Cauleen Smith & Shannon Stratton

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Elizabeth Ferry, Past Times of a Future Stranger

Christina Forrer, November Calls April

Sun Ra, The Substitute Words: Poetry, 1957-72

Rebecca Shore: Green Light

Charline von Heyl

Richard Wetzel: Some of Its Parts (1966-1972)

Richard Wetzel: Objects From Elsewhere

David Hartt

The Big Dig: Celeste Rapone

Cosmic Meteorites & Other Burners

The Big Dig: Karl Wirsum Sketchbook, 1966

Thomas H. Kapsalis: Eight Decades

The Vault: Åke Hodell Lågsniff

Independent Art Fair

Alan Shields: Fan Dance

Gabrielle Garland

Felix Art Fair

February 13 – 16, 2020
Room 112

The Vault: Edward Rankus She Heard Voices

Barbara Kasten

Lui Shtini: Three Summers

The Vault: Phil Niblock: The Magic Sun

Arturo Herrera

The Vault: Abigail Child: Mayhem


John Sparagana: Shatter

The Vault: Martin Arnold, Passage à L’acte

Carol Jackson: End World Music

Caragh Thuring: Builder

Small Painting

Omar Velázquez: Miracle Fruit

Art Basel

Art Basel Feature | Dominick Di Meo
Booth J3
June 12 – June 16, 2019

Group Exhibition: Rachel Harrison, Albert Oehlen, Jimmy Wright

Karl Wirsum

Felix Art Fair

Booth 112

Christopher Wool

Art Basel Miami Beach

Robert Lostutter: Kyōsei

EXPO Chicago

Celeste Rapone and Betsy Odom

Main Gallery

Rapone_Full Crouch_hope page

Josiah McElheny: Cosmic Love

Christina Forrer

Claire Chase

Barbara Rossi

Van Dyke Parks

Brian Calvin

Record: The Complete Yale Concert, 1966

Margot Bergman

Record: I Struck a Match on the Moon/Dreamsville

Record: Incipient ICP, 1966-71

Magalie Guérin

Record: Vario 34-3

Thomas Kapsalis

Record: Fire Without Bricks

Michael Cline

Record: Black is the Color, Live in Poughkeepsie and New Windsor, 1969-70

Rebecca Shore

Record: Three Nails Left

Lui Shtini

Peter Kowald Quintet

Sequesterfest (Vol. 4)

Corbett vs. Dempsey presents… Sequesterfest (Vol. 4)
The Reflection in the Puddle is Mine
Sunday, June 28th, 2020, 7:00pm (Central Daylight Time)

As part of Experimental Sound Studio’s ongoing Quarantine Concerts, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Sequesterfest 4, an hour-long film program featuring a selection of treasures from the Chicago Film Archives (CFA) collection. Chosen by archivist Michelle Puetz and Jim Dempsey, the films and videos screened provide rare and fascinating glimpses into life in Chicago, from the 1930s to the present day. A constant element throughout the program is the motif of dance, in more or less abstract forms – from dancing atoms to bodies in motion, and from the geometric to the lyrical. In 2014, CFA commissioned guitarist Jeff Parker to score films featuring Ruth Page and Sybil Shearer, two of which are presented here. The program takes its title from a 1961 film by dancer and choreographer Shearer and filmmaker Helen Morrison and documents Shearer’s dance company in a performance that moves from the mundane world of work to an abstract, spiritual level. All donations go directly to CFA.

These films convey a particular poetry and grit of a Midwestern city in mid-century. The movement and majesty of this mash-up combines historical source material, some with contemporary jazz scores, with an eye squarely on the place where hard work meets artistic transcendence.
– Jim Dempsey

Watch here:

The Program
Sequesterfest Vol. 4
The Reflection in the Puddle is Mine
Sunday, June 28, 2020
7:00pm (CDT)

Full Circle (Robert Stiegler, 1968, color, sound, 24 minutes)
“A contemporary Koan. A series of highs, encompassing people: waiting for the bus,
laying tiles at Swami’s house, celebrating a Spring  Be-in and children smiling.”            –Robert Stiegler

An Anthology of Kinship (Samantha Hill & Haptic, 2017, color, sound, 8 minutes)
Commissioned by CFA as part of the archive’s “Media Mixer” project, An Anthology of Kinship utilizes home movies shot by Chicago artist and muralist Don McIlvaine to investigate how memory, history, and location intersect.

Union Pier 1942: Film Experiments (excerpt) (Morton & Millie Goldsholl, 1942, b/w, silent, 5 minutes)
An exploration of objects and bodies in motion by the duo behind Goldsholl Design and Film Associates, one of Chicago’s leading graphic design studios from the 1950s through the 1970s.

Variations on Euclid (Ruth Page, 1938, original score by Jeff Parker, b/w, sound 4 minutes)
Choreographed by dancer Ruth Page, Variations on Euclid is part of a larger collaboration with artist Isamu Noguchi, who designed the “sac dress” at the center of the ballet and created a sculpture based on Ruth Page in this dress titled Miss Expanding Universe (1932).

Untitled Rehearsal (Ruth Page, circa 1930, original score by Jeff Parker, b/w, sound 2 minutes)
While on tour in Southeast Asia in 1928-29, Ruth Page filmed numerous dances that would later influence her choreography. In this footage, we see Page experimenting with movements based on traditional Balinese dances.

Disintegration Line #2 (Larry Janiak, 1970, color, sound, 12 minutes)
“An optically printed full color randomly animated film set to Gamelan music. Full field abstract images progress in subtle visual sequences in discernible steps of intensity. DL2 is a film expressing the spirituality in art, a view of the cosmos as dancing atoms.” –Larry Janiak

Without Wings the Way is Steep (Helen Morrison & Sybil Shearer, 1961, color, sound, 5 minutes)
Shot by filmmaker Helen Balfour Morrison, Without Wings the Way is Steep documents dancer and choreographer Sybil Shearer’s solo performance of “without wings—an abstract version of life on the precipice.”

The Reflection in the Puddle is Mine (Helen Morrison & Sybil Shearer, 1961, b/w, sound, 5 minutes)
A document of Sybil Shearer’s company performing a dance described as one in which “people with mundane jobs are caught up in something bigger than themselves and drawn to an abstract, spiritual power.”

Something to Move In (Latham Zearfoss & Joel Midden, 2014, color, sound, 5 minutes)
Commissioned by CFA as part of the archive’s “Media Mixer” project, this musical manifesto remixes late 1960s political dialogue with modern dance to resuscitate a bygone revolutionary thrust.
[TRT: 70 minutes]
All times Central Daylight.
For people tuning in from outside the U.S., the concerts begin at 12am GMT. Don’t forget to donate while you listen/watch!


Sequesterfest (Vol. 3)

Corbett vs. Dempsey presents…Sequesterfest (Vol. 3)
Saturday, May 23rd, 2020, 1-5:30pm (Central Daylight Time)

When you hear music, after it’s over, it’s gone, in the air.
You can never capture it again.
  – Eric Dolphy

For the third incarnation of our Sequesterfest series, Corbett vs. Dempsey has assembled a program featuring eight performers from five countries and a special Halftime Show presenting four film works with creative music soundtracks.  In acoustics, they refer to certain sounds as transients.  These fugitive events help define the character of the waveform that follows them, but they’re brief and difficult to capture.  Maybe that’s where we’re at right now, deep into the transients.  During the last couple months, as we’ve explored new ways to navigate time and space, live streaming has of course become a central part of many of our lives.  In a flash, people are together with their friends and colleagues and teachers and students, touching base and solving problems, struggling and celebrating, enjoying a virtual dance party or happy hour.  In the course of two months, we’ve come to face time – we square off with it, trying to understand the mercurial way it piles up and mostly slips away, but somehow in all our technological mediation of temporal flow, time has only grown more difficult to hold onto.  A shared transient has become the most refreshing way to be together.  It’s a communal evanescence that’s long been the domain of music.  In a program of seven half-hour sets broken into two parts, Sequesterfest Vol. 3 revels in that fleeting state of commonality, inviting viewers into the private quarters of Peter Brötzmann, Hamid Drake, Rebekah Heller, Rob Mazurek, Paal Nilsson-Love, Steve Beresford, and Anna Högberg & Finn Loxbo, to listen as they play in the intimate home setting.  Grab chips and dip for a hour-long Halftime Show – a rare opportunity to screen films by Cauleen Smith, David Hartt, and Christopher Wool online.

As always, we thank the Experimental Sound Studio for hosting this Sequesterfest as part of their Quarantine Concerts.  Theirs is yeoman’s work.

For people tuning in from Europe the concerts begin at 6pm GMT.

Check out Sequesterfest Vol. 3 and all the Quarantine Concerts old and new here:  And remember to donate to the artists while you listen!

Sequesterfest Vol. 3
Saturday, May 23, 2020

1pm (CDT): 
Steve Beresford
Brilliant pianist, composer, arranger, improvisor and eclectic kicking things off on Zimmerman baby grand, low-grade electronics, and circuit-bent toys from his flat near Portobello Market in London, up the street from Honest Jon’s.

1:30pm (CDT): Anna Högberg & Finn Loxbo
Two bright lights in improvised music broadcasting un-distanced duets for alto sax and acoustic guitar from their little house on a cliff by the sea outside Härnösand on Sweden’s so-called high coast.

2pm (CDT): 
Paal Nilssen-Love
Peripatetic percussionist transmitting solo from Stavanger, Norway, on a drum set retrieved from storage in Oslo, the barnstormer’s primary gear stranded in Rio mid-March between tours of Brazil.

2:30pm (CDT): Peter Brötzmann
Legendary saxophonist, clarinetist and painter, telecasting from his old school atelier and homestead in Wuppertal, Germany.

3pm (CDT): Halftime Show – Films and videos by Cauleen Smith, David Hartt & Christopher Wool
Featuring Cauleen Smith’s “Space Is The Place (A March for Sun Ra)” (2011) and “H-E-L-L-O” (2014); David Hartt’s “The Last Poet” (2017); Christopher Wool’s “Absent Without Leave” (1994).

4pm (CDT):  Rebekah Heller
International Contemporary Ensemble director unwrapping brand new compositions for bassoon and electronics at her bunker on the Lower East Side, NYC, right next door to Steve Reich’s place.

4:30pm (CDT):  Rob Mazurek
The mad cornetist dispatching harmony and pandemonium from his desert encrypt in Marfa, Texas.

5pm (CDT): Hamid Drake
Universally loved drummer channeling energized airwaves on vibrating skins and activated cymbals from his house in Evanston, Illinois.

Sequesterfest (Vol. 2)

Saturday, April 18th, 2020, 2-5:30pm (Central Daylight Time)

Featuring: Torbjörn Zetterberg, Moreno Veloso, Ab Baars & Ig Henneman, Zeena Parkins, Mats Gustafsson, Susana Santos Silva, Thurston Moore

Dedicated to Hal Willner (1956-2020).

The second manifestation of Sequesterfest will consist of an afternoon of creative music from around the world.  Part of the Quarantine Concert series hosted by Chicago’s Experimental Sound Studio, this event features an illustrious lineup of improvisors, composers, and songsmiths.  As the virus has mandated a rethinking of the social dimension of our lives, so too is it requiring adaptation and inventive response, suggesting a new paradigm for “chamber” music.  Performing remotely, the eight artists participating in Sequesterfest Vol. 2 invite the audience into their homes, generously lifting the veil that separates the public and private.  For a month now, we have grown more distant.  Gloves.  Masks.  Screens.  Yet we are allowed in to one another’s intimate spaces.  We are closer together.  This is a unique privilege of our present moment and we don’t take it for granted.  In seven sets, each a half-hour long, Thurston Moore, Ab Baars, Ig Henneman, Torbjörn Zetterberg, Susana Santos Silva, Mats Gustafsson, Zeena Parkins, and Moreno Veloso will call down the community spirit, communing in virtual space with an audience that consists at once of nobody and everyone, resonating their chambers, sending out vibrations that are, by their very nature, no matter how noisy or harsh, built of optimism and trust.  Nice way to spend a Saturday.

CvsD is proud to be associated with the ESS team, who surmount tech obstacles so you don’t have to.  Like all the Quarantine Concerts, Sequesterfest Vol. 2 is viewable by means of Twitch or on the ESS website.  Donations are requested on a sliding scale – as much as you can afford, as little as you are able – and all proceeds go 100% to the musicians or to their designated redirect.  Explore all the Quarantine Concerts, past and future – there’s gold in them there hills.  And the archived performances of Sequesterfest Vol. 1 will soon be available on the ESS website.  Start with Joe McPhee’s incantatory basement set – now that is underground music!

Check out Sequesterfest Vol. 2 and all of the Quarantine Concerts here:

Sequesterfest Vol. 2
Saturday, April 18, 2020

2pm (CDT): Thurston Moore
Emanating waves of guitar from his ecstatically peaceful flat in London.

2:30pm (CDT): Susana Santos Silva
Issuing lucent trumpet signals from her residence in Lisbon.

3pm (CDT): Torbjörn Zetterberg
Offering bass solos in front of a small audience of Zen masters and practitioners at Zengården Monastery in Sweden.

3:30pm (CDT): Ab Baars & Ig Henneman
Playing duets for reeds and viola from their canalfront apartment in Amsterdam.

4pm (CDT): Mats Gustafsson
Proffering saxophonic mayhem from the Discaholics Archive in Nickelsdorf, Austria.

4:30pm (CDT): Zeena Parkins
Preparing harp with all the fixings at her apartment in NYC.

5pm (CDT): Moreno Veloso
Singing his songs from the blood-red heart of Brazil.

Sequesterfest (Vol. 1)

Monday, April 6th, 7-10pm (Central Standard Time)

Featuring: Ken Vandermark, Arto Lindsay, Ikue Mori, Joe McPhee, David Grubbs, Claire Chase

As part of the Quarantine Concerts, a herculean live-stream series hosted by Experimental Sound Studio, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present the first incarnation of Sequesterfest, an evening of creative music.  This event features an all-star lineup of improvisers, composers, and contemporary music performers, a virtual marquee assembled in unity of spirit during a time of unparalleled global weirdness and alienation.  In its maiden voyage, Sequesterfest will feature six sets, each half-hour long, viewable by means of Twitch or on the ESS website.  Donations are requested on a sliding scale – as much as you can afford, as little as you are able – and all proceeds go 100% to the musicians or to their designated redirect.  CvsD has been deeply inspired by the optimism represented by the Quarantine Concerts, and we are proud to be associated with the ESS team in this joint endeavor.  There’s been heightened recognition recently of the perils of the gig economy and the challenges facing those whose income is dependent on it.  Musicians invented the gig economy.  They play gigs.  We took the word from them.  And live music is not only their livelihood, it’s their whole lives.  Sequesterfest is an opportunity to hear these brilliant musicians, a round-up that would have seemed nearly impossible – or would have required a trip to a remote festival village somewhere in Austria – until now.  And to support these intrepid gigging artists.  Hey now, captive audience, reduce the social distance – join us, tell your friends to join us, tell them to tell their friends, and don’t forget to donate!

Stay tuned for specifics on Sequesterfest (Vol. 2), which will take place in the afternoon on Saturday, April 18th.

Sequesterfest (Vol. 1)
April 6, 2020

7pm (CST): David Grubbs
Rocking guitar and voice (in the headphones) from a book-lined living room in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

7:30pm (CST): Joe McPhee
Beaming multi-instrumental solos from the Batcave in Poughkeepsie.

8pm (CST): Ikue Mori
Sounding housebound electronics at her flat in NYC.

8:30pm (CST): Claire Chase
Intoning flute, bass flute, and Bertha the BIG flute from Claire’s apartment in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

9pm (CST): Ken Vandermark
Plying sundry reed instruments at Catalytic Headquarters in Andersonville, Chicago.

9:30pm (CST): Arto Lindsay
Submitting voice and choice noises on guitar across the street from a fancy deli in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Concert Event: Paul Lytton

Concert with Paul Lytton

Tuesday, March 10
Concert begins at 7pm
2156 West Fulton Street
Free to the public

Paul Lytton, a central figure in the British free improvisation movement of the 1960s and 70s which included Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, and Paul Rutherford, was instrumental in reshaping the way drums and percussion were viewed in free music. He is one of a handful of percussionists from that time whose work allowed the drum kit to become even more free from the timekeeping constraints of jazz up to that point; the instrument becoming less a set of drums and more a series of membranes on which to create an atmosphere. His earliest experiments in homemade instruments and electronics with Evan Parker have spurred generations on to look outside systems with names such as “jazz” and “improv” and to explore new modes of communication in the moment.

Performance Event: Jaap Blonk

Performance Event: Jaap Blonk

Saturday, November 16th
Performance begins at 4pm
2156 West Fulton Street
Free to the public

Dutch poet, sound artist, and improvisor Jaap Blonk makes a rare Chicago appearance at Corbett vs. Dempsey. Born in 1953, Blonk’s unfinished studies in mathematics and musicology mainly created a penchant for activities in a Dada vein, as did several unsuccessful jobs in an office and other well-organizes systems. Since the early 1980s, he has explored the potentialities and limits – sometimes quite literally, pushing to the brink of collapse – of his own voice. Blonk has long been a champion of historical modernist sound poetry, reviving unknown works from Futurism and Dada, among them Kurt Schwitters’ “Ursonate” (1922-1932); his first recording of the pioneering work, made in 1986, is among the definitive versions of the great Dada sound poem. (Blonk’s record was banned by the Schwitters estate, which maintained that Schwitters himself was the only legitimate performer of the “Ursonate” – a very un-Dada stance.) As a parallel track to his investigations of the historical record, Blonk has done his own deep research into performance and phonetics and has composed many works, including the 9-part cycle called “Vibrant Islands,” which seeks to extend the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) into what he calls BLIPAX, or BLonk’s IPA eXtended, using a set of “islands” consisting of newly invented phonetic signs. Each of these islands has a “coastline” with a characteristic shape – angular, crenelated, straight or rounded – that gives the segment a specific prevalent sound character. Please join us on the last day of John Sparagana, Shatter, and Lee “Scratch” Perry, MIRROR MASTER FUTURES YARD, as Blonk performs “Vibrant Islands” for the first time in Chicago.

Concert Event: Raymond Boni

Concert with Raymond Boni

Saturday, November 2nd
Concert begins at 3pm
2156 West Fulton Street
Free to the public

A singular voice on his instrument, French guitarist Raymond Boni has pushed the vocabulary of Django Reinhardt far beyond the confines of “Gypsy jazz,” consistently embracing new sounds and textures and musical dynamics. One of the first players to embrace freely improvised music in his homeland, Boni emerged in the mid 1970s as a fiercely independent spirit. He forged an ongoing relationship with multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, often in the context of other French players, including saxophonist André Jaume and bassist François Mechali, also often working with dancers. Together with McPhee, Boni recorded some of the great LPs of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, including Old Eyes and Oleo, and he’s continued playing with improvisors from a new generation, including his son Bastien Boni, with whom he works as Boni’s Family. As an instrumentalist, Boni brings the dazzling technique he learned while studying with Roma musicians as a wide-eared youngster into the context of creative improvised music, sometimes deploying pedals and effects, sometimes relying on spectacular manual dexterity and deep musical instincts, approaching romanticism from an exploratory, rather than conservative, perspective. Boni has rarely played in the United States. He’s here as part of this year’s Bridge project, the tenth installation of the wonderful international exchange program established by writer and producer Alexandre Pierrepont. Please join us for Raymond Boni’s first solo performance in Chicago.

Concert Event: Torbjörn Zetterberg

Concert with Torbjörn Zetterberg

Wednesday, October 2nd
Concert begins at 7pm
2156 West Fulton Street
Free to the public

One of the most resourceful composers and bandleaders in contemporary improvised music, double-bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg has led several killer ensembles in the last two decades, including the Torbjörn Zetterberg Hot Five and Torbjörn Zetterberg and the Big Question (a sextet whose CD, Live, was just issued by Corbett vs. Dempsey).  In addition to his work as a writer and arranger, Zetterberg is an incredibly powerful instrumentalist and improvisor.  He has a deep contemplative streak, evidenced by periodic hiatuses from music, during which he spends time at a Buddhist temple.  With muscularity and a deep, woody tone, the Swede’s playing has evoked comparisons to Charles Mingus; solo and in small group improvising settings, Zetterberg’s an intrepid explorer – chops galore, always at the service of the music.  Please join us for a rare opportunity to hear him perform solo bass improvisations.  With support from The Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Konstnärsnämnden.

Photograph by Peter Gannushkin.

Art After Hours: Concert with Meridian Trio

Art After Hours:

Concert with Meridian Trio
Nick Mazzarella, alto saxophone; Matt Ulery, bass;
Jeremy Cunningham, drums
September 20, 2019
Concert: 7:30-8:30pm
Art After Hours: 6:00-9:00pm
2156 West Fulton Street
Free to the public

Magalie Guérin’s NOTES ON: Second Edition Launch

August 1, 5:30 – 7:00pm

Corbett vs. Dempsey
2156 West Fulton Street, Chicago
Free to the public

The Green Lantern Press is pleased to announce the release of the second edition of NOTES ON, Magalie Guérin’s a-chronological studio diary, at Corbett vs Dempsey Gallery on Thursday, August 1st from 5:30 – 7 PM. This event coincides with Magalie’s inclusion in the exhibition Small Painting at CvsD.  Please join us to celebrate this second edition. Books will be available for a special price of $15 and Magalie will be present to sign. In addition to Magalie’s painting in the Small Painting exhibition, a selection of her recent works will be on view in CvsD’s viewing room.

