2006 Annual Meeting and Aquisition Vote

5:30-7:00 Exhibition preview in Gallery 136 5:30-7:00 Cocktail reception in the Millennium Park Room 6:30 Presentation of works in Gallery 136 7:00 Dinner and vote in the Millennium Park Room 7:45 Tabulation and announcement of results The Acquisition Committee of the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago is pleased to announce the acquisition candidates for 2006. This year?s offering includes a video projection by Phil Collins (English, born 1970); a suite of color photographs by Roe Ethridge (American, born 1969); a painting by Rudolf Stingel (Italian, born 1956); a photographic diptych by Willie Doherty, (Irish, born 1959); a clay sculpture by Rebecca Warren (English, born 1965); and a black and white photograph by Zoe Leonard (American, born 1961) * See below for work descriptions* The works will be on view in the contemporary art galleries (136) in late April. On May 11th, James Rondeau and Lisa Dorin will provide a presentation of the proposed works prior to voting. We hope you will be able to attend this exciting event?your vote counts! Please be aware that you must be present to vote. Couples may share a single membership vote. Event: $60.00 per person Please call Whitney Moeller at 312.443.3630 to make a reservation. All reservations must be made by Thursday 4 May 2006. 2006 Acquisition Candidates In his work, Phil Collins (English, b. 1970) investigates the perils of representation and the emotional core of photography and video, often in locations where the fabric of the community is tested to the full: Colombia, Iraq, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Palestine, and Serbia. Instinctively distrustful of the camera and its effects, yet responsive to its potential as an instigator of relationships, Collins considers that which is devalued, discarded, or held in contempt through a complex investigation of portraiture, documentary traditions, beauty, violence, and the intersection of politics and popular culture. In How to Make a Refugee, Collins used a handheld camera to record an English journalistic photo shoot of a Kosovar boy and his family taking refuge in Macedonia during the May 1999 conflict. Positioning himself as complicit in the organization of images created for political and aesthetic consumption, the artist reveals the disgrace and embarrassment of eliciting pictures that the press and visual media continually reproduce and exploit. The viewer may also feel implicated in the complex emotional responses of the subjects?as collusive witnesses to the action we consume, and, more generally, in the tacit shame of our roles as ineffectual political bystanders. Employing the visual languages of documentary film, video surveillance, and news photography to investigate psychological and political conflict in his native Northern Ireland, Willie Doherty (Irish, b. 1959) draws attention to the ways in which the media constructs and influences our perception of places, people, and events. As a child he witnessed Bloody Sunday, the day in 1972 on which British paratroopers shot dead 13 unarmed protesters, and the incident and its implications continue to inform his work. Strategy Sever/Isolate is part of a series, begun in 1985, of black-and-white photographs of the artist?s immediate environs in his hometown of Derry. Bucolic landscapes scarred by the remnants of military demarcations and the outskirts of corroded urban areas are overlaid with divisive words of political conflict and idealism. Produced in the wake of the Media Broadcast Ban?which was passed by the British government in 1988 and placed restrictions on whose voices could be heard in the media?the photographs? gritty realism and the violent language of separation and isolation respond to internalized censorship and the destruction of communication. Roe Ethridge?s (American, b. 1969) practice reflects a variety of approaches to photography, exploiting the possibilities of the genre both formally and conceptually. Like predecessors including Andr? Kert?sz, L?szl? Moholy-Nagy, and Man Ray, who blended avant-garde and commercial practice, Ethridge moves easily between art and advertising, incorporating images born from a commercial context into his art, thus diffusing the boundary between high and low forms of representation. This group of photographs?selected by the artist from a number of loosely accumulated sets?exemplifies his process of editing and assembling disparate imagery to form complex interchangeable relationships. He has chosen to combine, in no particular order, intimate close-up ?portraits? of a male friend; a female acquaintance; a Canadian pine branch; a suburban Atlanta strip mall sign; a watermelon; and a building fa?ade that was originally part of an illustration for a magazine article about artist Richard Prince?s move to upstate New York. Within the spaces between these diverse subjects, viewers are invited to assume what has been cut out and to create their own personal narratives. Since the mid-1980s, Zoe Leonard?s (American, b. 1961) photographs, often distinguished by their seemingly unauthorized, awkward viewpoints and low-tech graininess, have merged activism and artistic practice. As if taken in haste, they reveal what lies behind the scenes, that which is generally forbidden or forgotten. Avoiding the trap of exploitation, Leonard instead favors more personal modes of representation, as if she has witnessed or discovered something, the exact meaning of which remains unclear and begs further interrogation. Wax Anatomical Model with Pretty Face?a photograph of a wax female figure with her internal organs exposed for medical examination, yet replete with pubic hair, make-up, and a pearl necklace?is poised between visceral fascination and political purpose. The more we look at it, the more mesmerizing and/or repulsive the figure may become. Discovered by the artist at the Museum of Comparative Anatomy in Paris, the figure is clinical in its anatomical precision, but also disturbingly seductive. Laden with poetry, emotion, and sentiment, Leonard?s depiction evokes death, beauty, femininity, sexuality and, more specifically, criticizes the societal acceptance of violence in the name of science. Featuring unusual and often banal materials such as industrial carpet and Styrofoam, Rudolf Stingel?s (Italian, b. 1956) conceptual paintings and site-specific installations transform into dazzling pictorial statements. Sometimes produced through unexpected results, Stingel?s work deconstructs?and therefore demystifies?the processes of making art. His work often disrupts the perception of exhibition spaces and destabilizes the accepted hierarchy between the work and the context. Untitled is the first in Stingel?s series of iconic textural silver paintings?made by a process of coating the canvas in a single color, laying a piece of tulle over the surface, spraying the canvas with silver paint, and then removing the fabric to reveal lyrical, painterly creases on a luminous field of color. The silver surface disrupts the modernist monochrome, making it more contemporary, and adds a touch of glamour and decoration. Embracing nontraditional strategies in painting, as well as redefining the role of the artist, Stingel printed a step-by-step illustrated list of instructions in six languages, which reveals his technique and allows anyone who followed his ?recipe? to create one of his paintings. Rebecca Warren?s (English, b. 1965) work challenges the status of sculpture. Fashioned from unfired clay, her exuberant female forms question assumptions about the use of material and our understanding of the figurative ideal. Starting with a skeletal support structure, she builds up her sculptures with impressionistic fervor, shaping mounds of clay into an extension of her imagination. Drawn from a variety of sources, including books, magazines, popular culture, as well as the work of male artists such as Robert Crumb, Edgar Degas, Willem de Kooning, and Auguste
Rodin, Warren?s sculptures are barbaric and strong, energetic and bold. In charge of their own sexuality, they are exaggerated icons of the ideal ?every woman.? In M, as in most of her work, the artist relies on humor to directly confront themes of male dominance in art history. With one oversize foot planted firmly on the plinth, the roughly hewn dancer kicks her other leg out wildly, while an impossibly big toe directs our gaze back toward her exposed and protruding breasts. The figure?nearly devoid of ornament and unpainted except for hints of pastel colors that swirl through her uplifted miniskirt?draws the viewer into Warren?s process of making. **For a list of bibliographic sources on the artists, please contact the administrator.

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