Michelle Grabner and SAIC artists rep the Midwest at the Hyde Park Art Center.
November 14, 2013

Group Show Presents SAIC Talent and Midwestern Style

In the November 7 edition of the Chicago Tribune, contributor Claudine Ise spotlights A Study in Midwestern Appropriation, organized by SAIC professor and 2014 Whitney Biennial co-curator Michelle Grabner (Painting and Drawing). As next year’s Biennial draws nearer—with two of its three curators having strong ties to Chicago—the “witty, wacky” and “persistently engaging” new group show at the Hyde Park Art Center serves as an interesting bellwether of contemporary art from the midwest. Showcasing 50 works by 40 Midwestern artists from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis, the exhibition surveys “the defining trait of appropriation in contemporary art from the heartland.” SAIC faculty member Pedro Vélez (MFA 1999, Painting and Drawing) adds “a provocative variant” to the exhibition, says Ise, critiquing national art news publications for “willfully ignoring” important movements and events in the Midwest. “Vélez makes the point in part by appropriating a series of email exchanges between himself and an editor, who politely but consistently rejects Vélez's requests to cover Milwaukee cultural events.” The exhibition includes work by more than a dozen SAIC community members.