. “It’s a self-defeating business model, spent the better part of four years cutting her classroom. “It’s a common misconception that and there is some resistance to it.” But she chops at Chicago’s The Butcher & Larder. Last butchery always includes slaughtering, which it makes a compelling argument: meat costs year, she started her own collective, based on does not,” she says. It is precisely these should be high to ensure higher quality and Davis’ model and support from the GMP. misconceptions that the Chicago Meat lessen consumption. Sustainable meat eating Collective seeks to remedy through its mission is about eating better meat less often. Chicagoans will be proud to know that the of educational outreach. For meat-eaters and “Animals are part of the agricultural ecosystem. Chicago Meat Collective is no clone of abstainers alike, this is a worthy cause. The They cannot be eliminated from it,” Mc- Portland’s. McCullough is keen to take more we understand our meat and appreciate Cullough continues. She nods to the trend advantage of the city’s thriving gastronomic where it comes from, the more likely we are to toward regenerative agriculture, which seeks scene and its adventurous pop-up spirit. consume it responsibly. to enrich the biodiversity in farmlands to undo Several classes have been held at the Chop the harm done by monocropping and Shop, where she instructs students in Information and class schedules are at industrial agriculture. Meat, and the animals it butchery in its certified professional kitchen. Newcity MAY 2019 C O N T E M P O R A R Y, C L A S S I C I TA L I A N C U I S I N E Located in Printers Row at 616 S. Dearborn Street 46

Film The Double Life of Movies Reading Olivier Assayas’ Non-Fiction By Ray Pride “A director makes only one movie in his “Les Destinées sentimentales” (2002) or the first film since “Carlos” to play on that scale. MAY 2019 Newcity life. Then he breaks it up and makes it again,” jumpy jaggedness of fractured consciousness Paris, modern-day, publishing world, crisis, Jean Renoir said many times in many ways at the advent of the internet age, “demonlover” mid-career writers, editors, and lovers, muddling across his long, diverse filmmaking career. (also 2002). There are the characters much through days and messing up affairs. Familiar? The movies ranged across subjects, but the like himself, those who share some of his Oui, it’s surely, assuredly Assayasesque. elusive “Renoiresque” character suffused history or an entire moment of his adolescence them all: tenderness, empathy, quiet narrative and certainly the bold and frontal soundtrack- The late, long-lived poet John Ashbery elegance and so much more. ing of their lives with the musicians and offered variations on the creative process that songs that Assayas righteously (and rightfully) provided the eccentric music of his webs or Latter-day filmmakers who manage to make loves with all his heart. Those pictures would words: “There’s always poetry running inside multiple movies across years, and without include the romantic roundelay around the me, sometimes I sit down and cut off a length.” blanks in their resumes and droughts in their Parisian publishing world in “Late August, landscape, are rare. In whatever country of the Early September” (1999), “Something in the That’s akin to my reaction—an emphatically world, a feature filmmaker crafting a dozen or Air” (2015), which traces his own political positive one, to the low-key superficially minor more movies across a couple of decades is a coming-of-awareness in post-May 1968 key, philosophically major doings of the blithely rare economic attainment, let alone a creative France, and his latest movie to open in the breezy “Non-Fiction.” You can’t keep Assayas or esthetic one. United States, “Non-Fiction” (Doubles vies). down: take away the post-“Godfather” trappings of a crime epic, he’s going to cut Olivier Assayas’ movies take me by surprise Assayas had plotted a larger-scale 1970s off a length of musing on the modern world. always even though they’re very much part of gangster movie, set in Chicago, shot largely one, grand interior canvas: there are large-pic- in Toronto, before the money tumbled down But Assayas doesn’t pause, and since “Irma ture concerns about the economics of society multiple times. “Non-Fiction” may have been the Vep” (1997), hasn’t had to, when the building as in the fin-de-siècle family-in-a-factory epic pick-up sticks after the Jenga-ambition of his blocks of a larger edifice like the five-and-a- 47

half-hour terrorist’s tale, “Carlos” (2010) or this Amalric strikes a match, lights a cigarette and all is black: story told, memories of story to be still-to-be-made picture don’t stack up. He writes a story, calls his friends, calls “action!” reevaluated. Breath: the dizzying of self. The making of moments. The essence of movies. FILM TOP 5 Speaking about his fictional directorial debut, It will take another viewing of “Non-Fiction” 1 Last Year at Marienbad. “Diane,” Assayas friend writer-director Kent Siskel. Digital 4K restor- Jones described to me what would happen to to fathom the handful of scenes akin to that ation of Alain Resnais’ silken Assayas in his filmmaking flow, his production perfect bookend of one of Assayas’ best. splinters of memory and morbid process. A project of Jones’ had