Originally published in 2016, NOTES ON documents Magalie’s painting process, mapping the intersection of personal, professional, and creative spheres that capture the shifting gray area between self-doubt, self-awareness, and creative breakthrough. This book is printed in an edition of 1000, distributed by Small Press Distribution, and is available for $20. Book design by Sonia Yoon, preface by Caroline Picard, and afterword by Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.

Concert: David Grubbs

June 28, 8:30pm

Corbett vs. Dempsey
2156 West Fulton Street, Chicago
Free to the public

Concert: Ken Vandermark and Nate Wooley

May 3, 7pm

Corbett vs. Dempsey
2156 West Fulton Street, Chicago
Free to the public

Concert: Paal Nilssen-Love

Friends and colleagues,

Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to announce a rare solo concert by Paal Nilssen-Love.  One of the great improvisors of our day and an omnivorous drummer and multiple-percussionist who incorporates everything from delicate/disparate noise-making to 350-horsepower rhythmic engine, Nilssen-Love has occupied the furnace room in many groups, including Atomic, the Thing, and his own Large Unit.  Come hear what magic the Norwegian musician can conjure without all the horns and strings around – a master drummer and his percussibles.

Note:  This is the final musical event at CvsD’s original space above Dusty Groove.  Come help us celebrate the transition as we look forward to our big move and look back at the good times at 1120 N. Ashland.

Paal Nilssen-Love

Solo Percussion

December 14, 2018
Concert begins at 7pm
free admission

Brian Calvin Book Release with Dave Rempis

Please join Corbett vs. Dempsey for a celebration of Duet (with Chorus), a new Brian Calvin book on Flood Editions.  The beautiful publication arose from a commission to create an exhibit accompanying Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.  As Calvin explains: “Rather than illustrating scenes from the plot of Così fan tutte, I lingered on the organizing principle of duets in Mozart’s opera, exploring harmony and dissonance through repetition and difference.”

This afternoon event will feature a short conversation with the artist and a book signing.  There is never a Calvin event devoid of music, this one included, so we have arranged a very special musical presentation by great saxophonist Dave Rempis.  The penultimate performance in Corbett vs. Dempsey’s original space!

December 1, 2018
Reception begins at 3pm

Catalogue Release/Closing Reception: Joe McPhee & Ken Vandermark Live

Corbett vs. Dempsey is thrilled to present the closing event and book release party for Josiah McElheny’s exhibition Cosmic Love.  Hot off the presses, the exhibition catalog bearing the same name will be available at the event.  Along with extensive images of McElheny’s work and installation shots of the exhibit, it contains a lengthy, in depth interview with musician Joe McPhee, conducted by McElheny himself, peppered with newly published historical photographs of McPhee.  McPhee was the artist’s working inspiration for Cosmic Love, his 1970 song lending it a title and being commemorated in McElheny’s “Blue Record,” which, unlike more familiar gold and platinum records, does not consist of unplayable noise, but instead contains McPhee’s music etched into playable blue glass.

This event will close the circle on a series of interlocking influences by inviting McPhee back to the gallery to perform, this time with long-time admirer and colleague Ken Vandermark, in a special duo concert.  Books will be available.  McPhee and McElheny will be signing them.  And as an extraneous bonus, the event will serve as an official launch for the new roast of coffee from CvsD’s friends at Dark Matter, Vinyl Freak, a tip of the hat to John Corbett’s recent book.  First bags will be accompanied by a special limited edition CD of vinyl-only rarities assembled by Corbett.  These are the ones that will be available at the event.  Dig the equations:  Blue glass + vintage McPhee = instant karma; Fresh coffee + black vinyl = warm heart.

Obviously, the pros outweigh the cons.  This is a closing event/book release you mustn’t miss.

August 1st, beginning at 6pm, free and open to the public.

Concert: Joe McPhee and Daunik Lazro Duo

Corbett vs. Dempsey is very proud to present Joe McPhee and Daunik Lazro in concert. This concert is in partnership with The Bridge: A Transatlantic Network for Jazz and Creative Music.

In the six years that The Bridge, the transatlantic network for jazz and creative music, has been establishing and sustaining connections between improvisers from France and the USA, there never was any better description of the necessity of the exchanges than Joe McPhee’s: “We engage in conversations on multiple levels, we learn from each other, about each other, about our experiences of the world, about our own histories and our pasts, our families and how we got here, at this place in this exact moment. So it’s more than the road, it’s an epic… It the type of thing, I think, we need to develop in the world at large: we are very different in so many ways, but we are not separate.”

In the mine of sounds, where music is a vein, the saxophones (and related horns) load what the double basses extract. The double basses crush what the saxophones beat and pour this in the bin of rhythms, a weave of lashed cymbals and breathless skins. For those who are still in doubt, Joe McPhee reminds “Someone described me the musician as such: ‘where does this come from? From the idea of making magic with the muses.’ That embraces rather accurately what we consider to be music.” And to do this, Lazro explains: “the method has not changed (since it bore great fruits): it is through open improvisation that music occurs, welcoming lyricism as much as abstraction, the pulse that can neighbor silence, expressionism, or dream.”

The event is free and open to the public, starting at 3pm.

Image credit:  Rémi Angéli

Concert: David Grubbs book reading and solo performance

Corbett vs. Dempsey is very proud to present David Grubbs in a solo performance and book reading from his new publication Now that the audience is assembled. 

David Grubbs is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY. At Brooklyn College he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing. He is the author of Now that the audience is assembled and Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording (both published by Duke University Press).

Grubbs has released fourteen solo albums and appeared on more than 190 releases, the most recent of which is Creep Mission (Blue Chopsticks, 2017). In 2000, his The Spectrum Between (Drag City) was named “Album of the Year” in the London Sunday Times. He is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with poet Susan Howe, visual artists Anthony McCall and Angela Bulloch, and choreographer Jonah Bokaer, and his work has been presented at, among other venues, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, the Tate Modern, and the Centre Pompidou. Grubbs was a member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and has performed with the Red Krayola, Will Oldham, Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, and Loren Connors, and many others. He is a grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, a contributing editor in music for BOMB Magazine, a member of the Blank Forms board of directors, and director of the Blue Chopsticks record label.

The event is free and open to the public, starting at 3pm.



Record: The Solar-Myth Approach (Vol. 1 & 2)

Concert: OpenICE series, with Levy Lorenzo and Peter Evans

Corbett vs. Dempsey is very proud to present the next free concert in our Chicago OpenICE series, with Levy Lorenzo (percussion/electronics) and Peter Evans (trumpets)!

Levy Lorenzo and Peter Evans began their performing duo as part of ICE’s OpenICE series in early 2016.  Their music is an otherworldly blur of dense rhythmic frameworks, elaborate notated pieces, open improvisation and weird drones.  Lorenzo’s complex of self-built instruments, gongs, dry percussion, laptop and sound processing engage with Evans’s acoustic trumpet in a dialogue of noise, mystery, precision and chaos.

Come hear this duo in a unique context surrounded by artworks by Margot Bergman.

Writing In Water

Holiday Hours

The gallery will close on Sunday, December 24 and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2nd.
Rebecca Shore and Michael Cline, Night Paving will remain on view through January 20, 2018.


Image: Seymour Rosofsky, Santa Claus and Turtle, 1979, Gouache and ink on paper, 19 x 25 inches

Album: Largest Afternoon

Mike Ladd

at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Saturday, November 11, 2017, 3pm
Free and open to the public

One of the only musicians to genuinely link the worlds of hip hop and improvised music, the extraordinary vocalist Mike Ladd performs a rare solo concert at Corbett vs. Dempsey as part of the current manifestation of The Bridge.  Originally from Boston, now based in Paris, Ladd emerged in the late ’90s as an innovative rapper, releasing his debut Easy Listening 4 Armageddon, eventually merging his verbal and vocal ambulations with a variety of top figures in creative music, including Vijay Iyer, Jeff Parker, and Tyshawn Sorey, as well as doing remixes of Yo La Tengo and Antipop Consortium, and many guest appearances on records of all sorts. from underground hip hop to Dr. John.  For this special event, Ladd will apply voice and electronics to an ongoing project involving Sea Shanties.

Album: The Underflow


at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Saturday, November 4, 2017, 4pm
Free and open to the public


Album: No Time Left for Sadness

Album: Live

Mats Gustafsson

at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Friday, September 29, 7pm
Free and open to the public

Corbett vs. Dempsey is very proud to invite back to its halls saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.  Once such a regular performer in Chicago that he was dubbed mayor of the city, he’s now a rare bird, touching down infrequently.  This solo performance will be a trip back to the early days of Gustafsson-in-the-Windy-City, recalling the 1995 performance at the Renaissance Society that gave the world the inimitable LP The Education of Lars Jerry (Xeric).  For this appearance, Gustafsson will perform in response to a selection of works in the Small Sculpture exhibition, actually interpreting them as compositions or improvisational prompts.  This follows on his last solo concert at CvsD, in 2008, when he interpreted steel sculptures by Joseph Goto.


Come hear one of the great contemporary improvisors in a unique context with intimately scaled sculpture.  And prepare to bump elbows – the entire room is brimming with artwork.


Album: Tetterettet

Mac McCaughan

at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Friday, July 21st, 7pm
Free and open to the public

In a very special acoustic set, Mac McCaughan performs solo at Corbett vs. Dempsey.

Recently, Superchunk frontman McCaughan was ready to take a collection of unused tracks he had written for various movie soundtracks and assemble a new solo album. He needed only to write a few more songs to round out what was supposed to be an invigorating power pop record. Sounds easy enough, right?

However, upon employing some dusty synths on the tracks “Your Hologram” and “Only Do,” McCaughan realized that he wanted to use the album, eventually titled Non-Believers, to explore his fascination with that early-’80s era of music when punk evolved into something more introspective, focusing on themes of isolation and eventually turning into post-punk and new wave. As he puts it, he was thinking about a time when bands were “using keyboards and drum machines to relate through their music a disaffection or alienation” from society, school, whatever. However, what really captivated McCaughan was that these artists, particularly British bands like The Cure, OMD, and Cocteau Twins, could end up making such emotionally affecting, even romantic, music when tackling these themes. 

There’s a certain anxiety about releasing an album under his own name rather than Portastatic, his old moniker. Given that McCaughan comes from the indie and punk rock worlds, he’s always shied away from the perceived hubris of putting out a record under his own name. “There’s something about it that’s way too ‘look at me,’” the singer and songwriter admits. However, given the fact that Non-Believers is exploring such a personal set of influences, putting out an album as simply Mac McCaughan for the first time just makes sense.

CvsD is excited to see what McCaughan does with these songs in this “unplugged” situation.  Come be part of the magic!

Photo credit: Lissa Gotwals


Album: Yi Yole

Jean-Luc Guionnet

at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Saturday, May 13, 3pm
free and open to the public

As part of the ongoing global improvised music project called The Bridge, organized by Alexandre Pierrepont, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present a concert of solo saxophone music by Paris-based improvisor and composer Jean-Luc Guionnet.  Guionnet is a multi-instrumentalist, working also on the pipe organ and keyboards, as well as an accomplished visual artist.  He was a student of Iannis Xenakis and Michel Zbar, but he also studied philosophy and has made electroacoustic music.

Among various groups, Guionnet is a member of Dan Warburton’s free jazz quartet Return of the New Thing, and the French-Swiss group Hubbub, and he works in a duet with guitarist Olivier Benoit.  Recent recordings include duets with Portughese guitarist Luis Lopes on the Clean Feed label and with Japanese drummer Seijiro Murayama on ftarri, and a recording of his work “Distances Ouïes Dites” by the Dedalus Ensemble, released on Potlatch.

For more information on this and other events associated with The Bridge, view their website:

Album: The Shithole Country & Boogie Band

Album: Option 1

Art Basel

Hall 2.1, Booth T6

At Art Basel 2017, Corbett vs. Dempsey will present a Feature booth of paintings by Margot Bergman.

Bergman has been an artist in Chicago since the late 1950s, when she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Now in her early eighties, she is making some of the most exciting and challenging work of her life.  The presentation in Switzerland will survey the last 20 years of her work, starting in the mid-’90s, when she created collaborative paintings using found canvases, painting into them ruthlessly, often discovering human features in non-human images – fruit bowls, scenic landscapes, flower arrangements.  Around five years ago, Bergman began to make larger paintings, leaving behind the found ones but carrying on and evolving the basic feel of the previous work.  Investigating facial imagery that vacillates between brutality, beauty, and hilarity, Bergman has created a unique and personal universe populated with complex individuals – buffeted inside and out – that reveal an uncanny humanity, imperfections that resonate with our own.   

Tickets and more information here.

Album: Sounds of Liberation

Punk Ethnography

Saturday, February 11th
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
This event is free and open to the public

Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present a celebration of the new essay collection, “Punk Ethnography: Artists and Scholars Listen to Sublime Frequencies.” Presenters will read from the book, play musical excerpts, and discuss larger issues around Sublime Frequencies, the radical, DIY record label that has challenged and transformed the category of “world music.”

Panel program

1. Introduction to Corbett vs. Dempsey :: John Corbett

2. Moderator’s Introduction :: Aaron Cohen

3. Intro to “Punk Ethnography” :: E. Tammy Kim

4. Sub- and Ultra-Frequencies: Sun City Girls and Sublime Frequencies :: Travis Jackson

5. On Omar Souleyman’s Ascent to Stardom :: Shayna Silverstein

6. Sublime Frequencies across the West African Sahel :: Michael Veal

7. “Radio Pyongyang” & North Korean pop :: E. Tammy Kim

8. Out-tro :: Michael Veal

9. Audience Q&A :: moderated by Aaron Cohen

10. Listening Reception

Presenter Biographies

E. Tammy Kim (co-editor) is a writer and a member of “The New Yorker”‘s editorial staff. She previously worked as a staff writer at Al Jazeera America and, before that, as a social justice lawyer.

Michael E. Veal (co-editor) is a musician and a professor of ethnomusicology at Yale University. He is the author of several books, including “Fela: The Life and Times of an African Musical Icon” and “Dub: Soundscapes and Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae.”

Aaron Cohen is the author of “Aretha Franklin’s ‘Amazing Grace'” and is currently writing “Move On Up: Chicago Soul Music and Black Cultural Power.” He is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, DownBeat and ToneAudio and is a two-time recipient of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award.

Travis A. Jackson is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Chicago and the author of Blowin’ the Blues Away: Performance and Meaning on the New York Jazz Scene. He is currently working on a book on UK post-punk music and graphic design.

Shayna Silverstein is an assistant professor of performance studies at Northwestern University. She is currently writing a book about popular culture in prewar Syria.

Photo by Gary Sullivan of Bodega Pop

Album: Nation Time

Holiday hours


Corbett vs. Dempsey would like to wish you a happy holiday season.

The Gallery will be closed Friday, December 23, 2016 and will resume it’s regular schedule Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

Album: Bäbi

J.D. Allen

Friday, December 16th
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
This event is free and open to the public

J.D. Allen is one of the contemporary titans of tenor saxophone. Originally from Detroit, he came up through the ranks of Betty Carter’s band, landing in New York, where he has built a reputation as one of the most important voices on the horn. The New York Times has called him “a tenor saxophonist with an enigmatic, elegant, and hard-driving style.” With his trio, he has now recorded a series of extremely strong CDs for the Sunnyside label, including last year’s magnificent Graffiti. Few musicians are capable of pushing the Sonny Rollins legacy along the way Allen has, but as a composer, bandleader, and improvisor, he’s creating some of the most bracing and substantial music to come squarely out of the jazz tradition. With his trio, Allen performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival this year, and he’s back for a night with his trio at Constellation. For this extremely rare event at Corbett vs. Dempsey, he will perform unaccompanied saxophone. If you’ve never been to CvsD to hear music, this may well be the one to draw you out, even on a bitterly cold winter’s eve. Miss it and you’ll hear about it later!

Album: Keep Going

Tyshawn Sorey

Saturday, November 12th
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
This event is free and open to the public

Multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey is one of the most ambitious and inventive young musicians in creative music, aptly named by The New York Times as One of Five Drummers Whose Time is Now.  Over the last decade, Sorey has steadily amassed a discography that only partially covers his many interests, ranging from work with luminaries including Steve Coleman, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Vijay Iyer, and John Zorn, to four records as a leader and The Inner Spectrum of Variables, a wide-ranging virtuosic CD-length composition released in June 2016.  As well as his work as a drummer and percussionist, Sorey plays trombone and piano, and anyone who caught him with the International Contemporary Ensemble at the MCA, Chicago, last year, performing music by George Lewis, knows that he’s very serious on these other instruments, not a dilettante.  Indeed, Sorey will receive his doctorate in Music Composition next year from Columbia University, where he’s been studying with Lewis.  In this extremely rare and special concert, Sorey will be performing a drum and percussion solo.  CvsD is pleased to present Mr. Sorey as part of the transatlantic Bridge series, which brings together musicians from different geographic, cultural, and musical contexts to develop substantive new work.  


Album: Brace for Impact

Summer Hours

Happy Summer! The gallery will be closed Sunday, August 21st and will resume its regular hours on Tuesday, September 6th.


Please join us on September 9th, from 6-8pm for the opening of our first show of the fall season, Diane Simpson with works by Jeff Perrone in the East Wing.

Album: Groupcomposing

Gina Litherland

Saturday, June 25
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
This event is free and open to the public

Join Corbett vs. Dempsey and Artist Gina Litherland for a walk-through of the exhibition, Unknown Rooms.

This is the artist’s fourth solo presentation at CvsD. Litherland’s deeply imaginative and immaculately executed paintings are rooted in a figurative tradition that traces back through surrealism and magic realism – in particular the special Midwestern take of those milieus – to more distant points historically, as far as the renaissance and beyond.  Often rich with literary allusion, her intricate works may refer to specific figures such as the Bronté sisters (Anne and Emily Bronté Escape from Glass Town) and Goethe (The Last Days of WertherMelusine), or they may invent their own fantastic sense of space and time, like the transformed domestic scene in Housekeeping, which recalls Eldzier Cortor’s great interiors from the 1940s.  Each object in one of Litherland’s paintings is brimming with significance – a guitar-playing skeleton, three birds singing to a dead relative, an owl camouflaged in a wooden door, the portents of tea leaves.  And her backdrops jostle for attention with the figures, always alive with action, full of beautiful painterly passages and visual surprises that repay close, slow viewing.  As Jack Zipes writes in his thoughtful essay for the exhibition catalog:  “What exactly is this magic that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary in Litherland’s paintings?  How does Litherland produce a sense of bizarre estrangement in onlookers who encounter her unique images that recall sixteenth century European artworks and yet are compellingly contemporary?  What is the political subversive edge in her paintings, which challenges us to recapture our animal wildness?”  Unknown Rooms is accompanied by a full-color 28-page catalog with an essay by Zipes. 

Album: Amarcord Nino Rota

Dusty Groove

Holy smokes, people, Dusty Groove is turning 20 years old!!!  Corbett vs. Dempsey invites you to join us as we help celebrate two decades of record and CD delirium with a one-day exhibition of works on paper by Plastic Crimewave, the same drawings he used for his legendary “Secret History of Chicago Music” series in the Chicago Reader, and a free concert of creative jazz by the Meridian Trio. Festivities begin at noon and the concert kicks off at 2pm. Dusty Groove will be hosting additional family friendly activities outside on Haddon Street, including prizes and giveaways. Additional details on the day can be found here. This event is free and open to the public. Getting your Groove on is mandatory!


One day exhibition  
Plastic Crimewave
Saturday, July 16, 12-5pm

For more than ten years, Steve Krakow (aka Plastic Crimewave) has been drawing music history, documenting the least illuminated corners of soul, funk, rock, jazz, and other genres in the Windy City.  Often seen in the Chicago Reader, his “Secret History of Chicago Music” was finally compiled last year in a glorious and informative book titled My Kind of Sound: The Secret History of Chicago Music, published by Curbside Splendor.  As part of the celebration of Dusty Groove’s 20th, CvsD will exhibit a group of these drawings, which will be available for sale.  Come and get edified and entertained at the same time!


Meridian Trio
Saturday, July 16, 2pm

Meridian Trio features Chicago-based musicians Nick Mazzarella (alto and soprano saxophone), Matt Ulery (bass) and Jeremy Cunningham (drums). The project is dedicated to exploring the intersection of the jazz tradition with the American avant-garde, developing a repertoire of Mazzarella’s original music, and investigating the compositional and textural possibilities of collective improvisation within the saxophone trio setting. One of the most active working bands in the Chicago music scene, the trio frequently performs at venues throughout the city, and is in the process of preparing its first album for release in 2017.

