News From Around the Art World: November 17, 2020

Ruth Kohler helped build an international reputation for a Sheboygan art museum. She has died at the age of 79.

Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, who helped a medium-sized Wisconsin city become known throughout the world for its folk art museum, has died at the age of 79. Kohler, who died Saturday at her Kohler home, served as director of Sheboygan's John Michael Kohler Arts Center, named for her grandfather, from 1972 to 2016.

During that time, she guided the center "to an international reputation for expertise in the work of folk, self-taught and vernacular artists," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel art critic Mary Louise Schumacher wrote in 2016.

By Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Popular ‘Immersive Van Gogh’ exhibit coming to Chicago brings visitors inside iconic painter’s works

A larger-than-life art exhibit which allows visitors to immerse themselves in the works of Vincent Van Gogh is coming to Chicago.

Rather than just putting paintings on display, the interactive “Immersive Van Gogh” brings people inside 40 of the artist’s best-known pieces by covering the walls, floors and ceiling in a moving kaleidoscope of color and brush strokes.

“It’s really where filmmaking, art, music and experimentation all come together,” Co-Producer Corey Ross said. “The biggest reaction everyone has is, ‘Wow, I’ve never seen anything like that and I’m so happy that I had the chance.'”

By Erin Ivory, WGN9 Chicago

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A digital art projection of "The Nutcracker" is cast on the south facade of the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago on Nov. 12, 2020. (Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune)

Joffrey Ballet’s 'Nutcracker’ is part of an Art on theMart video projection — and draws a COVID-weary crowd looking for a holiday show

The Loop’s historic theaters are closed. The Christkindlmarket is to be depressingly virtual, being as you can’t eat wienerschnitzel through a computer. And if the great retail emporia in downtown Chicago manage to survive both this marauding virus and latent orders to hunker down and stay at home, we’ll all be calling that a Christmas miracle.

So what you gonna do for a downtown outing with the family this year? You know, some non-Hallmark seasonal cheer that doesn’t require anybody to mute and, more importantly, that reminds us of the central role cities have played in the holiday season since R.H. Macy put Santa and his reindeer in his windows.

By Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

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The abstract painter Caroline Kent at her studio on Chicago’s West Side. She calls herself “a Midwesterner through and through.”Credit...Samantha. Cabrera Friend

An Artist Who Paints in Cryptic Pastel Symbols

Even as a child, Caroline Kent was immersed in the language of abstraction. The Chicago-based artist — whose large-scale black canvases evoke cosmic unknowns — grew up alongside her identical twin sister, Christine Leventhal, with whom she shared special methods of communication. Their conversations can still be so elliptical and condensed that they perplex others.

By Jenn Pelly, The New York Times

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