just stalled. The comedy here is both playful and forcefully self-regard among the imagined Assayas told him, “You know, nobody is going sophisticated, that convey the present story in creatures of haunted, haute to make your film but you. You’re the only one more than frames and words, as both physical Europe. Steven Soderbergh’s presence and time itself. Dizzying yet with its seen this one a time or two. who’s going to direct, nobody else. The way feet on the ground, “Non-Fiction” captivates. Opens Friday, May 31 that he has often made movies, something 2 Ad Astra. Writer- that is possible in France, that is not so director James Gray in space: Brad Pitt aspires to possible here, you just start shooting with ten “Non-Fiction” opens Friday, May 24 at the cross the universe and stop his dollars and there’s this momentum behind it missing father, a scientist who Music Box. endangers all of humanity. and somebody’s got to pay for it. That’s the Review Opens Friday, May 24 way he made ‘Irma Vep.’ He’s right in the sense that other people are going to come 3 John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Prepare up with the money, but you have to prove to protect the puppers and dodge bullets from the dogs that you need to make it and stick by it and Mickey One of war. Opens Friday, May 17 not stop until you get it done. You know?” Chicago, historically, was a first stop for 4 War and Peace. Siskel. The restored, full-length nonconformist comics to hone their brains seven-hour Sergei Bondarchuk adaptation; a high-caloric binge The wit and genial temperament of “Non- and reflexes in smoky clubs. Stand-ups played never seen in its complete form in the U.S. Opens Friday, May 17 Fiction” should appeal even to those who clubs like The Gate of Horn, Punchinello’s and 5 Grass. Siskel. Hong haven’t watched Assayas’ playful career since Mister Kelly’s, jokesters from up-and-comers Sang-soo’s sixty- six-minute black-and-white the early 1990s. What remains of a Parisian like Woody Allen, to old hands like Mort Sahl, café-set “Grass” is one of his shortest movies in a furiously publishing bohemia is the site of “Non-Fiction,” to troublemakers like Lenny Bruce, who once productive stretch of film- making; while working on where his blithe spirits include a provocative joked that Chicago was so corrupt that a her laptop, a young woman overhears stories. Opens writer (Vincent Macaigne) who takes his own cause of death could be “He wouldn’t listen.” Friday, May 17 dogged fuckery as fodder for his books, has In 1965, a couple years before collaborating 48 an affair with an actress (Juliette Binoche), on their snap-crackerjack-and-pop break- who—inconveniently? conveniently?— through, “Bonnie and Clyde,” director Arthur is married to his editor (Guillaume Canet). Penn and actor Warren Beatty made “Mickey Sex and art, conversation and art and sex, One” in Richard J. Daley’s film-production- commerce and commodities, plus a little more sex, take turn at center stage. Newcity MAY 2019 Assayas’ concerns about his attractive resistant Chicago, capably, if inadvertently, but mixed-up women and men remain: illustrating Bruce’s joke. Beatty is a nameless, but do the hurts and hopes of these paranoid Detroit comic in a nightworld race bourgeois merchants of art and culture for his life in cold, cold Chicago. The sleek remain of interest now that they are no delirium and errant surrealism features longer bright-faced newcomers? They gangsters and molls, a strain of existential think so, in their bruise-tender vanity; so dread and raft of intellectual puzzlers, as well does Assayas. He gently ribs his comic as threatening charcoal-on-ice black-and- foils, in their attractive, often enviable white alleys of razory glamour and dank surroundings, and they are swaddled by portent, lit by Belgian-French cameraman his customary filigree of framing and his Ghislain Cloquet a year before Robert brisk editing. Assayas’ perennial skittishness Bresson’s “Au hasard Balthazar” (and eleven about boredom is in play, as his lightly elliptical years before Woody Allen’s “Love & Death”). comedy shears moments that would “bore the “Mickey One” is cold and strange and alien, shit” out of him in movies of other filmmakers. yet its absurdism, which fits no era except whatever moment you’re watching it in, is a “Non-Fiction” has passages that approach, compelling phantasm Chicago that presumes but do not top the last couple of minutes of you’re guilty until presuming you’re ready to “Late August, Early September,” about a die. With Franchot Tone, Alexandra Stewart, dying novelist with a younger girlfriend (Mia Hurd Hatfield. 35mm. (Ray Pride) Hansen-Løve) and the concerns of the friends he will leave behind. Ten shots cap the Chicago Film Society at the Music Box, movie. In a café layered with barriers of glass, described from a distant camera position with May 27, 7pm. an extremely long lens, the passed writer’s younger friend (Mathieu Amalric) brings a manuscript to an editor, small talk is about to ensue, but the young woman appears, and meets a man her own age. Amalric’s all turned around: the movie’s past, his present, the future of the girl, the future of a novel he’s just mentioned he might write, are captured in shots both literal and figurative: worlds are glimpsed and pass like, well, passersby.

