Art History

Rebecca Zorach Curates Exhibit for 'AFRICOBRA in Chicago'

Rebecca Zorach, Professor in Art History, is curating an exhibition at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts as part of AFRICOBRA in Chicago, "a linked series of exhibitions and public programs scheduled May–September 2013 focusing on the Chicago artist group AFRICOBRA (African Commune Of Bad Relevant Artists), founded in 1968 and still active."

AFRICOBRA: Philosophy, curated by Zorach, will run from June 28 to August 11, 2013 at the Logan Center. According to the press release, the exhibit: designed to highlight the aesthetic philosophy of AFRICOBRA first articulated in statements and exhibition text in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibition in the Logan Center Gallery will demonstrate how the AFRICOBRA philosophy was collaboratively developed by the five founding members, through a presentation of key early works and selected current works, raising the question of how founding principles continue to inform each artist...Themes to be addressed include the revolutionary politics of the period, the project of bringing art to the people through a range of media, and the relationship of gender roles and family to the political context of the time.

Zorach is also assisting with the opening exhibition AFRICOBRA: Prologue at the South Side Community Art Center, which runs from May 10 to July 7, 2013 and is curated by University of Chicago students. The opening exhibition will provide historical background and contemporary context for the other exhibitions in the series.

AFRICOBRA in Chicago is a collaboration between The South Side Community Art Center, the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, and The DuSable Museum of African American History. A jointly-published website with detailed information about each of the events will launch later this month.

Doctoral Student Discusses Symbolism of Korean Art at Smart Museum

Eleanor Hyun, a PhD candidate in Art History, shared her expertise in Korean and Chinese art during a lecture at the Smart Museum of Art on calligraphy and brush-and-ink painting from Korea’s Joseon Dynasty (1392–1910). The lecture was part of a Smart Museum exhibition titled "From the Land of the Morning Calm." From the article:

While Western artists frequently depicted the human figure, in East Asia calligraphy was considered the highest art form, Hyun said. But calligraphy did incorporate the body: the brush was thought of as an extension of the arm, and the precise strokes were likened to martial arts. Characters were often described in corporal terms, such as “meaty” or “skinny.” Referring to Yi’s calligraphy of a poem by renowned Joseon-dynasty writer Sin Heum, Hyun pointed out the vigorous, semicursive characters: “If anybody here has ever touched ink and brush, you know how easy it is to make a stray mark, a drop here or a drop there.” To achieve the sort of balance and rhythm displayed in Yi’s work required intense concentration and mastery of the discipline.

For more information about the Smart Museum and upcoming exhibitions, click here.