What We're Reading: 3/15/23

Miyoko Ito, “Untitled” (1970), oil on canvas, 48 x 46 inches. Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery.

Miyoko Ito’s Mysteries and Longings

More than 30 years after her death, Miyoko Ito is having her self-named debut show at the spacious Matthew Marks Gallery (February 24–April 15, 2023). That the show is at a blue-chip art-world establishment signals the merger of artistic achievement and financial viability, and brings long-deserved attention to a body of work that has been under-recognized in New York and should be better known in Chicago, where the artist lived. As much as the gallery has done to make Ito’s work widely visible, I believe that it should have done more, starting with the catalogue (with a chronology) accompanying the exhibition, as no essay provides context for her work. 

Via Hyperallergic


“Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s–Today,” MCA Chicago

In Artforum’s March issue, Daniel R. Quiles reviews “Forecast Form: Art in the Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s–Today,” curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates. “A diasporic perspective untethers identity from location but not from history,” writes Quiles. “The curatorial approach emphasizes affective charge over didactics or exhaustiveness.”


Why Is a Day Job Seen as the Mark of an Artist’s Failure?

There’s a scene in the 1996 movie “Basquiat” where the incandescent young painter (played by Jeffrey Wright) has a handyman gig at a gallery. Willem Dafoe, making a cameo as an electrician, climbs down a ladder and delivers the immortal line: “You know, I’m an artist too.” Here are the two sides of the myth: the obscure martyr unsoiled by commercial success; and the unbridled genius who can’t help but have it all.

In reality, most artists, even most great ones, also have day jobs.



Notre Dame to reopen in December 2024

The nave of Notre Dame de Paris will be reopened for religious services and visitors in December 2024, five and a half years after the fire that destroyed it, according to General Jean-Louis Georgelin, who heads the agency in charge of the cathedral’s reconstruction.

The date is symbolic. Immediately after the catastrophe, on 15 April 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild the Gothic monument “within five years”, a statement criticised by many observers in light of the extent of the damage. Then, in 2020, General Georgelin claimed the cathedral would reopen in April 2024, just in time for the Summer Olympic Games, for which more than 10 million tourists are expected to travel to France. Several experts expressed their doubts.

According to the Culture Ministry, work will continue through 2025, notably to rebuild the spire, which will be a copy of the one created by Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century. The complete restoration of the building, accompanied by a renovation of the forefront, might continue until 2028.

Via The Art Newspaper


Chicago Artist Gives Barrettes New Life in Colorful Mosaic Portraits

Unexpected household items are the focus of a local artist creating portraits for her inner child.

Typically, mosaics are made of colorful broken pieces of tile, stone or glass — but not usually barrettes.

“It started with wooden beads, then I decided to add more color and decided on hair barrettes,” said artist Keila Strong. “And the rest is history,”

It was her piece “Picture Day” that put Strong’s work on the map.

“Barrettes speak to childhood joys; I hear them,” Strong said. “Edge control, rollers. Every accessory used holds a memory, and it’s comforting. I don’t think I appreciated it as much before. But turning it into art has given me greater appreciation because I didn’t realize how important barrettes were to my childhood.”