Album:Beaver Harris/Don Pullen 360° Experience: A Well-Kept Secret

Book release

Friday, July 8, 6-8pm
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Free and open to the public

Ken Nuzzo and Jimmy Wright, 1976
Photo by Becket Logan

Album: Thurston Moore/ Frank Rosaly: Marshmallow Moon Decorum

Album: Steve Lacy: Stamps

Mars Williams

Saturday, June 25
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
This event is free and open to the public

Multiple reed player Mars Williams is one of the mainstays of Chicago’s creative music community, and he’s been zig-zagging his way between different genres since the late 1970s, when he was simultaneously a member of both the post-punk band the Waitresses and Hal Russell’s Chemical Feast.  Since that time, Williams has charted a unique path, moving more prominently onto the stages of pop and rock (Billy Idol, Psychedelic Furs) and deeper into the chaparral of improvised music.  He is a saxophonist and clarinetist of such range and capacity to have made John Zorn say “he has succeeded in redefining what versatility means to the modern saxophone player.”

Over the last five years, Williams has rededicated himself to free music with particular intensity.  He performs regularly with various ensembles, including Extraordinary Popular Delusions, an all-star quintet, and the NRG Ensemble, the band he took over leadership of when Hal Russell passed away.  Solo concerts by Williams have been few and far between, however – anyone fortunate enough to have seen him in Milwaukee at the Okka Festival a few years ago knows that they’re worth waiting for.  In this setting, Williams will perform alone with his horns, toys, whizzbangs, zither, and whatever else he’s moved to bring along.  Come hear one of Chicago’s great contributions to free music culture, unaccompanied and unadulterated.

Photograph by Dragan Tasic

Album:Fred Lonberg-Holm and the Amphibians of the Everglades featuring Gustavo Matamoros: Bow Hard at the Frog

Panel Discussion

Wednesday, June 22, 6pm
DePaul Art Museum
Free and open to everyone. RSVP recommended. 

On the occasion of the current exhibition, Barbara Rossi: Eye Owe You! DePaul Art Museum welcomes former Rossi students Diane Simpson, Rebecca Morris and Magalie Guerin to discuss their work and the influence of Rossi’s teaching.

Rossi has been an important teacher to generations of students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since she began teaching there in 1971. Many of Barbara’s students fondly remember her “show and tell” sessions that prompted them to examine what, how, and why certain things piqued their visual interest. Quite simply, she taught them how to look.

In the panel discussion, Simpson, Morris and Guerin, whose abstractions all point back to the physical world in one way or another, will reflect on the role observation plays in each of their practices.

More information on the event here.

Diane Simpson

Diane Simpson: Distinguished Alumni Lecture
Tuesday, April 5, 6pm
The Art Institute of Chicago
Rubloff Auditorium

Chicago-based artist Diane Simpson (BFA 1971, MFA 1978) creates sculptures and preparatory drawings that evolve from a diverse range of sources including clothing, utilitarian objects, and architecture. The structures of clothing forms has continuously informed her work, serving as a vehicle for exploring their functional and sociological roles and the influence of the design and architecture of various cultures and periods in history. Her wide selection of materials such as wood, perforated metal, linoleum, and fabric reflects her interest in the coexistence of the industrial/architectonic and domestic worlds. In 2010 a 30-year retrospective exhibition of her work was presented at the Chicago Cultural Center. Other recent one- and two-person exhibitions include Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago; JTT, New York; Silberkuppe, Berlin; Broadway Windows, Washington Square East Gallery, New York University; and Herald St., London. A major survey exhibition of Simpson’s work is on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston through March 27, and she will have work on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago from February 16 to July 3.

Simpson has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including the Art Institute of Chicago; White Columns, New York; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, New York; Anton Kern Gallery, New York; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Mitchell-Innes and Nash, New York; Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York; Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles; and the Jewish Museum, New York. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Illinois State Museum, Springfield; Kadist Foundation, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; Rockford Art Museum, Illinois; and the James R. Thompson Center, Chicago. Presented in partnership with SAIC’s Office of Alumni Relations.

More information is available here.

Diane Simpson

MCA Talk: Diane Simpson
Tuesday, February 16, 6pm
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Free (with admission)

On the opening evening of her BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works exhibition, Diane Simpson engages in conversation with Curator Lynne Warren. A reception follows the program.

Diane Simpson is a Chicago-based artist who creates sculpture that evolves from a diverse range of sources, including clothing, utilitarian objects, and architecture. Clothing—both its forms and structure—has continuously informed her work, serving as a vehicle for exploring its functional and sociological roles as well as the influence of the design and architecture of various cultures and periods in history. Her wide selection of materials (wood, perforated metals, linoleum, fabrics) reflects her interest in how the industrial, architectonic, and domestic worlds coexist.

Simpson received an MFA in 1978 and a BFA in 1971 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2010, she was the subject of a 30-year retrospective exhibition of her sculpture and drawings at the Chicago Cultural Center and currently is featured in a solo exhibition at the ICA Boston, which features an early work, Ribbed Kimono, on loan from the MCA. Her work has been included in numerous two-person and group exhibitions in Chicago, nationally, and internationally, including the Art Institute of Chicago; White Columns, New York; CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco; The Jewish Museum, New York; Silberkuppe, Berlin; and Herald St., London.

More information available here.

Monster Roster Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion: Monster Mash Up
Tuesday, March 22, 6pm
Logan Center for the Arts
915 East 60th Street
Performance Penthouse

The years following World War II were marked for many as a time of growing unrest and anxiety.

The burgeoning Cold War and McCarthyism were shaping the country’s political climate, while the growing Civil Rights Movement was beginning to reveal the vast and brutal injustices faced by persons of color in America. Perhaps most emblematic of their times, Chicago artists associated with the Monster Roster employed a figurative style imbued with deep, and often dark, psychological tones portraying what one critic referred to as “the figure under stress.”

This panel convenes writers, curators, historians, and artists to plumb the social, political, and cultural context of postwar Chicago, to better understand what contributed to the making of the Monster.

Free, but space is limited. Please register in advance.


Thomas Dyja
Author of The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream

Lynne Warren
Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Mark Pascale
Janet and Craig Duchossois Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago

John Corbett
Co-curator of Monster Roster at the Smart and adjunct associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

More information is available here.

Image: Leon Golub, The Ischian Sphinx, 1956, oil and lacquer on canvas

Ken Vandermark Solo

Ken Vandermark book launch
Site Specific
Saturday, January 23, 3pm
Corbett vs. Dempsey
free admission

Corbett vs. Dempsey is delighted to help celebrate the release of Ken Vandermark’s new book and CD, Site Specific. Vandermark will perform solo and will be available to sign copies.

Site Specific is the largest solo document of Ken Vandermark’s career – a combination of 2 CDs of field recordings and over 200 pages of his photographs. Its completion relied on the work and contributions of many people: percussionist Tim Barnes, who suggested the locations in Louisville, Kentucky and the idea of recording there in the first place; the recording engineer, Dave Zuchowski; Fede Peñalva and his incredible design work for the layout on the book; and Chris Linster, who printed it. Inspired by the “field recordings” of saxophonist John Butcher, along with the photography of guitarist Andy Moor, who pushed Vandermark to work with the camera by doing so himself and engaged in ongoing discussions of someday doing a book together, as well as the “shared images” by Vandermark and Moor on LPs by their group Lean Left, Live At Cafe Oto: Day 1 & Day 2, Vandermark was motivated to combine his photographs with solo music.

Ken Vandermark is one of the central figures in creative music from Chicago. Born in Warwick, Rhode Island on September 22nd, 1964, Vandermark began studying the tenor saxophone at the age of 16. Since graduating with a degree in Film and Communications from McGill University during the spring of 1986, his primary creative emphasis has been the exploration of contemporary music that deals directly with advanced methods of improvisation. In 1989, he moved to Chicago from Boston, and has worked continuously from the early 1990′s onward, both as a performer and organizer in North America and Europe, recording in a large array of contexts, with many internationally renowned musicians (such as Fred Anderson, Ab Baars, Peter Brötzmann, Tim Daisy, Hamid Drake, Terrie Ex, Mats Gustafsson, Elisabeth Harnik, Christof Kurzmann, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Paul Lytton, Lasse Marhaug, Joe McPhee, Andy Moor, Joe Morris, Paal Nilssen-Love, Eddie Prevost, Chad Taylor, John Tilbury, and Nate Wooley). His current activity includes work with Made To Break, Lean Left, Side A, Fire Room, the DKV Trio, duos with Paal Nilssen-Love, Tim Daisy, and Nate Wooley, as well as work as a solo performer; in addition, he is the music director of the experimental Pop band, The Margots. More than half of each year is spent touring in Europe, North America, Russia, Brazil, and Japan, and his concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. In addition to the tenor sax, he also plays the bass and Bb clarinet, and baritone saxophone. In 1999, Vandermark was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.

Video: Ken Vandermark – Marvão Castle Cistern – Portugal

Our Legacies, Ourselves

In conjunction with sculptor Laura Davis’ SOLO exhibition “Legacy of Loneliness” at Threewalls, which, amongst other themes, grapples with the predominantly male history of modern sculpture, “Our Legacies, Ourselves: Contemporary women sculptors discuss their relationship to the history of modern sculpture” brings together a panel of respected women artists who, like Davis, are interested in reflecting on the role gender has played in the process of their development (pedagogical, artistic, and professional) and self-identification as sculptors.

Panelists include Laura Davis, Kelly Kaczynski, Heather Mekkelson, and Diane Simpson.
Moderated by Julia Klein.

Through a discussion of their distinct relationships with the mainstream history of modern sculpture, the sculptors on this panel will present personal interpretations of the sculptural legacy they’ve inherited.

Presented in partnership with Soberscove Press.

More information available here.


Orion Martin

Small Sculpture

Nicole Eisenman

Nicola Tyson

Shana Lutker

William Weege

Arlene Shechet

Karl Wirsum

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung


Christopher Williams

Corey Escoto

Joyce Pensato

Rebecca Morris

Cauleen Smith

Jeff Perrone

Diane Simpson

Carol Jackson

Daniel Turner

Gabrielle Garland

Jimmy Wright

Gina Litherland

Amy Feldman

Robert Lostutter

John Sparagana

Amy Blakemore

Llyn Foulkes

Brian Calvin

Kati Heck

Thomas Grünfeld

Hedwig Eberle

Terry Winters

Florian Baudrexel

Other Planes of There

Cauleen Smith

The Instant Award in Improvised Music 2021 Recipients are Milford Graves and Henry Threadgill

CHICAGO – In its fourth manifestation, the 2021 Instant Award goes to two landmark figures in the development of improvised music.


David Hartt video featured in MoMA’s “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America”

NEW YORK CITY – “Reconstructions: Architecture and Blackness in America” is now on view at MoMA, including a newly commissioned video by David Hartt, “On Exactitude in Science (Watts).”


Sun Ra Poetry Featured in Books and Upcoming Exhibition

CHICAGO – Sun Ra poetry to be featured in upcoming exhibition at Corbett vs. Dempsey.


Celeste Rapone in a group exhibition at Marianne Boesky Gallery

NEW YORK CITY – Celeste Rapone is included in the group exhibition In Situ at Marianne Boesky Gallery.


Magalie Guérin exhibition, A Bow Down, opened at Galerie Nicolas Robert

MONTRÉAL – Galerie Nicolas Robert opened Magalie Guérin – A Bow Down, an exhibition of new works.


Margot Bergman exhibition, Cups, opens online at Anton Kern Gallery

NEW YORK CITY – Anton Kern Gallery opens Cups, an online exhibition of Margot Bergman’s works beginning in the 1980s.


Gabrielle Garland Featured in INTERIORS: hello from the living room

NEW YORK CITY – 1969 Gallery presents INTERIORS: hello from the living room, a group exhibition of 16 emerging and mid-career painters. This exhibition explores one subject of the global, shared experience of COVID-19: the interior space.


Cauleen Smith’s COVID MANIFESTO Showing at Piccadilly Circus

LONDON – The Showroom in collaboration with CIRCA, the new and independently curated digital art platform, launches its second month of programming with Cauleen Smith.


Cauleen Smith Awarded the 2020 Wein Artist Prize

HARLEM – Cauleen Smith, is the winner of the fifteenth annual Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize awarded by the Studio Museum in Harlem.


Jimmy Wright Interviewed in NAD NOW Journal

NYC – Jimmy Wright in conversation with NAD NOW Journal‘s T. Cole Rachel.


Celeste Rapone Featured in the Luxembourg Times

LUXEMBOURG – Celeste Rapone’s two person exhibition at Zidoun Bossuyt featured in the Luxembourg Times.


Celeste Rapone Included in Duo Exhibition at Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery

LUXEMBOURG – Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery is pleased to present a duo exhibition exploring the dialogue and connection between the sculptor Sarah Peters and the painter Celeste Rapone. Four bronzes and two plasters by Sarah Peters will be shown alongside six paintings by Celeste Rapone.


Margot Bergman, Diane Simpson and Karl Wirsum listed as Newcity’s Art 50 2020: Chicago’s Artists’ Artists

CHICAGO – Congratulations to Margot Bergman, Diane Simpson and Karl Wirsum on being listed as Newcity’s Art 50 2020: Chicago’s Artists’ Artists.


Cauleen Smith’s Mutualities Featured in The New York Times

NEW YORK – The Whitney reopens with 3 powerhouse shows, including Cauleen Smith: Mutualities.


Cauleen Smith Interviewed in Hyperallergic

LOS ANGELES – Cauleen Smith was interviewed by Hyperallergic for a series spotlighting some of the great work coming out of Los Angeles.


Celeste Rapone Interviewed in Femme Art/Review

Celeste Rapone was interviewed by Elaine Tam about her studio practice and history.


Magalie Guérin Reviewed in Artforum

LONDON – Magalie Guérin’s exhibition q p at Amanda Wilkinson reviewed in Artforum. 


Magalie Guérin Reviewed by Art She Says

LONDON – Magalie Guérin’s exhibition q p at Amanda Wilkinson reviewed by Art She Says. 


Corbett vs. Dempsey presents…Sequesterfest (Vol. 4) The Reflection in the Puddle is Mine

CHICAGO – Sunday, June 28th, 2020, 7:00pm (Central Daylight Time)


Cauleen Smith Interviewed in Art in America

CHICAGO – Cauleen Smith on how art facilitates protest and introspection.


Rebecca Shore new works exhibited in not cancelled

CHICAGO – As part of not cancelled, a week-long online showcase for Chicago galleries, Corbett vs. Dempsey is delighted to present a selection of new work by Rebecca Shore


Corbett vs. Dempsey presents…Sequesterfest (Vol. 3)

CHICAGO – Saturday, May 23rd, 2020, 1-5:30pm (Central Daylight Time)


Celeste Rapone featured in New American Paintings

CHICAGO – Celeste Rapone among juror selections for New American Paintings’ Midwestern
Competition 2019.


The Instant Award in Improvised Music 2020 Recipients

CHICAGO –  The Horse With No Name Presents…..The Instant Award in Improvised Music 2020 Recipients.

Arlene Shechet Interviewed in Cultured Magazine

NEW YORK – Arlene Shechet reveals the “gigantic” potential of a denigrated art material: clay.


Corbett vs. Dempsey Presents Sequesterfest (Vol. 2)

CHICAGO –  Saturday, April 18th, 2-5:30pm (Central Daylight Time)


Corbett vs. Dempsey Presents Sequesterfest (Vol. 1)

CHICAGO –  Monday, April 6th, 7-10pm (Central Standard Time)


Corbett vs. Dempsey Open by Appointment Only

CHICAGO –  Corbett vs. Dempsey is open by appointment only. 


Celeste Rapone featured in Artnet News

NEW YORK – Celeste Rapone listed as one of five best artworks to be found at the Armory Show.


Arturo Herrera Reviewed in Art in America

CHICAGO –  Arturo Herrera’s recent exhibition at Corbett vs. Dempsey reviewed in Art in America. 


Diane Simpson Profiled in Artnet

CHICAGO –  ‘I’m Constantly Learning’: How 85-Year-Old Sculptor Diane Simpson Kept Going Until the Art World Finally Caught Up With Her


Celeste Rapone Hailed an Artist to Watch by Elephant Magazine

LONDON – Elephant Magazine lists Celeste Rapone among the essential artists you need to know right now.


Barbara Rossi & Dominick Di Meo in Group Exhibition

KERPEN, GERMANY – Barbara Rossi & Dominick Di Meo are included in group exhibition Dream Baby Dream at Haus Mödrath Germany.


Christina Ramberg Reviewed in Mousse Magazine

BERLIN- The Making of Husbands: “Christina Ramberg in Dialogue” at KW Institute for Contemporary Art.

Corbett vs. Dempsey Closed December 23 – January 1

CHICAGO- Corbett vs. Dempsey is closed for the holiday break.

The Instant Award in Improvised Music 2019 Recipients

CHICAGO-  The Horse With No Name Presents…..The Instant Award in Improvised Music 2019 Recipients.

David Hartt reviewed in The Architect’s Newspaper

ELKINS PARK –The main sanctuary of the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Beth Sholom Synagogue was reimagined by artist David Hartt for The Histories (Le Mancenillier).


Diane Simpson named Anonymous Was A Woman 2019 Recipient

CHICAGO – Congratulations to Diane Simpson on being a 2019 Anonymous Was A Woman awardee, receiving an unrestricted grant of $25,000. (more…)

David Hartt included in artworks gifted to The Henry Art Gallery

SEATTLE –Congratulations to David Hartt whose work was included in a gift of fifty-one works of art from Seattle philanthropists and contemporary art collectors John and Shari Behnke to The Henry Art Gallery.


Margot Bergman solo exhibition opens at Vielmetter Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Margot Bergman opens November 2 at Vielmetter Los Angeles.


David Hartt Reviewed in Wallpaper*

ELKINS PARK, PA – David Hartt: The Histories (Le Mancenillier) brings film, tapestry, sound and orchids to the 60-year-old building.


David Hartt’s The Histories (Le Mancenillier) Reviewed in Metropolis

ELKINS PARK, PA – On view through December 19, David Hartt: The Histories (Le Mancenillier) explores themes of diaspora and belonging.


Karl Wirsum’s solo exhibition opens at Derek Eller Gallery

NEW YORK – Congratulations to Karl Wirsum whose solo exhibition, Unmixedly at Ease: 50 Years of Drawing, opens on October 11, 2019.


Cauleen Smith interviewed in Hyperallergic

CHICAGO – Cauleen Smith was interviewed in Hyperallergic for her solo show and events at MASS MoCA.


Caragh Thuring Reviewed in New City

CHICAGO – Caragh Thuring’s exhibition, Builder, was reviewed in New City.


David Hartt Reviewed in The Brooklyn Rail

ELKINS PARK, PA – David Hartt: The Histories (Le Mancenillier) reviewed by The Brooklyn Rail.


Celeste Rapone Featured in Artillery

CULVER CITY – Celeste Rapone’s exhibition Future Amateur at Roberts Projects featured in Artillery magazine.


Celeste Rapone Solo Exhibition at Roberts Projects, LA

LOS ANGELES – Congratulations to Celeste Rapone on her solo exhibition, Future Amateur.


Jimmy Wright Solo Exhibition at Fierman, NYC

NEW YORK – Congratulations to Jimmy Wright on his solo exhibition, The Queen’s Court.

Corbett vs. Dempsey closed for Summer Holiday

CHICAGO – Corbett vs. Dempsey is closed for summer holiday from August 23 – September 2 .

David Hartt Featured in the Art Newspaper

ELKINS PARK, PA – David Hartt: The Histories (Le Mancenillier) featured in the Art Newspaper.


Margot Bergman Solo Exhibition Reviewed by Roberta Smith

NEW YORK – Margot Bergman’s solo exhibition Family Album was listed by Roberta Smith as “What to see right now” in NYC.

Diane Simpson: Architecture in Motion performance at The Graham Foundation

CHICAGO – Diane Simpson’s project “Architecture in Motion” with Every House Has A Door will be performed at The Graham Foundation.

Magalie Guérin and Christina Ramberg in Group Exhibition

NEW YORK – Magalie Guérin and Christina Ramberg are both included in the group exhibition Body Object at George Adams Gallery.

Corbett vs Dempsey Closed July 4 – 8

CHICAGO – Corbett vs. Dempsey is closed for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Rebecca Shore in group exhibition at Luhring Augustine

NEW YORK – Rebecca Shore will exhibit works in Luhring Augustine’s summer group exhibition.

Margot Bergman solo exhibition Family Album opens at Anton Kern Gallery

NEW YORK – Margot Bergman’s solo exhibition Family Album opens at Anton Kern Gallery.


Karl Wirsum Reviewed in Visual Art Source

CHICAGO – Writer Robin Dluzen reviewed Karl Wirusm’s solo exhibition.


Corbett vs. Dempsey Closed May 25th

CHICAGO – Corbett vs. Dempsey is closed May 25th in observance of Memorial Day.


Magalie Guérin solo exhibition at Galerie Nicolas Robert

MONTREAL – Congratulations to Magalie Guérin on the opening of her solo exhibition at Galerie Nicolas Robert.


