CHICAGO — Five digitally animated images of the sun twist, flare, and twitch within each of their screens.
CHICAGO — The latest piece by Martin Creed has literally landed on the city. It consists of giant neon letters forming the word Mothers, mounted on a steel beam and spinning on a steel post that’s fixed into the ground in front of the museum.
CHICAGO — We’re now a quarter of the way through Scottish artist Martin Creed’s year-long “residency” at the MCA Chicago. I put “residency” in quotation marks because Creed is only going to be here sporadically throughout 2012. So far, the MCA has put one new work by Creed on display each month, none of them new, so it’s more of an incremental retrospective at the moment.
CHICAGO — Martin Creed is a Scottish artist who won the British Turner Prize in 2001, but he is less well known in the United States. That might change in 2012, when Creed will be the artist in residence at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) for the whole year.
What is it about boxes that is so fascinating? I was thinking this as I went into Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art to see Pandora’s Box, a show that displays artist Joseph Cornell’s signature assemblages alongside the works of artists who allegedly were inspired by him or who were in artistic sympathy with him. I can think of historical precedents: medieval reliquaries; Victorian memento mori, which often look strikingly like Cornell’s miniature worlds. But these forebears don’t quite explain the combination of weirdness and visual beauty of something made by Cornell, nor the undoubted fascination with him since his death. His boxes frame the objects in a different way than a conventional picture frame, of course; they concentrate the viewer’s attention; but there’s something else, which finally came to me after I’d seen this show.