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Best art reading

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“MORE” curated by A. Laurie Palmer at Threewalls
Last May Laurie Palmer curated a magnificent night of readings by artists and writers who were “invited to think about more-ness, in the present context of austerity and debt.” The participants: Matthew Goulish, Chiara Galimberti, Matthias Regan, Anastasia Douka, Sam Davis, Jill Riddell, and Abigail Satinsky performed under the cover of Palmer’s massive installation “Still, yet, else, further, again” on view in the gallery. The readings allowed for a deeper reading of the art, demonstrating at its best how poetics of visual art and literature might serve and support each other.

Best of Chicago 2012

Best shout-out to the Black Power poet Amiri Baraka at EXPO Chicago

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Anthony Romero and Jillian Soto reading
Amidst the hype around the inaugural year of EXPO Chicago some of Chicago’s most vital arts organizations programmed a near-hidden outdoor performance space and bar on the roof of Navy Pier. There Threewalls hosted a release party for their “reader” MAKESHIFT and featured performances by a number of the contributors. Escape Group, the shared performance identity of artists Anthony Romero and Jillian Soto, was the highlight of the evening with a slide-show lecture involving slam-poetry inflections and a complex narrative involving Joseph Cornell pushing a boulder and the Black Power poet LeRoi Jones aka Amiri Baraka.

Best of Chicago 2012

Best solo art show (in the last year or so)

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It’s a tie! Mindy Rose Schwartz and Heidi Norton

We should be so lucky. On one hand we had Mindy Rose Schwartz’ odd pottery, large vintage credenzas and ceramic water fountains occupying the whole of Threewalls, and on the other Heidi Norton’s impressive fossilized plants, encrusted in heavy glass plates, proved that it was time for Ebersmoore to aim higher and move into a bigger space where they can show off their stable. Between these two artists there’s so much sculptural dexterity to melt the surface of the earth. It’s time to include them in the next Whitney Biennial by any means possible.

Threewalls (Mindy Rose Schwartz)
119 North Peoria #2c
(312)432-3972
three-walls.org

Ebersmoore Gallery (Heidi Norton)
350 North Ogden, Suite 100
(312)772-3021
ebersmoore.com

Best of Chicago 2011

Best alternative art-space fundraiser

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ThreeWalls’ “You Oughta Be In Fangs”

Who needs “Twilight” when there’s a vampiric speakeasy around? This past May, ThreeWalls, a non-profit gallery space and artist residency in the West Loop, hosted its annual spring fundraiser at the Museum of Surgical Science. The theme was an idiosyncratic combination of vampire fantasy and Gatsbyesque dinner party complete with plenty of booze, fake blood and plastic canines.

Best of Chicago 2009