Diane Simpson reviewed in Forbes

NEW YORK – Diane Simpson’s inclusion in the Whitney Biennial is featured in Forbes.


Carol Jackson included in “With a Capital P: Selections by Six Painters”

CHICAGO – Congratulations to Carol Jackson on being included in the exhibition “With a Capital P: Selections by Six Painters” at the Elmhurst Art Museum.


Magalie Guérin curates a portion of “With a Capital P: Selections by Six Painters”

CHICAGO – Congratulations to Magalie Guérin on being one of six curators of the exhibition “With a Capital P: Selections by Six Painters” at the Elmhurst Art Museum.


Cauleen Smith on the cover and featured in Art Forum

NEW YORK – Congratulations to Cauleen Smith whose work is on the cover of Art Forum and  practice is featured in an 8 page article.


Karl Wirsum Reviewed in New City

CHICAGO – Karl Wirsum’s new solo exhibition was reviewed in New City.


Magalie Guérin interviewed in Two Coats of Paint

NEW YORK – Magalie Guérin was interviewed by Sangram Majumdar in Two Coats of Paint.



Celeste Rapone in Group Exhibition at Roberts Projects

LOS ANGELES – Celeste Rapone is featured in the group exhibition “Behind Face” at Roberts Projects.


Christina Forrer in solo exhibition at Luhring Augustine

NEW YORK – Congratulations to Christina Forrer on the opening of her solo exhibition at Luhring Augustine.


Celeste Rapone interviewed in Art Verge

CHICAGO – Celeste Rapone was interviewed by Yannis Kostarias about her practice, influences, and more.


Congratulations to Diane Simpson on her inclusion in the Whitney Biennial 2019

NEW YORK – Congratulations to Diane Simpson on her inclusion in the Whitney Biennial 2019, curated by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley. The exhibition opens on May 17 and will be on view through September 22, 2019. .

Margot Bergman in solo exhibition at Museum Langmatt, Baden

BADEN – This is the first museum solo exhibition of Margot’s work in Europe.

Jimmy Wright solo exhibition opens at M+B Gallery, LA

LOS ANGELES – The exhibition, LA – NY 73 – 74, is Wright’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The show is comprised of works on paper and Mylar from the artist’s five-decade career and have never before been shown in Los Angeles..

Cauleen Smith’s exhibition, Give It or Leave It, opens at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University

RICHMOND – The exhibition includes film, video, and sculpture with the thematic core of the exhibition featuring two new films: “Pilgrim” (2017) and “Sojourner” (2018).


Magalie Guérin in solo exhibition at Chapter NY

NEW YORK – The exhibition, SOLUTE opens on Sunday, February 17, 6-8pm at Chapter NY.

Timeless reviewed in JazzWorld

CHICAGO – Mats Gustafsson and Jason Adasiewicz’s album Timeless was featured in JazzWorld by Ken Waxman.


Margot Bergman’s solo exhibition opens at Sigfrids/Howard’s

ATHENS, GA – Margot Bergman’s solo exhibition Cabin Boy, Auntie Gladyce and Three More features works created between 2002 – 2012.


Rebecca Morris in solo exhibition at the Blaffer Art Museum

HOUSTON – Congratulations to Rebecca Morris on the opening of her solo exhibition “The Ache of Bright.”


Happy Holidays | CvsD Is Moving

CHICAGO – Happy Holidays from CvsD! The gallery will be closed from December 20th – January 1st, 2019.


Kerry James Marshall Highlights David Hartt Exhibition in Artforum

CHICAGO – Kerry James Marshall notes David Hartt: in the forest at the Graham Foundation.


Celeste Rapone in two person exhibition at Monya Rowe Gallery

NEW YORK – The exhibition, Rose-tinted, opens November 29th and features Celeste Rapone and Justin Liam O’Brien.

David Hartt in solo exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago

CHICAGO – The exhibition, My Building, Your Design: Seven Portraits by David Hartt, is open through February 3rd.

Magalie Guérin in solo exhibition at James Harris Gallery

SEATTLE – The exhibition, Magalie Guérin: The Marfa Paintings” is open through November 30th with an opening reception on October 20th from 12-3pm.

Art Institute of Chicago Exhibition Reviewed by Ruth Lopez

CHICAGO – The Art Institute of Chicago exhibition Hairy Who? 1966-1969 was reviewed by Ruth lopez in The Art Newspaper.


Dominick Di Meo interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist

CHICAGO – Dominick Di Meo is interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist on the Monster Roster, artistic influences, and Chicago history, among other topics.


African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce, and the Politics of Race

CHICAGO – David Hartt served as the Exhibition Designer for African American Designers in Chicago: Art, Commerce, and the Politics of Race at The Chicago Cultural Center.


Brian Calvin featured in EXPO Chicago Override Program

CHICAGO – Brian Calvin’s artwork will grace the Dan Ryan Expressway during EXPO Chicago.


3-D Doings reviewed in the Wall Street Journal

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Tang Museum exhibition, curated by John Corbett, Jim Dempsey, and Ian Berry is reviewed for its historical weight and visual charm.


Diane Simpson in solo exhibition at Herald St.

LONDON – Diane Simpson’s solo exhibition at Herald St. opens September 30th.


Magalie Guérin in group exhibition at LVL3

CHICAGO – The exhibition, Local Comfort, is open September 22 – November 4 and features over 50 Chicago artists.


Diane Simpson in group exhibition at Galerie Greta Meert

BRUSSELS – Diane Simpson is exhibited in the group exhibition Wiggle at Gallery Greta Meert, Belgium.


Summer Holiday

CHICAGO – Corbett vs. Dempsey is closed to the public August 27 – September 3 and will re-open on September 4. 

Celeste Rapone awarded 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

CHICAGO – Congratulations to artist Celeste Rapone on being awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. (more…)

Jimmy Wright in group exhibition reviewed by David Cohen

NEW YORK – The Seam, the Fault, the Flaw at Greenspon Gallery was reviewed in Art Critical magazine.

Rebecca Morris interviewed on WexCast

OHIO – Rebecca Morris was interviewed by curatorial assistant Marisa Espe on WexCast at The Wexner Center for the Arts. The podcast discusses Morris’ studio practice, writing, and Morris’ work in The Wexner Center for the Arts current exhibition “Inherent Structures.”

John Corbett and Jim Dempsey interviewed by ADAA

CHICAGO – Corbett and Dempsey discuss elevating Midwestern Art, why collectors should be obsessive and fall in love with art, and more in conversation with Stephanie Strasnick.

Josiah McElheny: Cosmic Love listed in ADAA Inside Stories

CHICAGO – Josiah McElheny: Cosmic Love featured in ADAA’s list of July/August exhibitions to see.

Corbett vs. Dempsey at Condo listed on Frieze’s critic’s guide

NEW YORK – Frieze’s critic’s guide lists Corbett vs. Dempsey’s Condo exhibition as a top show to see in NYC .

Instant Award in Improvised Music Announced

CHICAGO – Corbett vs. Dempsey announced the first winners of the Instant Award in Improvised Music. The Chicago Reader featured the announcement.

Corbett vs Dempsey at Condo 2018

NEW YORK – Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to participate in Condo 2018, at Bortolami Gallery, in New York City, with a solo exhibition of new works by Rebecca Morris and a historical work by Edward Flood.

Jimmy Wright is in group exhibition at Greenspon Gallery

NEW YORK – The exhibition, the Seam, the Fault, the Flaw, opens June 28th through August 3rd at Greenspon Gallery, NYC and draws on Roland Barthes’ 1973 work The Pleasure of the Text, in which he argues for text that is as powerful, unpredictable, and textured as the human body, which should be consumed to the point of orgasmic bliss

Congratulations David Hartt, recipient of a 2018 Pew Center fellowship

PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania awarded David Hartt the Pew Center fellowship. In addition to the fellowship, Hartt was also awarded a Pew Project grant to create a site-responsive, multimedia installation at Philadelphia’s Frank Lloyd Wright designed Beth Sholom Synagogue for September of 2019.

Brian Calvin in group exhibition at Almine Rech Gallery

NEW YORK – The exhibition, Cliche, is organized with Bill Powers and opens on June 20th with a reception from 6-8pm.

Magalie Guérin in solo exhibition at Schwarz Contemporary

BERLIN – The exhibition, Morgenspaziergang, opens on June 28th with a reception from 8-10pm in Berlin.

Arlene Shechet exhibition opening at the Joslyn Art Museum

OMAHA – The exhibition ‘Arlene Shechet: More Than I Know’ opens on June 2 at the Joslyn Art Museum.

Philip Hanson in group exhibition: Twist the Spine

LOS ANGELES – Philip Hanson is included in the exhibition ‘Twist the Spine’ at Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles.

John Corbett and Jim Dempsey are interviewed in Artsy Magazine

CHICAGO – Corbett and Dempsey speak about the Chicago Imagists, their upcoming exhibition at the Tang Museum, and more.

Rebecca Morris Inherent Structures Artist’s Talk

COLUMBUS – Rebecca Morris, Laura Owens, and Ruth Root will be in conversation with Moderator George Rush at the Wexner Center for the Arts.  (more…)

Barbara Rossi reviewed in New City

CHICAGO – Barbara Rossi’s exhibition “Slippers” was praised as “a unique cocktail of chance and meticulous craftsmanship…disorienting slippage between abstraction and figuration is wholly familiar.”  (more…)

Margot Bergman reviewed in the New Art Examiner

CHICAGO – Margot Bergman’s exhibition “Thank you for having me” was reviewed by Shanna Zentner in the New Art Examiner.  (more…)

Arlene Shechet featured in Art and Antiques

NORTH CAROLINA – Arlene Shechet is featured in the article Uncommon Clay: Contemporary Ceramic Artists Combine Craft Tradition with Boundary-Pushing Creativity(more…)

Josiah McElheny with John Corbett and Jim Dempsey included in the Carnegie International, 57th ed., 2018

PITTSBURGH – Congratulations to Josiah McElheny with John Corbett and Jim Dempsey! (more…)

Magalie Guérin awarded 2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

CHICAGO – Congratulations to artist Magalie Guérin on being awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. (more…)

Film Screening: Cauleen Smith

MINNEAPOLIS – Cauleen Smith’s Lessons in Semaphore is included in the event ‘Imagination is Power: Be Realistic, Ask the Impossible’ (more…)

Review: Diane Simpson at Nottingham Contemporary

NOTTINGHAM – Alice Bucknell writes about The House of Fame, a group exhibition including Diane Simpson.  (more…)

Artist Talk: William Weege

WISCONSIN – William Weege will discuss his 45 year creative collaboration with Sam Gilliam. (more…)

Review – Cauleen Smith in Art in America

CHICAGO – The group exhibition ‘Revolution Under Review’ was reviewed by Vera Koshkina. (more…)

Cauleen Smith awarded a United States Artists 2018 Fellowship

CHICAGO – Congratulations to artist Cauleen Smith who was awarded a 2018 Fellowship Award in Visual Arts from United States Artists. (more…)

Review – Cauleen Smith at Gallery TPW

TORONTO – The exhibition ‘Triangle Trade’ was reviewed by Nasrin Himada. (more…)

David Hartt: in the forest Reviewed in Architect Magazine

CHICAGO – Artist David Hartt created an exhibition exploring the stopped housing experiment, currently on view at Chicago’s Graham Foundation.


David Hartt Reviewed in Wallpaper*

CHICAGO – Artist David Hartt captures a portrait of a forgotten Puerto Rican housing project.


Cauleen Smith Profiled in the Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO – The complicated exodus of art world star Cauleen Smith. 


David Hartt Interviewed in The Seen

CHICAGO – David Hartt interviewed by Gabrielle Welsh for The Seen.


Review – Diane Simpson at Corbett vs. Dempsey

CHICAGO – John Yau reviews Diane Simson’s exhibition in Hyperallergic.  (more…)

Corbett vs. Dempsey Highlighted in Artnet News

CHICAGO –  John Corbett and Jim Dempsey among the most respected US Contemporary Art Dealers of 2015 by Artnet News.


Diane Simpson at ICA Boston, by Kate Nesin

BOSTON – Diane Simpson’s exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston is addressed by Kate Nesin.  (more…)

David Hartt Reviewed in The Seen

CHICAGO – David Hartt: The Republic reviewed in The Seen.


Diane Simpson Awarded 2018 Graham Foundation Research Grant

CHICAGO – Congratulations to Diane Simpson, 2018 Graham Foundation Research Grant Awardee for her project Architecture in Motion. (more…)

Article: David Grubbs and John Sparagana in Conversation

NEW YORK – David Grubbs and John Sparagana discuss Grubb’s new book Now the audience is assembled(more…)

Review: Magalie Guérin in Art in America

NEW YORK – Read about Magalie Guérin’s richly varied exhibition “bunker.” (more…)

Rebecca Morris in response to Louise Bourgeois

LOS ANGELES – Rebecca Morris will discuss the exhibition ‘Louise Bourgeois. The Red Sky’  (more…)

Margot Bergman Reviewed in the Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO – Read about Bergman’s “wonderfully assertive” exhibition. (more…)

Rebecca Shore Reviewed in Artforum

NEW YORK – Shore’s impeccably rendered compositions are reviewed in Artforum. (more…)

David Hartt: Aperture Interview

NEW YORK – Hartt discusses expanding the field of representation, from Accra to Harlem. (more…)

Magalie Guérin Reviewed in New American Paintings

CHICAGO – Guérin’s captivating new works are reviewed in New American Paintings. (more…)

King Alcohol voted Best Reissue by Chicago Reader

CHICAGO – Peter Margasak ranks his favorite jazz albums of 2017. (more…)

Lui Shtini Reviewed in Newcity Art

CHICAGO – Read how Shtini’s paintings make you feel a little more tough, sophisticated, and even amoral. (more…)

Rebecca Morris Reviewed in Artforum

LOS ANGELES – Rebecca Morris’ works in the group exhibition at The Pit are reviewed. (more…)

Review: ‘Notes On’ by Magalie Guérin

CHICAGO – Chicago Tribune writer Kathleen Rooney reviews the fascinating and exhilarating book by artist Magalie Guérin (more…)

Diane Simpson: Profile of the Artist in The Seen

CHICAGO – Susan Snodgrass dives into Simpson’s process and past. (more…)

Arturo Herrera at OGR Torino, Italy

TORINO – A new site-specific work by Arturo Herrera opens at the OGR Tonino complex in Italy. (more…)

John Sparagana solo exhibition at Sicardi Gallery

HOUSTON – Sicardi Gallery proudly presents the upcoming exhibition, John Sparagana: Breather, which marks the artist’s first solo show at the gallery. This new series of paintings, exhibited here for the first time, underscore Sparagana’s analytical entanglements with modernist doctrines. (more…) Critic’s Guide to Chicago featuring Small Sculpture at Corbett vs. Dempsey | David Hartt | Cauleen Smith

CHICAGO – Ahead of the openings of EXPO Chicago and the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, a guide to the best exhibitions around town By Sara Cluggish


Diane Simpson’s Exhibition Art Forum Critics Pick

NEW YORK – Writer Wendy Vogel discusses Simpson’s second show with JTT Gallery!  (more…) Critic’s Guide: Chicago

CHICAGO – Diane Simpson’s exhibition is listed as a must see for Chicago art!  (more…)

John Corbett and Jim Dempsey selected in Newcity’s “Art 50 2017: Chicago’s Visual Vanguard”

CHICAGO – Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery co-founders named in the 2017 list of people shaping Chicago’s art scene.  (more…)

Cauleen Smith featured in the Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO – The complicated exodus of art world star Cauleen Smith by Christopher Borrelli


Karl Wirsum reviewed in Chicago Reader

CHICAGO – Karl Wirsum is still the mayor of Hairy Whoville


Jimmy Wright reviewed in Artforum

NEW YORK – Johanna Fateman reviews Jimmy Wright’s “New York Underground” for Artforum February 2017


Association of Art Museum Curators & AAMC Foundation 2017 Awards

NEW YORK – The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) & AAMC Foundation announced, during its Annual Conference & Meeting, the 2017 recipients of its Awards for Excellence, the organizations’ annual prize dedicated to recognizing groundbreaking new scholarship in the field.


Magalie Guérin, No Body Knows, solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi

LOS ANGELES – Anat Ebgi is pleased to announce our first exhibition with Montreal born, Chicago based artist Magalie Guérin, No Body Knows(more…)

Gina Litherland in The Beguiling Siren is Thy Crest Group Exhibition on View at Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw

WARSAW – This exhibition, the first ever of this scale to discuss the siren, aims to portray and activate her potential as a symbol. It combines different takes on hybridity, national identity and mythology. On view March 25 – June 18, 2017.


Cauleen Smith interviewed in Hyperallergic

CHICAGO – After her first feature screened at Sundance, Cauleen Smith lost patience with the film industry’s conservatism and devoted herself to art; her work is currently in the Whitney Biennial and Migrating Forms at BAM.


Cauleen Smith in Nylon Magazine

NEW YORK – As artists and also activists, Deana Lawson, Maya Stovall, and Cauleen Smith are challenging the dominant gaze by reexamining representation relating to the lives of people of the African diaspora.


Cauleen Smith in Whitney Biennial 2017 on view at Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

NEW YORK – The 2017 Whitney Biennial, the seventy-eighth installment of the longest-running survey of American art, arrives at a time rife with racial tensions, economic inequities, and polarizing politics. On view March 17–June 11, 2017.


Albert Oehlen: Woods near Oehle reviewed in Artforum

CLEVELAND – Since the 1980s, Albert Oehlen has routinely deployed the tree as a programmatic conceit, a rudimentary scheme that has allowed for mischievous invention within the language of painting.


Albert Oehlen reviewed in Hyperallergic

CHICAGO – A Forest of Chaos and Control: The Woods Near Oehle reviewed by Natalie Haddad


Josiah McElheny: The Crystal Land on View at White Cube Bermondsey, London

LONDON – Presenting works made between 2008 and 2017 in various media, including sculpture, painting, film, installation, photograms and posters, the exhibition asserts McElheny’s view that ‘reconstructing history’ can be a creative process itself and that aesthetics are always political. On view March 1 – April 13, 2017.


Albert Oehlen’s Elevator Paintings: Trees on View at Gagosian Gallery, New York

NEW YORK – Oehlen’s oeuvre is a testament to the innate freedom of the creative act. On view February 28 – April 15, 2017.


Amy Feldman: Breath Myth on view at Blain|Southern Gallery, London

LONDON – Blain|Southern presents Amy Feldman’s first solo exhibition in Germany. Breath Myth comprises a group of entirely new paintings by the New York-based artist. On view February 11, 2017 – April 8, 2017.


Joyce Pensato as told to Alex Jovanovich

NEW YORK – Homer, Kenny, Donald, Mickey: Joyce Pensato’s painterly masticating of these American cartoon icons—distilled in black-and-white enamel—have been seducing audiences for decades.


Cauleen Smith’s Asterisms reviewed in Artforum

PORTLAND – A room-size installation, titled Asterisms, 2016, is the most ambitious work to date by Cauleen Smith, an artist steeped in structuralist filmmaking and Afrofuturism. It conjures a future that is bright for all bodies.


Diane Simpson in 4 Columns

NEW YORK – Simpson’s ingeniously crafted Samurai play pictorial tricks.


Diane Simpson in The New York Times

NEW YORK – The Chicago artist Diane Simpson’s magical sculptures crisply demonstrate the multiple time-traveling identities of certain art objects.


Joyce Pensato interview in The New York Times

NEW YORK – “I’ve always wanted to make art that trashed up a good white-cube gallery. I need to work in a place where the stuff and I basically become one.”


Riot Grrrls Group Exhibition on view at MCA, Chicago

CHICAGO – Riot Grrrls is a celebration of female artists who are making bold and adventurous abstract paintings. On view  


Diane Simpson in Hyperallergic

CHICAGO – Diane Simpson’s sculptures, which are made from planes she cuts and scores when she wants to curve them, always begin with a drawing.


Diane Simpson interviewed by Judith Clark

NEW YORK – Judith Clark talks to Diane Simpson about the influence of abstraction, architecture and fashion on her sculptures. (more…)

Margot Bergman and Brian Calvin exhibitions on view at Anton Kern Gallery, NY

NEW YORK – Margot Bergman’s and Brian Calvin’s exhibitions on view at Anton Kern Gallery, New York, from June 30 to August 19, 2016. (more…)

Diane Simpson Group Exhibition on View at Hessel Museum of Art, New York

NEW YORK – Diane Simpson’s group exhibition Invisible Adversaries: Marieluise Hessel Collection on view at the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard Collage, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, from June 25 to September 18, 2016.


Diane Simpson Group Exhibition on View at Gladstone Gallery, New York

NEW YORK – Diane Simpson’s group exhibition See sun, and think shadow on view at Gladstone Gallery, New York, from June 23 to July 29, 2016. (more…)

Diane Simpson work featured on Artsy as Must-See of Art Basel

CHICAGO – Diane Simpson’s Apron I (2000) featured on Artsy as “Art-World Insiders Select Art Basel’s Must-See Work.” (more…)

Philip Hanson at James Cohan reviewed in Artforum

NEW YORK – Philip Hanson’s recent solo exhibition at James Cohan Gallery, New York reviewed by Barry Schwabskyin the latest issue of Artforum.


