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Frieze Acquires Expo Chicago
Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Frieze, one of the world’s leading contemporary art organizations. The New York Times reports that Frieze is also acquiring New York’s Armory Show. “We feel we’re only scratching the surface of the opportunity to play a bigger part in the ecosystem,” Simon Fox, the chief executive of Frieze, tells the paper. “These are both iconic, historic fairs with deep roots into their communities. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to invest further in the U.S. art scene and play a bigger role in that.”
“The acquisition enables Expo Chicago to build on more than a decade of convening the international art world and Chicago’s rich cultural landscape throughout Expo Art Week,” EXPO writes in a release. With the support of Frieze, Expo Chicago will continue its year-round program led by President and Director Tony Karman and its current team, with the next edition taking place April 11-14, 2024, at Navy Pier. “Since its founding in 2012, Expo Chicago has brought the world to Chicago and Chicago to the world–driving international exchange and demonstrating the incredible role the city and the region plays in contemporary art today,” Karman says. “This exposition has become a pivotal nexus of cross-regional dialogue and a testament to Chicago’s legacy as the site of the first art fair in the Americas. Embarking on this monumental partnership with Frieze, a truly global arts enterprise, allows Expo Chicago, our exhibitors, and patrons to benefit from Frieze’s vision and reach, advancing our mission and strengthening our impact.”
Frieze relays that it is “the world’s leading platform for modern and contemporary art, with three magazines—frieze, Frieze Masters Magazine and Frieze Week—and five international art fairs—Frieze London, Frieze Masters, Frieze New York, Frieze Los Angeles and Frieze Seoul.” Frieze, the Times footnotes, “is part of IMG, a sports, fashion, events and media network that is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global sport and entertainment company.” (Endeavor’s CEO is Ari Emanuel.)
“Picasso: Fifty Years Later” At Elmhurst Art Museum
The Elmhurst Art Museum will present “Picasso: Fifty Years Later,” an exhibition exploring the artist’s work, lasting influence and legacy, timed to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of his death. The three-part exhibition features works by Picasso and contemporaries such as Alexander Archipenko, Wifredo Lam, Fernand Léger and Joan Miró; a gallery dedicated to the demanding process of Picasso’s printmaking; and a presentation of contemporary figurative artists. “Picasso: Fifty Years Later” takes place September 9 to January 7, 2024. More here.
Claes Oldenburg’s Chicago
The history of the sculptor and the city make the current Reader cover story here.
Is Lincoln Yards In Trouble?
“Sterling Bay’s life sciences building is the only Lincoln Yards project to be constructed. None of the proposed public bridges or other large-scale infrastructure projects—which would be reimbursed with public funds after completion—have yet to move forward,” reports Block Club. “Recent news reports detail numerous financial challenges facing the mega-project and Sterling Bay, which is actively seeking new investors for Lincoln Yards, a Sterling Bay spokesperson confirmed.” A tick-tock of the troubles is here.
Northwestern’s Billion-Dollar Stadium Plan Questioned
“Northwestern University has earned criticism over the past week for its response to bombshell hazing allegations against the school’s football program, but several Wilmette residents on Tuesday night directed their ire toward the Evanston institution for its oversight of… the school’s proposed plans to reimagine Ryan Field and urge trustees to dispute potential zoning changes under consideration by Evanston officials,” reports The Record Northshore.
Peoria Unveils Riverfront Plan
“Peoria’s riverfront is set to undergo a multimillion-dollar facelift in a sweeping plan that will overhaul sidewalks, foliage and aesthetics near downtown,” reports the Journal-Star. Says the city in a release, “The plan includes a dog park, kayak launch, sports courts, recreational structures, [and] expanded hardscape for the Riverfront Market.” “Funding of $15 million is supposed to come from the state for the project.”
Printers Row Fountain Back In Business
“After a nearly two-year effort by the Printers Row Park Advisory Council, the 4th Ward service office and neighbors, the twenty-five-year-old [fountain] returned to Printers Row Park,” after a $110,000 upgrade, reports Block Club. “Over 150 people came out for the community celebration, including Edward Windhorst, the architect who designed the fountain in 1999.”
DINING & DRINKING
Thirteen Emmy Nominations For “The Bear,” Season One
Along with a nod for Outstanding Comedy Series, reports Eater Chicago, “The Bear” received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Jeremy Allen White, “while Ebon Moss-Bachrach is in the Outstanding Supporting Actor finalists circle for his portrayal of Richard ‘Richie’ Jerimovich. Ayo Edebiri… as ambitious sous chef Sydney Adamu, is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress and both Jon Bernthal and Oliver Platt are in the running for Outstanding Guest Actor.”
How Portillo’s Positions Itself Nationwide
“There’s a few challenges, and it’s probably something that we spend the most time thinking about on the marketing side,” Nick Scarpino, Portillo’s senior vice-president of marketing and off-premise dining, tells Ad Age (via Crain’s). “One is establishing that a hot dog can be a meal, not just for cookouts or the ballpark, and that a Chicago-style dog includes a pickle spear. Another is how a Chicago Italian beef sandwich is different from, say, a Philly cheesesteak.”