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Lit Sex and a Single Midwestern Girl in New York Renée Rosen discusses “Park Avenue Summer” By Toni Nealie Newcity MAY 2019 In Renée Rosen’s new book, budding Were you surprised that such Photo: Monika Lozinska/Rotary International photographer Alice moves to New York a reputed hard-ass was also and becomes assistant to Cosmopolitan prone to tears and relied heavily being both intimidated and awed by the city magazine’s first female editor-in-chief, Helen on her husband to bail her out came out of my own experiences. The other Gurley Brown, famous for her groundbreaking in difficult meetings? aspects of her character I owe to my editor 1962 nonfiction book “Sex and The Single Girl.” who kept asking me to drill down deeper, Rosen charts the rocky beginning to Brown’s Absolutely, but that’s what made find out who she is and what makes her tick. thirty-two-year reign (from 1965 to 1997) as her such a fascinating character to she remakes a tired magazine into an essential try and capture on the page. She Did you love writing about New York guide for modern career women. The editor was very complicated, a walking as much as Chicago? and her assistant must counter plots by the contradiction, preaching indepen- Hearst old guard, as well as sabotage efforts dence while running to her husband, After doing four previous novels set in by apparent friends. Alice witnesses the hiring David Brown, for help. Without Chicago, I needed to find some fresh territory. of unknown writers Nora Ephron and Judith David Brown (a very accomplished New York has a very different vibe from Krantz, the infamous “bosom memo” sent to Hollywood producer) there never Chicago and I enjoyed the challenge of trying female staff seeking information about what would have been the HGB we know. to capture that. It gave me an opportunity to single girls want, as well as telling the story David Brown was the one who stretch and I hope my Chicago readers will of her own awakening in 1960s Manhattan. told Helen she should write a book follow me on this out-of-town journey. Renée Rosen talks about “Park Avenue about being single. It was also David Brown Summer” and its trailblazing inspiration. who convinced Hearst to hire Helen as What challenges arose in the writing? Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief, despite her Did you grow up reading Cosmopolitan? having no previous editing or magazine The greatest challenge was Helen Gurley What was the influence of the magazine experience. Helen was terrified and David Brown. It would have been very easy to and Helen Gurley Brown on you? Brown often told of how he found Helen make her a caricature and I wanted to tap curled up in the fetal position, sobbing the into all her complexities and dimensions. One of the many benefits of having an older night before she started. Luckily, I was introduced to Lois Cahall, who sister was that I got to read her back issues was like a daughter to Helen Gurley Brown. of Cosmopolitan. I remember flipping to the What did you come to most admire Lois was kind enough to vet the manuscript “Bedside Astrologer” section, looking for about Helen Gurley Brown? and help me portray HGB as accurately as guidance on my budding sixteen-year-old I possibly could. love life. All those hours spent poring over the I loved her courage and flat-out chutzpah. She glossy pages of Cosmo essentially shaped was a 105-pound powerhouse who wasn’t You maintain a bright, breezy style with my view of female sexuality and female afraid to stand up for herself and ultimately no words wasted. It is very readable and empowerment, too. for all women. She was vulnerable, too. A self-proclaimed mouseburger, she shared her While researching, what was the most flaws and weaknesses; not afraid to admit she scandalous tidbit you came across? wore a wig, a padded bra and had her nose fixed. She was also a big believer in psycho- When it came to sex, no one was off-limits in analysis. I believe she wanted her readers to HGB’s world, and that included bosses and learn by her example and see that if she could married men. It was her attitude about affairs overcome her shortcomings, they could, too. with married men that I found most scandalous, especially because HGB was a girl’s girl. She Who did you draw on for the character was all for women’s liberation, so the fact that of Alice Weiss? she’d turn around and sleep with another woman’s husband didn’t seem to fit with every- I think there’s a little bit of me in Alice. Growing thing else I’d discovered about her. But she up in Ohio, I had a love affair with New York truly felt that sex was paramount to a woman’s City from as far back as I could remember. I happiness and she got it where she could. eventually lived there briefly and I think Alice 50

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