Diane Simpson reviewed in Hyperallergic

CHICAGO – Window Dressing, a solo exhibition of artist Diane Simpson at the MCA Chicago, receives a review by Sarah Rose Sharp in Hyperallergic. (more…)

Barbara Rossi and Monster Roster reviewed in the Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO – Exhibitions “Barbara Rossi: Poor Traits at the DePaul Art Museum, and “Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago” at the Smart Museum, receive a review by Lori Waximan in Chicago Tribune. (more…)

Barbara Rossi: Poor Traits reviewed on ArtSlant

NEW YORK – Barbara Rossi’s recent exhibition Poor Traits at DePaul Art Museum reviewed by Stephanie Cristello on ArtSlant.


Wadada Leo Smith, notes (8 pieces), reviewed by the Free Jazz Blog

CHICAGO – notes (8 pieces): source a new world music: creative music by Wadada Leo Smith was originally self-published in 1973 in a run of 200 copies. The current edition was reprinted in an edition of 1000 by Corbett vs Dempsey to accompany the exhibition Wadada Leo Smith – Ankhrasmation: The Language Scores, 1967-2015 presented October 11-29, 2015 at The Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago.

Jimmy Lyons CD review in Chicago Reader

CHICAGO – Push Pull, the 1979 triple album of Jimmy Lyons, is reviewed in Chicago Reader by Peter Magasak.

Thomas Grünfeld Interviewed in ELEPHANT Magazine

LONDON – 5 Questions with Thomas Grünfeld on his exhibit Magaret at Massimo De Carlo.


Cauleen Smith receives Herb Alpert Award

LOS ANGELES – Artist Cauleen Smith receives one of five Herb Alpert Awards. Since 1994, the award, a collaboration between the Herb Alpert Foundation and the California Institute of the Arts, has honored five exceptional mid-career artists on an annual basis.  (more…)

Lui Shtini, Jinn Skin reviewed on Hyperallergic

NEW YORK – Lui Shtini’s exhibition Jinn Skin at Kate Werble Gallery reviewed by John Yau on Hyperallergic.


Margot Bergman Interview featured on Inside\Within

CHICAGO – Interview with Margot Bergman published on Inside\Within


Monster Roster Selected as Critics’ Pick on Artforum

NEW YORK – Exhibition Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago at Smart Museum selected as Critics’ Pick by Jason Foumberg on Artforum.


Magalie Guerin, “Notes On” reviewed in the Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO – Notes On, the new book by Magalie Guerin, is reviewed in the Chicago Tribune by Kathleen Rooney.

Philip Hanson at James Cohan reviewed in New York Times

NEW YORK – Philip Hanson’s recent solo exhibition at James Cohan Gallery, New York reviewed by Ken Johnson on New York Times.


Philip Hanson solo exhibition at James Cohan Gallery

NEW YORK – James Cohan Gallery is pleased to present It is too difficult a Grace an exhibition of new paintings by Philip Hanson at their Lower East Side gallery. (more…)

Magalie Guerin Named One of the 10 Chicago Artists You Should Know

CHICAGO – named Magalie Guerin one of the “10 chicago artists you should know.” Magalie Guerin’s abstract oil paintings are colorful and playful, featuring various wonky shapes; they’re the type of paintings we could happily look at for hours, puzzling over their meaning. In March, she’ll have a solo show at Sector 2337 in Logan Square, and will release her book, “Notes On,” from The Green Lantern Press.

John Sparagana in Terms of Use at Glass Curtain Gallery

CHICAGO – Opening February 25, Terms of Use: Reproducing the Photograph Image. (more…)

Diane Simpson at MCA Chicago

CHICAGO – Diane Simpson, Chicago Works on view at the MCA Chicago through July. Curated by Lynne Warren. (more…)

Rebecca Morris in Reveal the Rats at The Pit

LOS ANGELES – Reveal the Rats features  artists Rebecca Morris, Sterling Ruby, Anna Betbeze, Lara Schnitger and Despina Stokou.  (more…)

Los Angeles Times announces the ‘Made in L.A.’ lineup

LOS ANGELES – What is an L.A. artist? Hammer Museum answers with its ‘Made in L.A.’ biennial lineup. (more…)

John Corbett interviewed in Bomb Magazine

NEW YORK – “The records I don’t listen to are as important as the ones I do.” John Corbett interviewed by Andrew Lampert for Bomb Magazine. (more…)

Barbara Rossi reviewed in the New York Times

NEW YORK – Barbara Rossi’s exhibition at the New Museum reviewed in the New York Times by Ken Johnson.  (more…)

Diane Simpson reviewed in the Boston Globe

BOSTON – Diane Simpson exhibition at the ICA reviewed in the Boston Globe by Sebastian Smee. (more…)

Diane Simpson featured in 500 Words on

NEW YORK – Diane Simpson on her retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston in  (more…)

Diane Simpson reviewed in The New York Times

NEW YORK – Diane Simpson’s exhibition at JTT Gallery is reviewed by Roberta Smith of the New York Times.

Diane Simpson reviewed in The New York Times

NEW YORK – Diane Simpson’s solo exhibition at the ICA Boston as reviewed by Roberta Smith of the New York Times.

Diane Simpson solo exhibition at ICA Boston

BOSTON – A survey of Simpson’s work, looking at her multifaceted practice spanning the past three decades. December 16, 2015 – March 27, 2016


FEMALE GENIUS: Diane Simpson in PIN-UP Magazine

NEW YORK – Nobody minds being called a genius. But the addition of “female” certainly complicates things. If you’re a genius, you’re a genius, no matter your gender. In his 1994 book Profiles of Female Genius, Gene L. Landrum portrayed 13 “creative women who changed the world,” including Estée Lauder, Oprah Winfrey, and Margaret Thatcher. While two decades later Landrum’s tone — he spoke of women’s “tendency to take abnormal risks,” their “visionary perspective,” “intuitive operating style,” and “boundless energy” — may come off as patronizing, it is still a fact that the worlds of art and architecture remain predominantly male. In this special feature we portray seven female artists from different generations, two of whom gained fame late in life after being ignored or marginalized in a milieu that was long exclusively male. While the individual bodies of work by Lena Henke, Carmen Herrera, Sahra Motalebi, Diane Simpson, Avery Singer, Mickalene Thomas, and Kaari Upson are very diverse, and involve different media, what they have in common is in an interest in or connection to architecture, be it through their treatment of space, their choice of subject matter, or their handling of materials. While some of them have an architectural background, none of them are practicing architects. But each artist, in her own way, redefines our conception of space. And that, in and of itself, is a sure sign of genius, no matter what gender.

— Julie Klein

At a recent opening of a New York art fair, someone was overheard describing the 80-year-old sculptor Diane Simpson as “just so badass!” The description couldn’t be more apt. But why exactly? Because she’s still making her beguiling works to this day? Because she’s been making bold work for decades during which female artists were marginalized? Because the skill and construction of her sculptures is so perfect they almost seem industrially fabricated? The answer, of course, is all of the above and more.

Simpson’s sculptures and drawings gain their conceptual traction from the slippage between perception and representation. They are at once familiar but abstracted, anthropomorphic but unfeasible, entreating but hermetic, three-dimensional but flattened. Her oeuvre involves complex amalgamations of historically-sourced subject matter — predominantly clothing and architecture — that she meticulously reconstructs out of carefully considered materials. The sculptures read as nuanced takes on the subjects that ispired them, as well as highly original structures in their own right, but also, of course, contain something of the personal history of the artist herself.

Diane Simpson was born Diane Klafter in 1935 in Joliet, Illinois. She received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (in 1971 and 1978, respectively), and her artistic education was dominated by the visual milieu of Art Deco and Modernist architecture in Chicago — geometric lines and surface ornamentation. In the late 1960s, a group of artists known as the Chicago Imagists, who combined Surrealism, Art Brut, personal narrative, and comic art, began to exhibit work at the Hyde Park Art Center in response to New York’s Pop Art. Claiming the oft-ghettoized aesthetic world of vernacular art, the Chicago Imagists redefined the Postmodern subjectivity of Pop Art. There’s currently a renewed interest in the Chicago Imagists, and more specifically in the work of Simpson, who was always somewhat on the periphery of the movement.

Simpson’s art centers around a three-step process: take a subject, create a unique two-dimensional isometric drawing of that subject, and render this drawing into a three-dimensional sculpture. (Each sculpture is intended to be sold with its drawing, which can also be used as an installation manual.) Her seminal 1983 exhibition Samurai, at Phyllis Kind Gallery in Chicago, featured nine sculptures inspired by Japanese samurai armor and kimonos made from medium-density fiberboard.

Since then her exploration has expanded, among others, to symbols of domesticity, Elizabethan excess, and ecclesiastical vestments, and yet her sculptures always feel atemporal and polyvalent, eschewing easy classification. Take Apron X (2005), for example, where she used leather wrapped around a metal armature to conjure up a frilly 1940s apron, producing a monumental composition that has something of the Mesoamerican pyramid or the Art Deco skyscraper about it. In Formal Wear (1998), two rigid black polyester sleeves hang from a bare poplar bar, drawing upon the exaggerated clothing in The Three Princesses of Saxony (Lucas Cranach the Elder, c. 1530), the painting that inspired it, while also suggesting the simple gesture of someone praying. And similarly Doublet (1985) borrows form and line from the eponymous male waistcoat, but is transformed through Simpson’s deft hand and oil-stained redwood into an elaborate pagoda.

As feminist art historians Helen Molesworth, Lisa Tickner, and Mignon Nixon have pointed out, the history of art made by women is a history of omission. A more fecund approach may be to look at artistic allies and predecessors in a horizontal fashion — not mothers and fathers, but brothers, sisters and cousins — to elucidate the discourse around different art practices. Simpson may be chronologically and geographically associated with the Chicago Imagists, but her work is perhaps better understood as being in dialogue with artists like Eva Hesse and Martin Puryear, as well as Vincent Fecteau and Tauba Auerbach. The public will soon be given a chance to make up its own mind at a 30-year survey exhibition — Simpson’s first solo show at an art museum — opening at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston in December 2015.

Rebecca Morris at 356 Mission reviewed in Art in America

LOS ANGELES – Rebecca Morris’ recent solo exhibition at 356 Mission, reviewed by Jennifer S. Li for Art in America.


Diane Simpson and Lesley Vance at Herald St.

LONDON – They say that the first walls were made of textiles, or animal skins. Buildings developed as a support from which these coverings could be suspended, to shelter early humans from the elements. English preserves the idea of wall/shawl architecture in the word ‘cladding’ (‘clad’: ‘clothed’, as in ‘scantily-’). Both clothes and rooms map bodies, though clothes cling to us more tightly; both can be armour, both can be cages.


Oehlen, Wirsum, and Wool in Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, at Museum Brandhorst

MUNICH – A group exhibition that examines the current state of painting in contemporary society.


Barbara Rossi at New Museum reviewed in Artforum

NEW YORK – Barbara Rossi’s recent solo exhibition at New Museum, reviewed by Andrew Kachel for Artforum.


Gina Litherland: In the Realm of Innocents, at Crossman Gallery

WHITEWATER – Opening Monday, October 19, Crossman Gallery presents In the Realm of Innocents. This exhibition will include women artists whose work portrays a world of fantasy, fairytales or legends. Previewing at the Walker’s Point Center for the Arts in Milwaukee in January of this year, the exhibit will be expanded upon for the Crossman Gallery venue. The show was co-curated with Kimberly Storage, then a UW-W student and now the Assistant Director at the Tory Folliard Gallery (Milwaukee).


Diane Simpson in Mommy at Yale Union

PORTLAND – A group show that considers the mother, with work by Lutz Bacher, Susan Cianciolo, Sonya Hamilton, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Eliot Porter, Aura Rosenberg, Diane Simpson, Barbara T. Smith, Frances Stark, and Rosemarie Trockel. It will also include new site-specific works by Cathy Wilkes and Anicka Yi, and a performance by Karin Schneider.


Cauleen Smith in Histories of Sexuality at New Museum

NEW YORK – Histories of Sexuality” situates Wynne Greenwood’s work in proximity to two programs from the New Museum’s past that focused on sexuality and gender in then-recent video works: “HOMO Video: Where We Are Now” (1986–87), curated by William Olander, and the video programs associated with Marcia Tucker’s “Bad Girls” exhibition (1994), curated by filmmaker Cheryl Dunye.


Barbara Rossi at the New Museum

NEW YORK – Barbara Rossi: Poor Traits, presents a selection of Barbara Rossi’s enigmatic graphite and colored pencil drawings from the late 1960s and her meticulously rendered reverse paintings on Plexiglas from the early 1970s.


Karl Wirsum, The Hard Way: Selections from the 1970s

NEW YORK – Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of drawings, sculptures and paintings created by Karl Wirsum in the 1970s. That decade was Wirsum’s most restless period geographically and artistically, as he moved back and forth from Chicago to Sacramento and experimented with materials, formats, and visual languages.

Rebecca Morris at 356 Mission Rd.

LOS ANGELES – Opening Friday, September 11, 356 Mission Rd. will open a solo exhibition of works by Rebecca Morris.


Jackie Saccoccio at 11 Rivington

NEW YORK – Opening Wednesday, September 9, 11 Rivington will open a solo exhibition of works by Jackie Saccoccio.


Magalie Guerin at Lyles & King

NEW YORK – Opening Tuesday, September 8, Lyles & King will open a solo exhibition of works by Magalie Guérin.


Charline von Heyl at Galerie Gisela Capitain

COLOGNE – Opening Saturday, September 5, Galerie Gisela Capitain will open a solo exhibition of works by Charline von Heyl.


Karl Wirsum & Jim Falconer: What Nerve! reviewed in The New Yorker

NEW YORK – Karl Wirsum and Jim Falconer’s recent group exhibition, What Nerve! at Matthew Marks Gallery, curated by Dan Nadel reviewed by The New Yorker.


Philip Hanson in group show at U.S. Blues

BROOKLYN – Philip Hanson featured in group exhibition at U.S. Blues, Leaves of Sage and Foot of Mammal on a Smooth Yellow-ochre Background. 


Philip Hanson in -scape at Zhou B Art Center

CHICAGO – Zhou B Art Center is pleased to announce –scape, an exhibition of works by Jon Cates, Mo Chen, Snow Yunxue Fu, Philip Hanson, Max Hattler, Alan Kwan, and Philip Vanderhyden. Curated by artist curators Mo Chen and Snow Yunxue Fu, the exhibition takes on the idea of abstract space both physically and metaphysically.


Barbara Rossi: Meanwhile in Lonesome Valley reviewed in The Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES – Barbara Rossi’s recent group exhibition at Loudhailer Gallery, curated by Sayre Gomez, reviewed by The LA Times (more…)

Brian Calvin, Christina Ramberg, and Diane Simpson at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

LOS ANGELES – Curated by Kristina Kite and Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, the artists and works in About Face employ ideas of scale, zoom, and cropping to complicate figuration and portraiture in relation to abstraction.


Albert Oehlen: Home and Garden reviewed in The New Yorker

NEW YORK – Albert Oehlen’s solo exhibition at the New Museum was recently reviewed by Andrea Scott of the New Yorker (more…)

What Nerve! at Matthew Marks Gallery

NEW YORK – Matthew Marks is pleased to announce What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to Present, the next exhibition in his three 22nd Street galleries.  (more…)

Brian Calvin solo exhibition opens at Le Consortium

DIJON, FRANCE – Brian Calvin’s first museum solo show in France. Presented at Le Consortium in Dijon, End of Messages illustrates Calvin’s mastery of framing and color through portrait and landscape paintings from 1995 to the present.

Diane Simpson in Bonsai #5 at Maccarone

NEW YORK – Maccarone is pleased to present Bonsai #5, a group exhibition that pairs Roger Brown’s eponymous painting with the work of Carol Bove, Alex Da Corte, Peter Halley, Ken Price, and Diane Simpson.


Barbara Rossi featured in group show, Meanwhile in Lonesome Valley at Loudhailer Gallery

LOS ANGELES – LOUDHAILER is pleased to present Meanwhile in Lonesome Valley, organized by Sayre Gomez–featuring works by Liz Craft, Heather Guertin, Orion Martin, Barbara Rossi and Chanel Von Habsburg-Lothringen. The exhibition opens with a public reception on Saturday, June 20 from 6-9 PM and continues through August 1. (more…)

Albert Oehlen: Home and Garden reviewed in The New York Times

NEW YORK – Albert Oehlen’s solo exhibition at the New Museum was recently reviewed by Roberta Smith of the New York Times. (more…)

Albert Oehlen delivers commencement address at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

CHICAGO – The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), one of the nation’s leading art and design schools, welcomed contemporary artist Albert Oehlen to deliver the school’s 149th commencement address on Monday, May 11, 2015. The complete text of the speech is listed below. 


Albert Oehlen opens at the New Museum

NEW YORK – Albert Oehlen: Home and Garden is the first New York museum exhibition of the work of the pioneering German painter Albert Oehlen.


Barbara Rossi in June: A Painting Show at Sadie Coles Gallery

LONDON – Three paintings by Barbara Rossi are included in June: A Painting Show at Sadie Coles HQ, London. Other artists included in the show are: Helen Johnson, Jonathan Gardner, Sylvia Sleigh, Pieter, Schoolwerth, Ryan Mosley, Mernet Larson, Ahmed Alsoudani, Nicole Eisenman, Yamashita Kikuji, Jana Euler, Co Westerik, Rodel Tapaya, and Hayv Kahraman. The show runs June 9 – August 15, 2015.
Click here for more information.

David Hartt Interval at the Art Institute of Chicago

CHICAGO – The work of artist David Hartt investigates the specificity of place. By examining the culture and built environment of a given locale, Hartt observes how the needs and values of communities form, manifest, and change over time.


Diane Simpson in Over & Under at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

NEW YORK – Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present Over & Under a group exhibition organized with the cooperation of Matt Keegan and featuring work by Tony Feher, Charles Harlan, Bill Jenkins, Matt Keegan, Babette Mangolte & Trisha Brown, Virginia Overton, Kay Rosen, Diane Simpson, and Haim Steinbach on view from June 4 through July 24, 2015.


Tang Teaching Museum presents Opener 29: Arturo Herrera – Day Before

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Tang Teaching Museum will be presenting works from Arturo Herrera’s recent body of work using familiar forms and bold colors to create compelling objects.


Jackie Saccoccio and Magalie Guerin in Abstraction: A Visual Language

CHICAGO – Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Abstraction: A Visual Language, a group exhibition featuring work by Samantha Bittman, Magalie Guerin, Nancy Haynes, Kika Kardi, Jackie Saccoccio, Linnéa Spransy and Raycheal Stine.


Albert Oehlen at Kunsthalle Zürich

ZURICH – Kunsthalle Zürich presents Albert Oehlen in An Old Painting in Soul. This exhibition brings together a selection of Oehlen’s work from the 1980s and is accompanied by new works on display for the first time.


Christopher Wool at Luhring Augustine

NEW YORK – Luhring Augustine is pleased to present exhibitions of new paintings and sculptures by Christopher Wool in both the Chelsea and Bushwick galleries. Opening in both galleries on May 2 and closing on June 20 in Chelsea and June 21 in Bushwick.


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung at Fjord

PHILADELPHIA – Fjord Gallery is pleased to present Greetings from Lake Zwenkau, a group show opening May 1st, curated by Cameron Masters and featuring works by Laura Brothers, Clement Valla, Lisa Sigal and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung


Magalie Guerin in Two Person Show at Roots and Culture

CHICAGO – Roots and Culture presents Magalie Guerin and Ross Normandin in a two person show.


Pared-Down: Lui Shtini and Diane Simpson at Silberkuppe

BERLIN – Lui Shtini and Diane Simpson featured in two person exhibition at Silberkuppe.


Rebecca Shore Reviewed in Art in America

NEW YORK – Shore breaths new life into the tradition of geometric abstraction.  (more…)

Joshua Mosley selected for International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen

OBERHAUSEN, GERMANY – Joshua Mosley’s Jeu de Paume will be included in the 61st International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany.


David Hartt a Critic’s Pick on

LOS ANGELES – David Hartt’s Interval exhibition at the Bonaventure Hotel with LAXART recently reviewed by Travis Diehl as an Critic’s Pick.


Joe McPhee

Concert and reading
Friday, October 14th, 8pm

Please join us at Corbett vs. Dempsey for a live performance by Joe McPhee celebrating the release of his 1979 recording with André Jaume, Nuclear Family. McPhee will play solo and read some new poems.

free and open to the public

Art Basel

Hall 2.0, Booth C7

At its inaugural Art Basel booth, Corbett vs. Dempsey presents a focused historical view of False Image, one of the original Imagist exhibition groups.  False Image convened for two shows at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago in 1968 and 1969.  Comprised of Roger Brown, Eleanor Dube, Philip Hanson, and Christina Ramberg, the quartet of artists is represented by paintings, objects, and drawings from the era – many of them shown in either The False Image or False Image II – together with all the ephemeral materials the group produced: posters, postcard sets, illustrated price lists, and decal sets.  This is the first presentation to isolate False Image from the other Imagist groups, such as the Hairy Who.  On the occasion of the fair, CvsD has produced a special 72-page catalog, fully illustrated with biographies and a historical overview by John Corbett.