Sriracha Shortfall Will Persist
“Huy Fong, the California-based producer, uses peppers from suppliers in Mexico, where severe drought affected crops and led to water shortages,” seasons the Sun-Times with local anecdotes. “A case of 200 packets of that hot sauce is about $14… About three weeks ago the Huy Fong brand of sriracha was going for $50 a case, which has six bottles; five years ago it was $27.95.” (The Los Angeles Times reported earlier that the company goes through 50,000 tons of Mexican chiles a year.)
An End To Anchor Brewing, Nation’s Oldest Craft Brewery
“Anchor Brewing was a cockroach. The San Francisco brewery survived the great earthquake of 1906, the subsequent fire that destroyed the city, its owner being run over by a cable car right after the fire, World War I, the Volstead Act, World War II, a series of midcentury closures and re-openings, and 127 years of foundational changes to both the social geography of the Bay Area and the American beer-drinking palate, until Anchor finally met a foe it could not outlast,” writes Patrick Redford at Defector.
“The Japanese brewing giant Sapporo purchased Anchor in 2017, and on Wednesday, they gathered workers at the company’s Portrero Hill offices and told them that after six years of disastrous leadership, the company would be liquidated. Vinepair’s Dave Infante reported that the company had been scrambling to find a buyer, and absent a last-second deal, Anchor will be shuttered and stripped for parts. You used to be able to get an Anchor Steam at any bar in San Francisco, but those days are over. The oldest operating craft brewery in the United States is dead.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Rash Statements By Management As SAG-AFTRA Members Vote To Strike
Thursday afternoon’s vote to strike set in motion the biggest Hollywood walkout in four decades. Disney CEO Bob Iger, whose contract was renewed earlier this week for two more years, came out swinging against writers and actors just before SAG-AFTRA members voted. Iger, “who makes $27 million a year, went to TV to say that writers and actors aren’t being realistic with their demands,” relays More Perfect Union with the video. “When asked why these workers are being unrealistic he says, ‘I can’t, I can’t answer that.'” (A commenter: “Holding this interview while he’s in Idaho for something called the ‘Billionaires Summer Camp’ doesn’t make him look better.”) Variety: “Disney CEO Bob Iger says ‘there’s a level of expectation’ the Hollywood strikers have ‘that is just not realistic. And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.’”
From The Ankler’s Richard Rushfield: “If the goal here is to set some kind of leadership record for the most trainwrecks, meltdowns and catastrophes on one generation’s watch, then we’re on a good track… It’s time for us to really start asking… what good are you? Beyond your hopes for a slight uptick in EBITDA in the next quarter, for the historic and noble product of mass entertainment, which employs hundreds of thousands around the world, really, what good are you? You had one job: make movies and TV shows that entertain people around the world. And now that is at a likely standstill.” Filmmaker Siddhant Adlakha: “Lost in all the talk of Iger calling strike demands unrealistic is his statement about workers being compensated based on the value they deliver—inadvertently the strongest argument for overhaul of the studios (and capitalism in general) because the CEOs aren’t creating shit.”
“Michael Clayton” and “Andor” creator Tony Gilroy: “One of the central issues of this entire labor experience is that I don’t have any idea what the audience is. We don’t know what that is, and I think that the obscurity of data doesn’t help anyone… It looks like low-hanging fruit and easy profitability for certain corporations, but in the end it just crushes any kind of free market. It crushes the economics of the business, it means people are being overpaid and underpaid and never properly paid. It means that productions are overloaded with expenses up top because what used to be commonly residuals and royalties now have to be front-loaded… It’s distorted and warped and is close to ruining this amazing industry… I wish I knew how many people watched, I wish I knew who they were, and I’m not sure that that’s possible… I hope that the creative community can do what the business community in Hollywood seems to be failing to do, which is to try to preserve something amazing that’s been one of the great industries in American culture.” Historian Kevin M. Kruse: “Honey, what should we watch tonight?” “Disney+? I’m hearing great things about Bob Iger’s vision for corporate synergy.” “Sure, but let’s finish up Max first. I can’t get enough of David Zaslav’s boardroom style!”
“Cybergrime” At FACETS
Full Spectrum Features presents “Cybergrime,” programmed by Henry Hanson, a collection of “disgusting erotic nightmare lovingly extracted from the fiber optic cable lodged in the slimiest depths of your brain. Oversaturated and underexposed: eight twisted short films plus original glitch art form this breakneck sixty-two-minute collection of hypersleazy technophilic homo-depravity, and a live electronic solo set by Keikii.” FACETS, Saturday, July 15, 7:30pm and 10pm. A reception and the live music follows the first show. Tickets here.
