Exhibitions

Ex-Static: George Kagan’s Radios

July 13, 2012 - January 5, 2013

Co-Curated by Erik Peterson and Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford

Ex-Static: George Kagan's Radios Presented in conjunction with Hyde Park Kunstverein, Ex-Static: George Kagan’s Radios features a striking body of over 50 hand-built radios and drawings produced over the past 14 years by self-taught Chicago artist George Kagan. Included are sets that range from small battery-powered units to towering jukebox inspired pieces. Throughout his decade and a half building radios, Kagan has also produced an archive of drawings, which act as concept sketches, schematics, and documentation.

As art objects, Kagan’s pieces occupy a hybrid space, with inexpensive car radio faces embedded into highly crafted wooden exteriors, and outfitted with tweeters, subwoofers, and amplifiers, offering up deliciously resonant sound. Kagan’s works jog in time, oscillating between technological obsolescence and nostalgia, mass manufacturing and skilled carpentry. Ex-Static offers a body of work that weds pop with symphony, all while conjuring up the distant pre-TV days when families gathered around the radio like an information shrine, as well as the more recent times when we carried stacks of cassette tapes in our cars. Kagan seems to be advocating for a radical form of capitalism, one that pushes back against our reality of planned obsolescence and constant technological updates leading to a cycle of throw-always. Kagan’s work recalls the beginnings of Radio Shack: one store in Boston run by Theodore and Milton Deutschmann, who were dedicated to providing intrepid customers with parts to build their own ham radios, but also its current incarnation as a multinational sprawl of franchises where the car radios are now purchased.

George Kagan lives in Chicago and worked as a dentist for the Chicago Board of Health. In 1997, he saw an advertisement from Grundig Radios announcing the reintroduction of a wooden radio it manufactured in the 50′s. His kitchen floor quickly became a makeshift woodworking studio where he taught himself how to build pieces that exhibit aesthetic, acoustic and electronic precision, at times dipping into forms and concepts of Modernism and the International Style, and exploring how the Golden Ratio impacts sound.

Catalogs are now available for purchase online.

Intuit’s Teacher Fellowship Program Exhibition

June 8 - July 6, 2012
Free Opening Reception: June 9, 1-4pm

Location: Yollocalli Arts Reach, 1401 W. 18th Street, Chicago
Free and open to the public

Teacher Fellowship Program 2011-12 Rising AboveRising Above is Intuit’s Teacher Fellowship Program Student Exhibition for the 2011-2012 school year. This exhibition showcases students’ artwork from the eleven participating Chicago Public Schools. Inspired by self-taught and outsider art, students  have transformed found materials to reflect their own visions.

Yollocalli Arts Reach (1401 W. 18th St., Chicago, IL 60608) has generously donated the space for this exhibition. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 9am – 5 pm.

Schools represented in the exhibition are Carl Schurz High School, George B. Armstrong School of International Studies, Innovations High School, Inter-American Magnet School, Lincoln Park High School, Lionel Hampton Fine & Performing Arts School, Louis Pasteur Elementary School, Mariano Azuela Elementary School, Northside Learning Center, Orr Academy High School, and Uplift Community High School.

HEAVEN+HELL

February 10 - June 30, 2012

Curated by Molly Tarbell and Jan Petry

Heaven+Hell

William Thomas Thompson, Heaven and Hell, 2011, Courtesy of the artist

HEAVEN+HELL is an inspired collaboration of creative thinking and practical dynamics from two very different organizations: Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art and the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA). The exhibition will serve as a bridge between the two museums with the Hell portion of the exhibition taking place in Intuit’s Galleries at 756 N. Milwaukee Ave. and Heaven taking place at LUMA, 820 N. Michigan Ave.

The themes of heaven and hell are frequently addressed in outsider and intuitive art. Outsider artists’ perspectives range from illustrative, word-laden drawings to stylized, sculptural versions of figurative images that populate their perceptions of the heavenly and the hellish. Self-taught and outsider artists often use the themes of heaven and hell not as concepts, but as broad visualizations that may be invented, drawn from popular media or the Bible, or influenced by their religious upbringing. HEAVEN+HELL seeks to explore the breadth of expression in self-taught art with these themes in mind. The exhibition will feature work by American artists such as Minnie Evans (1892-1987), Howard Finster (1916-2001), William Edmondson (c. 1870-1951), Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980), William Blayney (1918-1985), William Thomas Thompson (1935 – ) and Norbert Kox (1945 – ), among many others.

Co-curated by Jan Petry, Exhibitions Chair at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art and Molly Tarbell, Exhibition Curator, Loyola University Museum of Art, the exhibition features 165 works of art by 54 artists as well as several anonymous works. This exhibition is accompanied by a 36-page catalog with an essay by Jerry Bleem, a Franciscan Friar, Catholic Priest, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The catalog is available at both venues for $12 or buy it online in our gift shop. Special – FREE admission at Intuit on Tuesdays during HEAVEN+HELL!

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: From the Wand of the Genii

September 16, 2011 - January 14, 2012

Curated by Lisa Stone

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein, Rise of Empire- Complex/ Wand of the Genii/ The miracle of color, stone, and steel, November 14, 1978, Gift of Lewis and Jean Greenblatt

Fascinated with botany and science, Von Bruenchenhein wrote extensively on his own metaphysical theories of biological and cosmological origins along with reams of poetry on nature, love, war, politics, and imaginary travels through time and space. In 1954 Von Bruenchenhein began making intricate, brightly colored “finger paintings” of atomic mushroom clouds, mythical sea creatures, fantastic landscapes, shooting comets and futuristic metropolises. During his own lifetime, Von Bruenchenhein never achieved significant recognition for his art, and by the time of his death thousands of works crammed the tiny house he had shared with his wife and muse, Marie.

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: From the Wand of the Genii will focus on the dominant stimuli of nature and architecture, of growth patterns and imaginative structures. Referencing his artistic process, this exhibition will show his growth as he moved freely across mediums; from photography, painting, ceramic, bone, and cement sculpture. The exhibition will include works from various periods, organized to reflect the evolution of motifs and ideas, rather than presented chronologically or by specific media.

You Better Be Listening: Text in Self-Taught Art

July 8, 2011 - January 14, 2012

Curated by Matthew Arient

Left: Sister Gertrude Morgan, Revelations, ca. 1970, Mixed media on paper, Gift of Susann Craig. Right: Dwight Mackintosh, Untitled (Figures with writing), Mixed media on paper, Gift of Creative Growth Art Center

From street preachers to sermonizers of all persuasions, this exhibition will feature artists who use written words as an integral part of their art. Art can be used as a form of communication and self-taught artists often use text as a way to complete their message. Curator Matthew Arient states, “In the work of trained artists, many times the text takes on a secondary, deeper meaning that the viewer is supposed to understand. For untrained, self-taught artists, text many times takes on a much more literal aspect.” You can see this literal message in the work of Reverend Howard Finster who used his paintings as a way to spread the gospel after he was told by a voice to paint “sacred art.”

Other artists, such as Dwight Mackintosh, use text as a sort of pattern or separate creation as his automatic writing is completely illegible. Whether it is the Biblical passages of Sister Gertrude Morgan, the rants of Jesse “Outlaw” Howard or the misogynistic diatribes of Prophet Royal Robertson, for each of these artists the message in the text is as important as the image.