Tickets and more information here.

Monster Roster

Saturday, May 21, 1pm
at The Smart Museum of Art
meet in the lobby
Event is free and open to the public

Jim Dempsey and John Corbett, guest co-curators of Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago, will survey the exhibition with all comers, stopping at select works to discuss the show and the artists.  Please join us!

Marit Følstad

Saturday, May 14th, 2pm
at Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery
Event is free and open to the public

THE MARBLE INDEX by Marit Følstad

The Marble index by Marit Følstad is an artist book sourcing its content from Marit Følstad multi faceted artistic practice over the last 5 years. Moving fluidly between various mediums and formats, the over all esthetic and design is driven and determined by the use of Japanese binding. The folded pages challenge the traditional experience of a book – the images and artworks flow continuously across the pages.

The Marble Index” is a sharp departure form her former book “Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons”, 2012. Følstads continues to “explore the nature of ephemerality, transformation, dissolution, and allure” in The Marble Index. But as opposed to her former book, only presenting videos, The Marble Index uses images from neon, videos, sculptures and drawings, making this book a completely different experience.

Marit Følstad is a Norwegian artist. Her practice encompasses video, sound, performance, sculpture and installation. Følstad received her education from Glasgow School of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago. She was a recipient of a Fulbright grant. Følstad has participated in exhibitions in Norway and exhibiting in international venues such as The Hood Museum of Art (New Hampshire), Palm Beach ICA (Florida), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (Arizona), Sculpture Center, (New York), Arthouse (Texas), CoCA Seattle (Washington), Malmø Art Museum (Sweden), Museum of Installation (London, UK) and Norwich Gallery of Art (UK) as well as The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Bergen Art Museum, NorthernNorway Art Museum (all in Norway).

Essays by:
Charlotta Kotik
Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi
Lilly Wei

Design by: Ian Brown

Published by Teknisk Industri AS, Oslo 2016

ISBN: 978-82-93281-12-2

Marit Følstad exhibition “The Marble Index” is currently showing at The Rooster Gallery, New York until May 29th.

Lionel Garçin

Friday, May 13th, 7pm
at Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery
Event is free and open to the public

As part of the latest manifestation of the transatlantic exchange called The Bridge, taking place at various locations in Chicago, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present a solo concert by saxophonist Lionel Garçin.  One of the most exciting members of the French improvised music community, Garçin with take an excursion on soprano and tenor saxophones, drawing on his powers of restraint and invention.

Michael Vatcher

Saturday, April 16th, 5pm
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Event is free and open to the public

Corbett vs. Dempsey is delighted to host a solo performance by Amsterdam based drummer Michael Vatcher. This key member of the thriving Dutch improvised music scene is in Chicago as a member of Available Jelly, performing at Constellation Friday, April 15. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear a great improviser up close and personal.

Photograph by Rüdiger Laske

Book Release: Bob Gluck

Bob Gluck
The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles
Book release and reading, followed by a conversation with John Corbett
Saturday, April 16th, 3pm
at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Event is free and open to the public

Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew is one of the most iconic albums in American music, the preeminent landmark and fertile seedbed of jazz-fusion. Fans have been fortunate in the past few years to gain access to Davis’s live recordings from this time, when he was working with an ensemble that has come to be known as the Lost Quintet. In this book, jazz historian and musician Bob Gluck explores the performances of this revolutionary group—Davis’s first electric band—to illuminate the thinking of one of our rarest geniuses and, by extension, the extraordinary transition in American music that he and his fellow players ushered in.

Gluck listens deeply to the uneasy tension between this group’s driving rhythmic groove and the sonic and structural openness, surprise, and experimentation they were always pushing toward. There he hears—and outlines—a fascinating web of musical interconnection that brings Davis’s funk-inflected sensibilities into conversation with the avant-garde worlds that players like Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane were developing. Going on to analyze the little-known experimental groups Circle and the Revolutionary Ensemble, Gluck traces deep resonances across a commercial gap between the celebrity Miles Davis and his less famous but profoundly innovative peers. The result is a deeply attuned look at a pivotal moment when once-disparate worlds of American music came together in explosively creative combinations.

If you cannot make the event, copies of the book may be purchased here.
Read the review in All About Jazz here.

Frieze New York

Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to participate in Frieze New York 2016.  Our booth, entitled Eccentric Figuration, is a joint venture with Thomas Dane Gallery, London.

Presenting work by artists from both the CvsD and Dane programs, Eccentric Figuration will consider new potentialities and limits of the human form in painting and sculpture.  The CvsD camp brings new works by Margot Bergman, Kati Heck, Charline Von Heyl, Joyce Pensato, Arlene Shechet, Rebecca Shore, Lui Shtini, John Sparagana, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, and pieces of varying vintage by Brian Calvin, Llyn Foulkes, Thomas Grünfeld, Robert Lostutter, Barbara Rossi, Diane Simpson, Karl Wirsum, and Jimmy Wright.  The two galleries will present a new painting by Arturo Herrera, represented by both CvsD and Dane.
Open to the public:

Thursday, May 5, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday, May 6, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday, May 7, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, May 8, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Tickets available here

Art Basel Miami Beach

Art Basel Miami Beach

Miami— At Art Basel Miami Beach 2015, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present new paintings by Margot Bergman, Brian Calvin, Rebecca Morris, Rebecca Shore, Lui Shtini, Karl Wirsum, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, a large cut-and-mixed Dick Tracy work by John Sparagana, a kinetic sculpture by Josiah McElheny, sculpture by Arlene Shechet and Diane Simpson. A special booth-within-a-booth will spotlight drawings by Barbara Rossi from the early 1970s, and one wall will be dedicated to a salon-style hang of various small-scale wonders, including works by Morris Barazani, Joanna Beall, Peter Brötzmann, Gabrielle Garland, Magalie Guérin, Walter Hamady, Kati Heck, Arturo Herrera, Philip Hanson, Carol Jackson, Ray Johnson, Albert Oehlen, Suellen Rocca, Keiichi Tanaami, Weegee, Terry Winters, and Jimmy Wright.

A full-color, 76-page catalog of Barbara Rossi’s drawings accompanies the booth presentation.

Booth B10

Open to the public:

Thursday, December 3, 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday, December 4, 12 noon – 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 5, 12 noon – 8:00 pm
Sunday, December 6, 12 noon – 6:00 pm

Tickets available here

Frieze Masters 2015

Open to the public:

Wednesday, October 14, 11:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday, October 15, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday, October 16, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 17, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, October 18, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Artist Talk with David Hartt

October 8, 2015
Price Auditorium
Free with museum admission; registration not required

Canadian-born artist David Hartt speaks about his installation Interval, comprising essayistic films and photographs shot in Sakhalin Island, Russia, and Whitehorse, Canada.

Registration is not required.


Gallery Talk with Molly Zuckerman-Hartung


7pm Thursday, October 1
6-9pm First Thursday Artswalk
Free and open to the public


October 3, 2015-January 2, 2016
California Museum of Photography

Reproduction, Reproduction brings together work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rodney McMillian, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung in an investigation of photographic reproduction. A free preview of the exhibition will be held on Thursday, October 1, with a gallery talk by Zuckerman-Hartung scheduled for 7pm.

A photograph is, at least in theory, infinitely reproducible. One copy is as good as the next. Provided the source material remains intact, limitless copies can be made, all of equal quality; the nine-hundredth iteration is no less true to the photograph than the very first. In art, however, photographs are almost always produced in conditions of artificial scarcity so that they can be sold in limited editions. This limitation helps guarantee the work’s value on the market, but operates against one essential character of the photographic medium.

Reproduction, Reproduction brings together projects that employ photographic reproducibility as the central concept of a work. They all engage images — photographs, news images, or book illustrations — to leverage photographic reproducibility against the logic of the art market’s limited edition print. It is worth noting that Gonzalez-Torres, McMillian, and Zuckerman-Hartung are not themselves photographers, but artists who usually make paintings, sculptures, or installations; this distance from art photography’s conventions allows them to employ reproduction in a different, and pointed, way.

This exhibition aims to question the very meaning of reproduction by relating the reproduction of images to other resonances of the word, such as biological reproduction, in which the child inhabits the womb of the mother, and cultural reproduction, in which social institutions perpetuate norms from generation to generation. Taken together, the reproduction of images in these works becomes a complex allegory for the reproduction of the cultural status quo — in particular the perpetuation of racial, class, and gender hierarchies in American culture.

Reproduction, Reproduction is organized by the California Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock and is curated by Joanna Szupinska-Myers, CMP Curator of Exhibitions. The exhibition is made possible in part by UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (CHASS) and the City of Riverside.

Image: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Rifle, 2015 (video still).

Expo Chicago 2015

Booth 406

Open to the public:

Friday, September 18, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 19, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, September 20, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Holiday hours


Corbett vs. Dempsey would like to wish you a happy holiday season.

The Gallery will be closed Thursday, December 24 and will resume it’s regular schedule Tuesday, January 5, 2016.

Closed Saturday, November 14


The Gallery will be closed Saturday, September 5th and resume it’s regular schedule Tuesday, November 17th.

Closed Saturday, September 5th


In observance of Labor Day, the Gallery will be closed Saturday, September 5th and resume it’s regular schedule Tuesday, September 8th.

Crow Requiem

Thursday, August 6, 2015 – 6:00PM to 7:30PM
Gallery 400
400 S. Peoria St.

In conjunction with the exhibition After Today, Gallery 400 presents the film Crow Requiem (2015) by artist Cauleen Smith. This work explores the figure of the crow through the histories of Syracuse and Auburn, New York, both of which were key stations on the Underground Railroad as well as innovators in early cinematic and 3D optical technologies. Crow Requiem connects this history to recent and ongoing violence against people of color at the hands of the state. Following the screening, Cauleen Smith will be in conversation with filmmaker Ian Curry and artist Krista Franklin.

Crows are well known for their mythological reputation as tricksters and harbingers of death, but less for the reality that they are creatures of remarkable intelligence who lead complex social lives. Cauleen Smith’s fascination with these misunderstood animals began when she noticed a massive flock of crows roosting outside her bedroom window during her artist residency at Light Work in Syracuse. She learned that the native population of crows circulates between Syracuse and nearby Auburn, NY; and that this migration is partly in response to harassment and, at times, state-sanctioned violence at the hands of a human population who view them as a nuisance. Crow Requiem was shot on location in Central New York, and features selections from Onondaga Historical Association’s extensive archive of 19th century stereoscopic images.

Cauleen Smith’s interdisciplinary practice merges improvisational music, speculative fiction, African-American history, and processional forms to create temporal and spatial ruptures that make room for new affinities, empathies, and consciousnesses. Smith’s films, objects, and installations have been featured in group exhibitions at the Studio Museum of Harlem, NY; Houston Contemporary Art Museum, TX; the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, CA; D21 Leipzig, Germany; Yerba Buena Center for Arts, CA; and the New Museum, NY. She has had solo shows at The Kitchen in New York City, MCA Chicago and Threewalls in Chicago; and Women & Their Work in Austin, TX. Her work has also been featured in high profile festivals such as Sundance and screened twice by demand at the prestigious Robert Flaherty Film Seminar Exhibition. In 1999, she was selected as one of Ten Directors to Watch by Variety magazine. Smith is the recipient of several grants and awards including a Creative Capital grant, the Rockefeller Media Arts Award, Chicago 3Arts Grant, and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Smith earned an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. She currently lives in Chicago while teaching at the Vermont College of Fine Art low-residency MFA program.

Ian Curry is a filmmaker whose work celebrates the sensuality, magic, and history of the physical medium of 16-millimeter film. His work focuses on manipulating film through experimental processes and testing its limits by way of designed apparatuses for presentation. He often uses hand processing, optical printing, contact printing, and in-camera editing to reveal a passing moment’s brilliance or a presented moment’s faltering truth. Curry has screened his films at the Constellation, DOC Films, Gallery 400, MCA Chicago, Mass Art Film Society, Millennium Film Workshop, MUFF, and the Nightingale Cinema. He teaches 16 millimeter filmmaking at Chicago Filmmakers and has been a Visiting Programmer at The Nightingale Cinema since early 2014 where he curated Playing Her Part: Films and Videos by Cauleen Smith. Curry earned a BFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and an MFA at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Krista Franklin is an interdisciplinary Chicago based artist that uses both literary and visual art to respond to popular culture and public history of the black community in the US and the larger African Diaspora. Franklin creates mixed media collages with acrylic, watercolor, handmade paper and found objects such as old letters and vintage magazine advertisements to convey a “fantastic,” imaginary dream world to inspire, challenge and educate her audiences. Her poetry employs metaphorical language and hip-hop to create a distinct sound and message. Franklin’s work has been featured in a number of galleries and literary journals such as Coon Bidness, Copper Nickel, RATTLE, and in the anthologies Encyclopedia Vol. II. She is also a Cave Canem fellow, and co-founder of the 2nd Sun Salon and Tres Colony. Further Franklin taught for Young Chicago Authors, the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, and ETA Creative Arts.

Jason Stein


In conjunction with the current show, Other Planes of There, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present a solo concert by Jason Stein.  An important figure on the American improvised music scene, Stein resides in Chicago, where he works with all the major players.  His 2011 Delmark CD The Story This Time, with saxophonist Keefe Jackson, bassist Joshua Abrams, and drummer Frank Rosaly, showed his inventive skills in a post-bop setting, while the 2013 duets with drummer Tim Daisy on Bascule offered evidence of what he can do in a more intimate context.  Stein has released a powerful and absorbing disc of solo bass clarinet, In Exchange for a Process (Leo, 2009), which promises to be closest to what we’ll hear in this outing.

Jason Stein was born in 1976 and is originally from Long Island, New York. He is one of the few musicians working today to focus exclusively on the bass clarinet as a jazz and improvisational instrument. He studied at Bennington College with Charles Gayle and Milford Graves, and at the University of Michigan with Donald Walden and Ed Sarath. In 2005, Stein relocated to Chicago and has since performed and recorded with Russ Johnson, Rob Mazurek, Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, Ken Vandermark, Kyle Bruckmann, James Falzone, Tim Daisy, Joshua Abrams, Mike Pride, Frank Rosaly, Mike Reed, Jason Roebke and many others and has recorded for such labels as Leo, Delmark, Atavistic, 482 Music and Clean Feed.

at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Thursday, July 30th, 6pm

free and open to the public

Photography by Johnathan Crawford.

Arturo Herrera Gallery Talk

at Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY
Saturday, June 6 2015, 5:30 – 6:30pm

Join artist Arturo Herrera as he leads visitors through the exhibition Opener 29: Arturo Herrera — Day Before.

After the talk, please join us for a public reception from 6:30 to 8 pm.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Please click here for more information.

Joshua Mosley, Screen Play: Life in an Animated World

at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Saturday, June 20 – Sunday, September 13, 2015


Buffalo, NY— Animation permeates twenty-first century culture; from movies and television to videogames and advertising, it fills virtually all of the screens ubiquitous in contemporary life. Screen Play: Life in an Animated World is the first exhibition devoted exclusively to examining the work of contemporary artists who use the techniques, technologies, and tropes of animation as tools in their practices. This unprecedented exhibition gathers together almost fifty captivating film, video, and immersive installations created during the past twenty-five years by more than three dozen artists from nearly twenty nations, filling the galleries of the 1905 Building and its Sculpture Court as well as the Gallery for New Media and the Auditorium.

With artworks that are by turns funny, poignant, critical, and provocative, the artists in Screen Playprompt viewers of all ages to enter alternative universes, to consider our deepening relationship with screens and screen fictions, and to see “in real life” with screen-refreshed eyes. This international survey includes some of the greatest voices in contemporary art alongside emerging artists who are developing new forms of representation. The artistic techniques on view range from stop motion to traditional hand-drawn cel animations, digital modeling, three-dimensional video projections, and infinitely iterative live simulations—presenting the fullest range of how artists use diverse animation technologies in their work today. While such technology has become simply inseparable from contemporary life, the artists in Screen Play both maximize and critique its power to enthrall: these are the pioneers of a new golden age of animation.

Click here for more information.


Haluk Akakçe
Chiho Aoshima
Cory Arcangel
Marco Brambilla
Cao Fei
Paul Chan
Ian Cheng
Martha Colburn
Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg
Cécile B. Evans
Kota Ezawa
Harun Farocki
Rokni Haerizadeh
Camille Henrot
Pierre Huyghe
William Kentridge
Oliver Laric
Charles Lavoie
Lee Lee Nam
Tala Madani
Helen Marten
Miao Xiaochun
Joshua Mosley
Takashi Murakami
Jacco Olivier
Julian Opie
Jon Rafman
Tabor Robak
Jason Salavon
Jacolby Satterwhite
Allison Schulnik
Shahzia Sikander
Jennifer Steinkamp
Ryan Trecartin
Peter Wächtler
Young hae Chang Heavy Industries
Zhang Xiaotao


Hairy Who Dvd Release

at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Bookstore
Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 6-7 PM

free and open to the public

Filmmakers and Hairy Who artists Art Green, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum on hand for autographs!

Pentimenti Productions is pleased to announce the release of Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, May 12th. Please come celebrate with us at an informal release party and signing event at the Museum of Contemporary Art Bookstore, from 6 to 7 pm. Imagist artists Art Green, Suellen Rocca, and Karl Wirsum will be on hand to sign packages, along with members of the film crew: Leslie Buchbinder (director), Brian Ashby (producer), and Ben Kolak (editor).

The release is a limited first edition of 1000 (500 DVD/500 Blu-ray) with special packaging designed by Sonnenzimmer, featuring graphics from the original 1960s Hairy Who comic books. It will retail for $30.

Each package will include:

– DVD or Blu-ray disc of the film (105 minutes, HD, closed captioned, stereo sound, NTSC, available in all regions)

– 2 flipbooks of excerpts from Lilli Carré’s original animations in the film

– 1 of 3 collectible Risograph posters by Sonnenzimmer, each featuring a quote from the film

– Essay by Robert Storr, critic, artist, and Dean of the Yale University School of Art

If you can’t join in person, the DVD & Blu-ray will also be available for sale online at and via select retailers. Stay tuned for links where you can purchase your copy.

Jöelle Léandre

at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Saturday, May 2, 2pm

free and open to the public

New Peers: Barbara Kasten in conversation with David Hartt, Takeshi Murata, and Sara VanDerBeek

April 8, 6:30 PM


Philadelphia— Barbara Kasten’s most recent work is some of her most stunning and complex to date, and it has positioned her alongside a new group of contemporary artists exploring the tension between the object and the image in our digital age. Even as Kasten’s earliest work would seem to prefigure and anticipate these contemporary modes of seeing, her practice has consistently engaged a core set of material, physical, and theatrical concerns. Join Barbara Kasten in person for a discussion about process, precedents, and peers with artists David Hartt, Takeshi Murata, and Sara VanDerBeek.

More information available here.

Independent 2015

Open to the public:

Friday, March 6th, 12-7 pm
Saturday, March 7th, 12-7 pm
Sunday, March 8th, 12-6 pm

More information available here.


Installation images:



Fred Lonberg-Holm & Lotte Anker

at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Tuesday, February 24, 6:30pm

free and open to the public

Lotte Anker and Fred Lonberg-Holm began playing together after recognizing their mutual interest in a wide variety of sounds from delicate to harsh. Their duo, a free improvised exploration into the sounds and structures available with sax, cello, and electronics, straddles experimental jazz/improvisation and contemporary music while referencing pop, folk and world music.  Since their first gig in 2011 (appropriately at a bar named Wray’s after the legendary creative hillbilly surf rocker Link Wray) they have continued performing as a duo whenever possible and also as part of larger groups with Ikue Mori, Ståle Liavik Solberg, Hank Roberts, Gerald Cleaver,  Makagami Koichi and many others.

Lotte Anker is a Copenhagen-based saxophone player and composer.   Her music includes both melodic (often twisted or fragmented) elements and more abstract textural material and covers a wide territory from minimal, transparency to dense and dark expressionism.  She has been initiator and bandleader of a number of highly acclaimed collaborations and groups such as Anker, Taborn, Cleaver (w/ Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver), and Trio with Sylvie Courvoisier and Ikue Mori. Other recent projects are the 8-piece group What River Ensemble, duo with Fred Frith, and a quartet with Johannes Bauer, Clayton Thomas and Paul Lovens.

Anker has performed at major festivals and concert spaces in most of Europe, USA, Canada, Asia, Africa and the Middle-East and has also played and toured with Marilyn Crispell, Herb Robertson, Tim Berne, Okkyung Lee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Joelle Leandre, Raymond Strid, Sten Sandell, Andrew Cyrille, Phil Minton, Peter Friis-Nielsen and many others.