Inside The Daily Northwestern Investigation That Got Pat Fitzgerald Fired
The Washington Post gets inside: “When student journalists at the Daily Northwestern saw that revered coach Pat Fitzgerald had been suspended, they suspected there was more to the story. They uncovered years of hazing allegations… Hours after the story published Saturday, Northwestern University President Michael Schill sent an apologetic email to the campus community, saying he failed to fully consider the situation before handing down Fitzgerald’s initial punishment. And as the Fitzgerald story gained traction over the weekend and was picked up by national news organizations, the Daily Northwestern reporters continued to follow leads. On Monday, they published a story detailing what three former players described as a racist culture within the football program. They told the paper that members of the coaching staff, including Fitzgerald, made racist comments or racially coded remarks and had different standards for Black players, who were told to cut longer hairstyles to comply with what Fitzgerald called the ‘Wildcat Way.'”
Three Pulitzer Prize-Winning Editorial Cartoonists Fired In One Day
“McClatchy, citing ‘continuing evolution’ for the cuts, says its newspapers will no longer publish daily opinion cartoons,” reports the Washington Post. “On Tuesday, three Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonists — Jack Ohman of the Sacramento Bee, Joel Pett of the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kevin Siers of the Charlotte Observer—were all let go by McClatchy newspapers.” In a statement, the Herb Block Foundation despairs over the lack of regard for political cartoons, relays Dan Froomkin of Press Watchers. McClatchy: “We made this decision based on changing reader habits and our relentless focus on providing the communities we serve with local news and information they can’t get elsewhere.”
“Am I Being Priced Out Of Making Music?”
“People want my art, but as a working-class musician, I can’t make a living,” relates Ashley Au in Canada’s The Walrus. “I’ve held multiple jobs at a time to eke out a career in arts and culture. Most bass players don’t have main-character energy; I’ve typically made music for collaborative reasons. I also work as a composer and sound designer for theatre and dance. Over the last couple of years, I’ve had to shift gears to keep afloat… Many working-class musicians are getting priced out of making music. In the early days of the pandemic, I was seeing tons of people [online] selling off their musical equipment because they were unsure of how they’d be able to pay their bills. Many technicians I know couldn’t get any work and have retrained in other fields. Music is like a language: you need to be immersed in it if you want to get any better.”
But, Au says, “I can see today’s working-class artists who reject these systems birthing new scenes and genres. Their music will be disseminated through small venues and community-centred events—which has always been a part of countercultural music—as well as the usual digital platforms. When these scenes reach critical mass, there will be another shift as music industry leaders find ways to monetize the counterculture. This isn’t new either. The wealthy love working-class culture but not working-class problems.”
Harris Theater For Music And Dance Kicks Off Twentieth Anniversary
The Harris Theater for Music and Dance will host “Harris Fest: Music + Dance in the Park” on Saturday, September 9, an all-day event spotlighting the dozens of Resident Companies for whom the Harris has been a home base and supportive partner over the past two decades, including Giordano Dance Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Chicago Philharmonic. The kick-off to the twentieth anniversary season will feature performances spanning ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance, as well as classical music, opera, and interactive workshops hosted by participating artists. Harris Fest programming, from 10am-9pm, will be free to the public at the Pritzker Pavilion stage, as well as Cloud Gate and other spaces throughout Millennium Park. The dauntingly full lineup is here.
“Tommy” Will Be Goodman’s Highest-Grosser Ever
“With its depictions of rebellion against authority and analogies to spiritual enlightenment, the show was firmly rooted in the youth culture of the 1960s. So why would Des McAnuff, for whom ‘Tommy’ was a career-defining success, take the risk of reimagining the work for today’s audiences?” asks Julia Jacobs at the New York Times. “Sometimes you just don’t get things out of your system,” McAnuff told Jacobs. “I felt like it was time to make it contemporary.” “In resurrecting ‘Tommy,’ McAnuff and Townshend, who wrote the book together, sought to prove that the work was not simply of an era, but carried the promise of timelessness… The Goodman says the show is on track to be its highest-grossing production ever, a boon for the organization during a time of high anxiety around regional theater’s post-pandemic return. The show’s commercial producer, Stephen Gabriel, said several options for the production’s future are being weighed, including a Broadway run.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Heavy Rains Run Off; Not Much Help To Drought
“It’s definitely made a huge dent,” Trent Ford, a climatologist with the University of Illinois, tells the Sun-Times about the torrential rains. “What we really want to see more of is consistent, moderate rain totals. We probably don’t want to see the eight inches of rain in a single day… because in that situation, the first maybe inch or two soaks in, helps the soil, and the rest just runs off.” “To truly say the drought is over, the region needs about a weekly inch to one-and-a-half inches of rain through the beginning of September.”
How The Atom Bomb Caused St. Louis’ Enduring Radioactive Waste Problems
Newly released public documents indicate the American push for the atomic bomb saddled St. Louis with an enduring radioactive waste problem, reports the Tribune.
How Student Debt Can Still Be Cancelled
“President Biden’s cancellation plan still has a fighting chance,” writes Astra Taylor at The Nation. “In reality, there is nothing in the Higher Education Act that prevents the president from immediately canceling student debt under the current regulations.”
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