Fred Lonberg-Holm is an improvisor and composer living in Chicago. Principle projects include his Valentine Trio, Seval, Stirrup, and the Lightbox Orchestra.  He is also a member of The Peter Brötzmann Chicago 10tet, Joe McPhee’s Survival Unit III,  Friction Brothers, and Fast Citizens.  He has worked with improvisors including Clare Cooper, Charlotte Hug, Andrea Neumann, Shelly Hirsch, Carrie Shull, Jaimie Branch, Carrie Biolo, Birgitte Uhler, Rachel Wadham,  Mary Halverson, Joelle Leandre, Joanne Powers, Zeena Parkins, Judy Dunaway, Lotte Anker as well as a number of guys.  Lonberg-Holm has recorded solo records for the Emanem and FlyingAspidistra labels.  Over the years he has been credited for work on dozens of jazz, rock, pop, contemporary classical and country records, including those by The Boxhead Ensemble, Wilco, Freakwater, Vandermark 5, US Maple, Guillermo Gregorio, God Is My Co-Pilot, Anthony Coleman, Kaki King, Jim O’Rourke, Bobby Conn, The Flying Luttenbachers, ZU, and…

Photograph by Peter Gannushkin.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung Public Talk

at Cannonball, 1035 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL
Wednesday, February 18th, 7:00pm

free and open to the public

Anne Carson wrote, in the fourth part of a three part essay called Decreation: How Women Like Sappho, Marguerite Porete and Simone Weil Tell God:

“It is no accident that Marguerite Porete calls her book a Mirror. To be a writer is to construct a big, loud, shiny centre of self from which the writing is given voice and any claim to be intent on annihilating this self while still continuing to write and give voice to writing must involve the writer in some important acts of subterfuge or contradiction.”

Elizabeth Bishop wrote of the Baroque writers, that their purpose was to portray, not a thought, but a mind thinking. They knew that an idea separated from the act of experiencing it is not the idea that was experienced.

TJ Clark wrote this about Edouard Manet’s 1873 painting Chemin de Fer: “The governess is reading and dreaming. For a moment she may be all outwardness and facingness, but she still has two fingers keeping her place in her book.”

And Lionel Trilling’s definition of a literary idea: When two conflicting feelings are placed together and find a relationship to one another, this relationship can properly be called an idea.

An idea or two will be encouraged to emerge in this talk.

Discussion and Book Signing


Houston— Please join us to celebrate the publication of Reading Revolutionariesa collaboration between Reto Geiser and John Sparagana. The book, published in January 2015, proposes an alternative reading of John Sparagana’s work, Crowds & Powder: The Revolutionaries, by translating it into the format of a mass-market paperback. Arranged over eighty double-page spreads, each individual page frames a full-scale fragment of this work.

This small volume perpetuates Sparagana’s manipulation of printed media and contributes to the ongoing study of the relationship between media and the arts. Not only does it allude to a growing discourse on the control and manipulation of visual narrative, as increasingly witnessed from political imagery to popular culture, but it also investigates the way we read and process (visual) language.

Geiser and Sparagana will be at the gallery to discuss the collaboration and to sign copies of the book, available for sale at the event.

Reading Revolutionaries
Discussion and Book Signing with Reto Geiser & John Sparagana
Thursday, February 5, 12:30-1:30

John Sparagana is the Grace Christian Vietti Chair in Visual Arts, and Chair of the Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts at Rice University. His work has been shown internationally, most recently with exhibitions in Berlin, Chicago, Houston, New York, and Zürich, and is included in the collections of the The Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, among others.

Reto Geiser is a designer and scholar of modern architecture with a focus on the intersections between architecture, pedagogy, and media. He is the Gus Wortham Assistant Professor at the Rice University School of Architecture. A founding principal of the collaborative design practice MG&Co., Reto is developing spatial strategies in a range of scales from the book to the house, exploring the boundaries of design and research with a special focus on the intersections and overlaps between architecture, installation, textiles and typography.

For more information, please call 713-529-1313, or write to

Closed July 2-4th


Corbett vs. Dempsey would like to wish you a happy Fourth of July!

In observance of the holiday, the Gallery will be closed Saturday, July 2nd – July 4th and resume it’s regular schedule Tuesday, July 5th.


Closed July 4th


Corbett vs. Dempsey would like to wish you a happy Fourth of July!

The Gallery will be closed Saturday, July 4th and resume it’s regular schedule Tuesday, July 7th.


Holiday Hours


Corbett vs. Dempsey would like to wish you a happy holiday season.
The Gallery will be open Tuesday December 23.
We will be closed December 24 – January 1.
The Gallery will resume it’s regular schedule January 2nd.


Art Basel Miami Beach


At Miami Basel 2014, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to unveil new paintings by Brian Calvin, Philip Hanson, Rebecca Morris, Joyce Pensato, and Jackie Saccoccio, a new sculpture by Josiah McElheny, a new photograph by David Hartt, and vintage sculptures by Ed Flood and Diane Simpson.  A special booth-within-a-booth will spotlight watercolors by Robert Lostutter from the late 1960s and early 1970s, and one wall will be dedicated to a salon-style hang of various small-scale wonders, including works by Thomas H. Kapsalis, Carroll Dunham, Malcolm Morley, Rebecca Shore, Amy Sillman, Jimmy Wright, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.

Booth B10

Open to the public:

Thursday, December 4, 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday, December 5, 12 noon – 8:00 pm
Saturday, December 6, 12 noon – 8:00 pm
Sunday, December 7, 12 noon – 8:00 pm

Tickets available here

Tim Fitzgerald Trio plays Wes Montgomery

In celebration of Josiah McElheny’s current exhibition, which includes a sculpture dedicated to jazz legend Wes Montgomery, guitarist Tim Fitzgerald and his trio will play music associated with Montgomery, with special attention to the period he recorded for the Verve and CTI record labels.  McElheny will be present for the event.

at Corbett vs. Dempsey
Saturday, November 15, 3pm

free and open to the public

Book Launch and Concert: John Sparagana & Reto Geiser

CHICAGO— A unique new publication by artist John Sparagana and designer/architectural historian Reto Geiser, Reading Revolutionaries is a mediation on the book, on reproduction and mediation, and the relationship between image and text.  Extrapolated from a single artwork by Sparagana, which is divided evenly between 170 pages and transformed from color to a rich black and white, it is a strangely compelling “read,” an abstract paperback.  As Geiser says in his essay:  “This small publication is an experiment in how we value, prepare, disseminate, and consume information and, hopefully, serves as an impetus for further reflection upon the ever-changing nature of reading and visual experience.”

Copies of the book will be available for free.

A musical performance by Claire Chase (flute) and Ryan Muncy (saxophone) will include a composition by Pauline Oliveros.


Document Space
845 West Washington Boulevard
Saturday, 8 November, 3:00pm

Moreno Veloso & The Nick Mazzarella Trio

November 7, 2014, 7pm
Rubloff Auditorium
The Art Institute of Chicago


For the inaugural edition of the new series Extensions Out, the Art Institute of Chicago presents an evening of music with Brazilian singer/songwriter/producerMoreno Veloso and a set of freebop compositions by Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy performed by the Nick Mazzarella Trio.

Moreno Veloso is the crowned prince of Brazilian popular music.  His father is the legendary singer Caetano Veloso, one of the principle architects of Tropicália, the exploratory arts movement that started in the 1960s.  Moreno inherited from his dad a taste for experimentation, an angelic voice, and an innate sense of musicality.  He’s a gifted songwriter with a devilish streak; as the New York Times wrote of his new record: “…tucked into nearly every track is a modest irritant — electronic noise, a stray guitar, stubbornly clattering percussion — to insist that the unassuming little arrangements didn’t just fall together.”  One of the most sought after producers in Brazil, Moreno was behind Gal Costa’s brilliant Recanto, Gilberto Gil’s new Gilbertos Samba, and Caetano’s magnificent recent records.  His own group, Moreno+2, which debuted in 2000 with Music Typewriter, featured two of the superstars of the Brazilian underground, Domenico and Kassim; featuring rotating leadership, the group issued also CDs as Domenico+2 (Sincerely Hot, 2003) and Kassim+2 (Futurismo, 2007). Moreno’s ebulliant new CD, Coisa Boa, was released last month on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label.  Although he isn’t touring the U.S. yet, Moreno is making this special exclusive at the Art Institute, his first ever solo performance in Chicago and a one-off American appearance.  Armed only with his brilliant songs and his luminous vox,Moreno promises a captivating evening, not to be missed.

Opening for Moreno Veloso, Nick Mazzarella Trio will play compositions by two of the most important alto saxophonists of the 1960s, Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy.  Featuring bassist Anton Hatwich and drummer Frank Rosaly, with Mazzarella on the alto sax, the Chicago-based ensemble is up to the challenge of reconsidering the songbooks of these two towering figures, updating and adding their own spin on the freebop tradition.

Extensions Out is curated by John Corbett.

Tickets are available here.

New York Times reviews Moreno Veloso’s Coisa Boa (Sept. 21, 2014):

“The Brazilian songwriter Moreno Veloso meticulously assures that his music sounds disarmingly offhand. Coisa Boa (Luaka Bop) is his first solo studio album in a prolific, largely collaborative career. He made three albums with the +2, a three-songwriter band that gave each member top billing; lately, he has produced albums for his father, the great Brazilian songwriter Caetano Veloso. All those collaborators and more — notably the guitarist and producer Pedro Sá — turn up on Coisa Boa (“Good Thing”), a few at a time. Each song uses only a handful of instruments, sounding utterly natural, while Moreno Veloso sings with quiet purity, as if untouched by gravity. His songs, written with various collaborators, ponder longing, separation, memory and music, particularly lullabies. Yet these private musings are calibrated; each song touches down in a different style: suave funk, Satie-like delicacy, ragtimey Brazilian choro, a skeletal but boisterous samba. And tucked into nearly every track is a modest irritant — electronic noise, a stray guitar, stubbornly clattering percussion — to insist that the unassuming little arrangements didn’t just fall together. They’re quite particular about what’s in or out.”

Frieze Masters

Corbett vs. Dempsey & Thomas Dane Gallery presentRumble in the Jungle 1974

For their fifth collaboration, the third at Frieze Masters, Corbett vs. Dempsey and Thomas Dane Gallery propose to set their shared booth in October, 1974, exactly forty years ago.

The two galleries will imagine, or dream-up, what their program would/could/should have been at that precise moment, drawing upon the particularities of both Chicago and London art scenes of the mid-seventies and which artists from the two generations prior would have influenced their stable of young artists.  At the forefront of the curatorial experiment is the defining influence of a series of seminal exhibitions leading to 1974, including the tumultuous 1968 Venice Biennale; 1969’sWhen Attitudes Become Form; the string of Imagist exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, 1966-1970; Peter Selz’s Funk exhibition in Berkeley in 1967; documenta 5 of 1972; and the 12th Sao Paulo Biennial of 1973.  CvsD and Dane would have found these events highly generative, taking keen interest in the work of Los Angeles African-American artists and Cool School, Chicago Imagists, Bay Area Funk, British Post-Pop and conceptual, and eccentric figures like the Belgian text artist Ferdinand Kriwet.  In 1974, the galleries would have been generally uninterested in work from the 1950s, but might have kept an eye on wondrous oddballs from the ’20s and ’30s.

Rumble in the Jungle takes its name from the infamous heavyweight fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Kinshasa, Congo, in September, 1974. An event which would have been fresh in our memory at Frieze Masters 1974, it sets the tone and flavor of the booth presentation as a chaotic, stylish and dynamic exhibition, which features Robert Arneson, Richard Artschwager, Lynda Benglis, Billy Al Bengston, Roger Brown, Dominick Di Meo, Mel Edwards, David Hammons, Dick Higgins, Phillip King, Ferdinand Kriwet, Bob Law, Robert Lostutter, Gary Molitor, Jim Nutt, John Outterbridge, Christina Ramberg, William Wiley, and Karl Wirsum.

Stand G2

Open to the public:

Wednesday, October 15, 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Thursday, October 16, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Friday, October 17, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday, October 18, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, October 19, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Tickets available here

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists

Join us for Chicago’s first run of the Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists at the Gene Siskel Film Center, with select guest appearances. (more…)

Expo Chicago 2014

Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, is pleased to collaborate with David Nolan Gallery, New York, at Expo Chicago 2014.  Entitled “Grits Ain’t Groceries,” the joint booth presents a panoply of paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture from each gallery’s roster and inventory, all focused on the question of facture.  The exhibition considers abstraction from the simple standpoint of the smooth and the textured.  Works with an utterly flat topography will co-mingle with those whose surfaces are rough, bumpy, striated, and otherwise uneven.

Featured artists include: Richard Artschwager, Morris Barazani, Margot Bergman, James Bishop, Sarah Canright, Steve DiBenedetto, Caroll Dunham, Hedwig Eberle, Julia Fish, Neil Gall, David Hartt, Thomas H. Kapsalis, Mel Kendrick, Martin Kippenberger, Richard Koppe, Rebecca Morris, Barry Le Va, Kenneth Nack, Jim Nutt, Albert Oehlen, Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Alexander Ross,  Barbara Rossi, Jackie Saccoccio, Rebecca Shore, Diane Simpson, John Sparagana, Rudolph Staffel, Al Taylor, Rosmarie Trockel, Richard Tuttle, Jorinde Voigt, Charline von Heyl, Christopher Wool, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.

Booth 406 & 407

Open to the public:

Friday, September 19, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday, September 20, 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, September 21, 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

Tickets available here

Image: Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#12-13), 2013, oil on canvas, 87 x 80 inches.

Diane Simpson artist talk with Lilli Carré, Laura Davis, and Carol Jackson

Artist Diane Simpson will participate in an artist talk at Monique Meloche gallery, as part of the exhibition My Hands Are My Bite, curated by Dan Gunn.

Saturday, 12 July, 1:00pm

2154 West Division Street, Chicago, Illinois 60622

Free and open to the public

Image: Diane Simpson, model for Window Dressing.

Book Release: David Grubbs in conversation with John Corbett

Writer and musician David Grubbs will read from his new book, Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording, at Corbett vs. Dempsey on Saturday, May 24th, at 3:00pm. Co-owner John Corbett will join him in conversation about the book, after the reading.

Press Release:

Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, the Sixties, and Sound Recording (Duke University Press) is David Grubbs’s long-awaited study of the role that sound recordings play in representing experimental music of the 1960s.  For this book launch event, Grubbs will give a reading from Records Ruin the Landscape and take part in a discussion with Branden W. Joseph, Lisa Kahlden, and Marina Rosenfeld.  The discussion will intermittently take the form of a jukebox jury, but one in which judgment is offered in the form of historical reflection equally oriented toward both music and jukebox.

John Cage’s disdain for records was legendary.  He repeatedly spoke of the ways in which recorded music was antithetical to his work.  In Records Ruin the Landscape, Grubbs argues that, following Cage, new genres in experimental and avant-garde music in the 1960s were particularly ill-suited to be represented in the form of a recording.  These activities include indeterminate music, long-duration minimalism, text scores, happenings, live electronic music, free jazz, and free improvisation.  How could these proudly evanescent performance practices have been adequately represented on an LP?

In their day, few of these works circulated in recorded form.  By contrast, contemporary listeners can encounter this music not only through a flood of LP and CD releases of archival recordings, but also in even greater volume through Internet file-sharing and online resources.  Present-day listeners are coming to know that era’s experimental music through the recorded artifacts of composers and musicians who largely disavowed recordings.  In Records Ruin the Landscape, Grubbs surveys a musical landscape marked by altered listening practices.

David Grubbs is an associate professor in the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, CUNY, where he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing.  Grubbs has released twelve solo albums and is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with writers such as Susan Howe and Rick Moody, and with visual artists such as Anthony McCall, Angela Bulloch, and Stephen Prina.  He was a member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and has performed with the Red Krayola, Will Oldham, Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, and Loren Connors, among many others.

More information about the book here:

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists

MCA Screen
Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists

Tue, May 20, 2014, 6–8:30 pm

Join us for the Chicago premiere screening of the Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists, followed by a post-screening discussion with director Leslie Buchbinder, curator Lynne Warren, and special guests (to be announced soon).

In the mid 1960s, the city of Chicago was an incubator for an iconoclastic group of young artists. Collectively known as the Imagists, they were shown in successive waves of exhibitions with monikers that might have been psychedelic rock bands of the era—Hairy Who, Nonplussed Some, False Image, Marriage Chicago Style. Kissing cousins to the contemporaneous international phenomenon of pop art, Chicago Imagism took its own weird, wondrous, in-your-face approach. Variously pugnacious, puerile, graphic, comical, and absurd, it celebrated a very different version of “popular” from the detached cool of New York, London, and Los Angeles.

From Jim Nutt’s cigar-chomping, amputated women to Christina Ramberg’s studies of corsetry and bondage; from Barbara Rossi’s bejeweled dot paintings to Roger Brown’s secretive, silhouetted figures in windows; Chicago’s diverse artists followed no trend, preferring a path they ferociously cleared for themselves. Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists tells the story of the artists that emerged from the catalyzing exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center from 1966–73, starting with the Hairy Who, who would come to be known as the Chicago Imagists. It brings to life the milieu of Chicago in the 1960s, and also showcases the legacy of the Imagists’ work in contemporary art production today, from Jeff Koons to Chris Ware. Themes in the narrative include the Imagists’ emergence within the national context of abstract expressionism and pop art, the rise and fall of taste within art history, and the uncharacteristic equality afforded to women artists among this Chicago group.

Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists is the first film to tell this wild, woolly, utterly irreverent tale. Over 40 interviews with the artists and a prominent group of critics, curators, collectors, and contemporary artists are featured, intertwined with a wealth of rediscovered archival footage and photographs. The film is narrated by Chicago theater legend Cheryl Lynn Bruce, and propelled by an original score for cello and voice composed by  Tomeka Reid.

For more information on the film.



HAIRY WHO & THE CHICAGO IMAGISTS – Official trailer from Pentimenti Productions on Vimeo.

David Hartt Stray Light artist talk with Felix Burrichter and Dan Byers

David Hartt: Stray Light presents color photographs, sculptures, and a video installation by Hartt reflecting on the iconic headquarters of the Johnson Publishing Company (EBONY, JET) in downtown Chicago.

Friday, May 16th, 2014

5:00-9:00pm Stray Light opening reception with the artist

6:30pm-7:30pm Artist talk with David Hartt and Felix Burrichter, creative director of PIN-UP Magazine, and Dan Byers (The Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at CMOA) to talk about Stray Light and its forensic investigation into the power of cultural icons, in the CMOA Theater.

Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. More information here.

Image: David Hartt, Archive at The Johnson Publishing Company Headquarters, Chicago, Illinois, 2011, Archival Pigment Print mounted to Dibond and framed, 60 x 80 inches.

Sasha Frere-Jones

April 19th


Free and open to the public

In 1991, Sasha Frere-Jones formed the band Ui, which toured America and Europe and released five albums. He is also a co-founder of the arts collective BATAN.

In 1995, he started writing about music. He wrote for the Village VoiceSpin, the New York Times, the New York PostThe Wire, Slate, and Pretty Decorating. In 2004, Frere-Jones joined The New Yorker as a staff writer and pop-music critic.

His work has been anthologized in the Da Capo “Best Music Writing” series six times. He is currently working on several books.

Joe McPhee

During Art Cologne, Gisela Capitain, John Corbett, Jim Dempsey, and David Nolan

present a special concert featuring multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee

Thursday, 10 April 2014 at 9:30pm

at Galerie Gisela Capitain, St. Apern Strasse 26, Cologne, Germany


free and open to the public

Charline von Heyl in conversation with Katy Siegel

Artist Charline von Heyl discusses her work in conversation with curator Katy Siegel. Von Heyl’s paintings and collages are featured in the first iteration of the Rose Projects series, The Matter That Surrounds Us: Wols and Charline von Heyl.

When: Wednesday, April 2, 6:00 pm

Where: Rose Art Museum, Lower Rose Gallert, 415 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453

Free and open to the public.

More information here:

John Corbett on Sun Ra

In conjunction with the exhibition The Possible at the Berkeley Art Museum, Chicago-based writer and curator John Corbett will discuss the tension between collectivism and hierarchy in the work of Sun Ra, with special attention to the period he spent teaching at Berkeley in the late 1960s.

The Possible is an experimental exhibition that reconceives the museum as a site for creative convergence. You will have the chance to be a part of this evolving exhibition by engaging directly with an exciting array of visiting artists.

As an open platform for shared creativity and the exploration of diverse artistic techniques, The Possible combines studio, classroom, library, gallery, and stage. A multisensory library provides context and inspiration, while the galleries are reconfigured as a series of workspaces: a ceramics studio, dye lab, print shop, and recording studio. Collaborating with one another and the public, a diverse range of guest artists will use these studios to create new work in a public forum. The finished works will filter into a gallery installation, building the exhibition over time. We hope to inspire a spirit of experimentation, improvisation, and play by providing opportunities for artists to go deeper into familiar mediums, experience new practices, and work collaboratively. The studios will function as classrooms during a series of Sunday public workshops and audiences will also be invited to participate in discussions, performances, and field trips during the course of the exhibition. And bring the whole family to Kids Club, a special gallery devoted to engaging children in the creative process that is at the heart of this project.

The Possible is organized by guest curator David Wilson, with Director Lawrence Rinder. The project is supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Carla and David Crane; the National Endowment for the Arts; a Craft Research Fund grant from The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, Inc; and Joachim and Nancy Hellman Bechtle.

More information here:

Image: Sun Ra on location in Oakland, CA, for the filming of Space is the Place.



Christopher Wool in conversation with Christine Mehring

In conjunction with his solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, artist Christopher Wool engages in discussion with Christine Mehring, University of Chicago professor and author of “Capitalist Realist Information Art” in the 2013 exhibition catalogue for Manfred Kuttner: Phänomene und Realitäten.

March 15, 2014
Fullerton Hall
Free with museum admission

Registration is not required for this program. More information here:


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung


Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Cannonball, 1035 North Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33136

***Free and open to the public***


Press Release:

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung is a painter in constant confusion. She puts it back into the frame so she can keep the uncontrollable in sight. Affect, speed, love, touch, and language and/or its absence are hearsed and rehearsed. As evidence, remnant, and experience, paintings are hung on walls, in spaces. These walls and spaces provide context (public, market, sign, discourse et al) and change the meaning of the work fundamentally. Coping with that change is the work which produces confusion. She asserts that this is the value of painting.  Included in this year’s Whitney Biennial, Zuckerman-Hartung is a Visiting Artist-in-Residence at Cannonball.  Born in Los Gatos, CA, in 1975, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung lives and works in Chicago. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007, where she now teaches and is co-founder of Julius Caesar Gallery, an artist-run exhibition space in Chicago. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Anna Kustera, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Kadel Willborn, Karlsruhe, Germany; and Rowley Kennerk, Chicago. She is represented by Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago.

For more information about the artist, please visit her website.

For more details about this event, please contact us at or 786.347.2360.


About the venue:

Based in downtown Miami, Cannonball is a non-profit arts organization known for its advocacy and innovative programs supporting today’s artists. Core initiatives include: SeminArt, providing free educational and professional development services to artists; LegalLink, an in-house legal advice and referral service for artists and arts organizations; and the Residency Program, which offers long-term live/work space for local artists and short-term residencies for visiting cultural producers.

Cannonball is supported, in part, by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Harpo Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

LOOSE BOOTY (Milford Graves/Joe McPhee, Richard Hell, Thurston Moore)

Milford Graves & Joe McPhee
Richard Hell
James Nares’s Street, with Thurston Moore


Rubloff Auditorium, the Art Institute of Chicago
Thursday, March 13, 7pm



In celebration of Christopher Wool’s retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago, Wool and School of the Art Institute professor John Corbett have curated Loose Booty, an evening of performance at 7pm on March 13, 2014, at the museum’s Rubloff Auditorium.  Three distinct performances will range across film, literature, and especially music, dovetailing in various ways with Wool’s exhibition.  James Nares’s 2011 film “Street,” which features a soundtrack by guitarist Thurston Moore, will be presented for the first time in Chicago, with Moore playing live with the screening.  Writer and punk progenitor Richard Hell will read from his recent work, which includes the 2013 autobiography I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp.  As a grand finale, groundbreaking drummer Milford Graves will play together with Poughkeepsie multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee for the first time, a major event in contemporary jazz and only Graves’ second appearance in Chicago.



$25 per member; $30 per nonmember; $10 Students and S/AIC Staff and Faculty

Tickets are available online:


Image: Milford Graves.

John Corbett

Drop Me Off In Harlem | The Sun Ra Archives with John Corbett

Saturday, March 8th, 12:00PM at the Studio Museum in Harlem

Tickets ($7.00) available here:


Press Release:

Drop Me Off In Harlem | The Sun Ra Archives with John Corbett

Two caches of Sun Ra materials in Chicago are housed at the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library and at the Experimental Sound Studio’s Creative Audio Archive.  These archives, which came into existence out of the vast collection of Alton Abraham, Sun Ra’s manager and friend, and they constitute an invaluable repository of papers, artworks, magnetic tapes, and other objects available for study and inspiration.  Conceived in 2009 as a generative clearinghouse for information, the archives have prompted numerous responses, including artistic and musical projects that have emanated from the previously unknown materials.

In this presentation, John Corbett, one of the founders of these Sun Ra archives, will discuss their formation, the analogies between these archives and the kinds of archival materials that interested Sun Ra, and several of the specific artistic works to have been produced in reaction to the archives, including the film Noon Moons (2012, by The Eternals, Terri Kapsalis and Rob Shaw), Cauleen Smith’s Solar Flare Arkestra videos, and the New Myth/Old Science (2013) musical project of Mike Reed’s group Living By Lanterns.

Location: Theatre, Lower Level

About the Presenter:

John Corbett is a writer and independent curator based in Chicago, where he is co-owner of Corbett vs. Dempsey art gallery.  He is the author of Extended Play:  Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein (Duke U. Press, 1994), as well as several books on Sun Ra.  He co-curated the Empty Bottle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music (1996-2005) in Chicago, served as Artistic Director of JazzFest Berlin (2002), and co-curated (with Christopher Wool) events such as Nation Time at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2013) and Loose Booty at the Art Institute of Chicago (2014).  Over the last 15 years, Corbett has produced more than 100 CDs of creative music, both on his Unheard Music Series and recently on the Corbett vs. Dempsey label.  His curatorial efforts include museum shows at the Chicago History Museum, Sullivan Galleries (Chicago), Brauer Museum of Art (Valparaiso, Indiana), and an upcoming exhibition titled Monster Roster at the Smart Museum, Chicago (2015).  With Terri Kapsalis and Anthony Elms, he curated the exhibition Pathways to Unknown Worlds:  Sun Ra, El Saturn & Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954-1968, which traveled from the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago (2007) to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, and the Durham Art Guild (both 2009).


About the exhibition The Shadows Took Shape:

The Shadows Took Shape is a dynamic interdisciplinary exhibition exploring contemporary art through the lens of Afrofuturist aesthetics. Coined in 1994 by writer Mark Dery in his essay “Black to the Future,” the term “Afrofuturism” refers to a creative and intellectual genre that emerged as a strategy to explore science fiction, fantasy, magical realism and pan-Africanism. With roots in the avant-garde musical stylings of sonic innovator Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount, 19141993), Afrofuturism has been used by artists, writers and theorists as a way to prophesize the future, redefine the present and reconceptualize the past. The Shadows Took Shape will be one of the few major museum exhibitions to explore the ways in which this form of creative expression has been adopted internationally and highlight the range of work made over the past twenty-five years.

The exhibition draws its title from an obscure Sun Ra poem and a posthumously released series of recordings. Providing an apt metaphor for the long shadow cast by Sun Ra and others, the exhibition features more than sixty works of art, including ten new commissions, charting the evolution of Afrofuturist tendencies by an international selection of established and emerging practitioners. These works span not only personal themes of identity and self-determination in the African-American community, but also persistent concerns of techno-culture, geographies, utopias and dystopias, as well as universal preoccupations with time and space.

The twenty-nine artists featured in The Shadows Took Shape work in a wide variety of media, including photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture and multimedia installation. Participating artists include Derrick Adams, John Akomfrah, Laylah Ali, Edgar Arceneaux, Sanford Biggers, Edgar Cleijne + Ellen Gallagher, William Cordova (in collaboration with Nyeema Morgan and Otabenga Jones & Associates), Cristina De Middel, Khaled Hafez, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Kira Lynn Harris, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Wayne Hodge, David Huffman, Cyrus Kabiru, Wanuri Kahiu, Hew Locke, Mehreen Murtaza, Wangechi Mutu, Harold Offeh, The Otolith Group, Robert Pruitt, Sun Ra, RAMM:ΣLL:ZΣΣ, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Larissa Sansour, Cauleen Smith, William Villalongo and Saya Woolfalk.

Accompanying the exhibition is a 160-page, fully illustrated exhibition catalogue (designed by Kimberly Varella of Content Object, Los Angeles), with twenty-nine artist entries and essays by the exhibition’s curators; an introduction by Studio Museum Director and Chief Curator Thelma Golden; and newly commissioned essays by foremost scholars and writers Tegan Bristow; Samuel R. Delany; Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid; Kodwo Eshun; and Alondra Nelson; and a tumblr page,

The Shadows Took Shape is organized by Naima J. Keith, Assistant Curator at the Studio Museum and Zoe Whitley, independent curator.

This exhibition is on view through March 9, 2014.

PLAYING HER PART: Short Films and Videos by Cauleen Smith

Press Release:

Sunday, February 23rd at 7pm, $10

The Nightingale is thrilled to present this program of short works by Cauleen Smith, who will be present at Q&A following the screening.

Cauleen Smith is a prolific interdisciplinary media artist whose projects vary from short moving image works to installations to flash mob musical interventions in public spaces. Her work has been featured in contexts like The Robert Flaherty Seminar (1992), microcinemas like Massart Film Society, museums such as Chicago’s MCA (2012), and included in major exhibitions like the Whitney Biennial (2008). This program focuses on her continued engagement in the short film and video formats that started early in her artistic career with the success of Chronicles of a Lying Spirit by Kelly Gabron. Her short films and videos stylistic range traces lines across the history of the moving image, centered around her voice and vision that often articulates and visualizes the African American experience at an intimate and thought provoking level.

After earning a BFA with Trinh T. Minh-ha at San Francisco State University she went on to earn a masters at UCLA; inspired to go there by filmmakers of the LA Rebellion in particular Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Billy Woodberry. Cauleen brings this unique background a mix of production style filmmaking with experimental narratives to her short films. Her interest and use of formal techniques from across this varied landscape of moving images skillfully embellishes her work. While her early short films use formal strategies from America’s avant-garde and reference moments from films associated with the LA Rebellion, her later shorts tend towards reimagining popular and commercial narratives. Her work consistently reinvents stylistic devices to the tone of her voice with a critical insight into American culture.

Program Details:

1. Excerpt One from Remix for the Ark (2013) 2.5 minutes

2. Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (1989) by Kelly Gabron  6.5 minutes

3. Daily Rains (1990) 12.5 minutes

4. The White Suit (1998) 4.5 minutes

5. Excerpt Two from Remix for the Ark (2013) 3 minutes

6. The Changing Same (2001) 9.5 minutes

7. The Green Dress (2005) 14.5 minutes

8. Remote Viewing (2011) 15 minutes

9. Third Excerpt from Remix for the Ark (2013) 4 minutes

 Programmed by Ian Curry


For all general information and booking please contact:

1084 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60642

More information here:

Rebecca Morris

Gallery artist Rebecca Morris to speak at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts on Monday, February 10th at 5:00pm.

The lecture will be held at the University of Chicago, 915 East 60th Street, room 901. More information here.

Rebecca Morris was born in Honolulu Hawaii (1969) and lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BA from Smith College (1991), her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1994) and attended The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1994). Morris was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2008) and has also received awards from The California Community Foundation (2013); The City of Los Angeles, COLA Award (2013); Tiffany Foundation (1999); The Durfee Foundation (2005); Art Matters (1996); the Illinois Arts Council (1996) and The Faculty Lecturer/ Performer Award at Pasadena City College (2009). Morris is represented by Galerie Barbara Weiss (Berlin, Germany) and Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago) and is the author of Manifesto: For Abstractionists and Friends of the Non-Objective.  Solo exhibitions include: Kunsthalle Lingen (Germany); The Bonnefanten Museum (The Netherlands); The Renaissance Society (Chicago); Galerie Barbara Weiss (Berlin); Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago); Harris Lieberman, (New York); The Santa Monica Museum of Art (Santa Monica).

Group exhibitions include: The 2014 Whitney Biennial (New York); The Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (Switzerland); Friedrich Petzel (New York); The Hessel Art Museum (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York); The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago); Night Gallery (Los Angeles); Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Venus Over Manhattan (New York); Mitchell-Innes & Nash (New York); Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis); Participant Inc. (New York); Grieder Contemporary (Zurich); and Donald Young Gallery (Chicago).

Morris has lectured at numerous colleges and graduate programs including: Columbia University; UCLA; USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts; The Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College; The University of Chicago; California College of The Arts; Otis; The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; The University of California at Riverside; The University of California at Irvine; Claremont Graduate University; The Savannah College of Art; The University of Illinois at Chicago; The School of Visual Arts; Cal State LA; Smith College; and co-organized the lecture series “Talks on Painting”, in Los Angeles. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Goetz Collection in Munich, Germany.


Josiah McElheny and Carol Bove in conversation with Nicholas Cullinan


Artists Carol Bove and Josiah McElheny join Met Curator Nicholas Cullinan, on Sunday, February 9, 3:00-4:30 p.m to discuss how Carlo Scarpa’s architecture, museological displays, and work in glass continue to influence and inspire artists today.

This program is held in conjunction with the exhibition Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa: The Venini Company, 1932-1947.

This program is made possible by Bank of America. Free with Museum admission.

Carlo Scarpa (Italian, 1906-1978) created a singular and multifaceted body of work in architecture and design. Born in Venice, Scarpa studied architecture at the Accademia di Belle Arti there, graduating in 1926. His exploration of the medium of glass began while he worked at MVM Cappellin glassworks between 1926 and 1931. However, it was Scarpa’s next post at Venini where he redefined the parameters of glassblowing in terms of aesthetics and technical innovation.

In 1932, while in his mid-twenties, Scarpa was hired by Paolo Venini, the company’s founder, as an artistic consultant. Located on the Venetian island of Murano, where the glassblowing tradition reaches back hundreds of years, the Venini factory quickly became a center of innovation, with Scarpa leading the way. Until 1947, he worked closely with Venini master glassblowers and Mr. Venini himself to create over two dozen styles, in the process pioneering techniques, silhouettes, and colors that thoroughly modernized the ancient tradition of glassblowing. Their collaboration was put on display at important international showcases such as the Milan Triennale and Venice Biennale in Italy during the 1930s and 1940s.

Organized chronologically, the pieces in the exhibition will be divided into groups according to technique. Radical in nature, Scarpa’s glass designs went far beyond being perceived merely as decorative or utilitarian objects. They immediately attracted the attention of critics, one of whom wrote that “this production is really at the avant-garde of modernity.”

The exhibition is an adaptation of Carlo Scarpa. Venini 1932-1947, organized by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, and Pentagram Stiftung for presentation at Le Stanze del Vetro, Venice last year.

More information on the Met’s website here:

John Sparagana in conversation with Jose Lerma

On Saturday, January 25th, on the final day of his exhibition Crowds & Powder, John Sparagana will have a conversation in the gallery with artist Jose Lerma. The conversation begins at 1:00pm, and is free and open to the public.

David Hartt, Mark Fisher, Lynne Tillman, and Devin Fore

Artists and scholars, including Mark Fisher, music writer for The Wire magazine; Lynne Tillman, writer and critic; David Hartt, photographer and SAIC faculty member; and Devin Fore, editor and Princeton faculty of German discuss their current approaches in conjunction with the exhibition Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness. Organized by Matthew S. Witkovsky, Richard and Ellen Sandor Chair and Curator, Department of Photography, and Judith Russi Kirshner, deputy director of education, the presentations will conclude with an exhibition viewing.

January 23, 2014
Fullerton Hall
Free with museum admission, more information here.

Image: Christopher Williams. Punta Hicacos, Varadero, Cuba February 14, 2000, 2000. Gift of Nancy Lauter McDougal and Alfred L. McDougal. © Christopher Williams. Courtesy of the artist.

Nation Time

Nation Time, an evening of performance curated by John Corbett and Christopher Wool, in conjunction with Wool’s solo exhibition at the Guggeinheim, New York. The evening includes Richard Hell reads Richard Hell, Arto Lindsay, and The Thing with Joe McPhee.

November 20, 2013, 7:00pm at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.


Nick Mazzarella

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, August 17, 2013, 4:00pm

CHICAGO—Nick Mazzarella has spent the last decade on the Chicago jazz and improvised music scene, establishing himself as an important voice on the alto saxophone.  By turns fiery and fierce and coolly calculating, he works in many key bands, including Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra and Ken Vandermark’s Midwest School.  He also leads his own trio and curates the weekly Ratchet Series at the Skylark in Pilsen.  For this rare solo performance, Mazzarella will perform new music specifically engaging with the Peter Brötzmann exhibition on display.  Brötzmann’s drawings deal with two-handedness, the left hand making an imperfect mirror image of the right; Mazzarella’s performance draws on the notion of chirality, a scientific term related to asymmetry, the root of which is the greek word for hand.

(Above photograph by Kate Joyce)

Rob Mazurek

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, July 13, 2013, 4:00pm

CHICAGO—Shuttling between Chicago and Brazil, Rob Mazurek is one of the hardest working men in creative music.  He fronts various bands, including the Exploding Star Orchestra and Starlicker, his brilliant octet recently released Skull Sessions (Cuneiform) and with Sao Paulo Underground he just issued Beija Flors Velho e Sujo (Delmark).  An ambitious project with filmmaker Marianne M. Kim, The Space Between (Delmark), is also new to the market.  Mazurek’s bandleading, composing and artmaking – he is also a painter – shouldn’t lead a listener away from his brilliance as an instrumentalist.  His sound, which comes out of Don Cherry but has its own distinct personality, is as ductile and persuasive as his multimedia sensibility.  Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to present Mazurek in a very rare solo performance.


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Sun Ra + Ayé Aton: Space, Interiors and Exteriors


Corbett vs. Dempsey & Immediate Sound Series presents–Wed, May 22, 2013-9:30 pm-Hideout-$8.00

Jim Baker

NRG Ensemble plays Sun Ra

DJ Sets by Corbett vs. Dempsey

Set I – Jim Baker – solo piano & ARP synthesizer

Set II – NRG Ensemble plays Sun Ra
Mars Williams – woodwinds
Dave Rempis – saxophones
Brian Sandstrom – guitar, trumpet, bass
Kent Kessler – bass
Jim Baker – piano & ARP synthesizer
Steve Hunt – drums
Avreeayl Ra – percussion

Book release celebration for  Sun Ra + Ayé Aton: Space, Interiors and Exteriors, 1972 (Picture Box/Corbett vs. Dempsey)

Includes an introduction by Glenn Ligon and an essay by John Corbett

This once-lost trove of photographs date from 1972, a pivotal year for Sun Ra. Half of the photos in this book are of interior murals made by Ra-colleague and musician Ayé Aton — spectacularly beautiful in their 1970s supersaturated color. From the same period, a cache of never-published photographs taken on location in Oakland for the film Space is the Place, features Ra in full regalia, wearing beautiful Egyptian costumes.

*DJ Sets: Corbett vs. Dempsey – Swing Low Sweet Alien Funk

The Hideout
1354 W. Wabansia Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642


David Hartt and Karthik Pandian in conversation with Hamza Walker

Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 6:00 PM

Graham Foundation
4 West Burton Place
Chicago, IL

David Hartt and Karthik Pandian will discuss new work currently in two concurrent exhibitions in Chicago that both engage various strategies and critiques of 1960s avant garde architecture, art, and design practices with curator Hamza Walker. The discussion will focus on the shared strategies and critiques of 1960s avant garde architecture, art, and design practices in the work of David Hartt and Karthik Pandian.

Click here for more information and to RSVP for this free event.

Sun Ra + Ayé Aton: Space, Interiors and Exteriors

Corbett vs. Dempsey & PictureBox, Inc. presents–Tue, April 30, 2013, 7pm

Slide show and conversation between John Corbett and David Grubbs.
David Grubbs will follow with a short solo set.
Blonde Art Books
92 St. Nicholas Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11237

Mats Gustafsson

FREE PERFORMANCE: Sunday, April 21, 2013, 9pm, Galerie Gisela Capitain, St. Apern Straße 26, Cologne

COLOGNE: Please join Galerie Gisela Capitain (Cologne), Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago), and David Nolan Gallery (New York) for a solo concert featuring saxophonist Mats Gustafsson.  Gustafsson, a Swede now based in Vienna, is currently featured on the cover of Wire magazine, which says:  Since the late 1980s, he has pushed outward in ever widening circles, bridging a surging intensity and energy to collaborations with jazz and improv heavyweights like Peter Brötzmann and Evan Parker, as well as forging strong links with rock and post-rock outfits such as Sonic Youth and The Ex.

In this rare solo outing, Gustafsson will perform free improvisations as well as compositions by Duke Ellington, a nod at the maestro whose 1939 passport will be on view at Corbett vs. Dempsey’s booth during Art Cologne.



Ned Rothenberg

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, April 13, 2013, 3:00pm

CHICAGO: New York clarinetist and saxophonist Ned Rothenberg has been a major force in American creative music for three decades.  Off the scene after a terrible bicycle accident in 2010, Rothenberg has returned to top form, continuing his meticulous and far reaching exploration of the sonorities and potentialities of reed instruments.  This rare solo concert is also part of a special clarinet event with James Falzone’s Renza Ensemble, Thursday, April 11, at the Chicago Cultural Center.

His solo outings have a near religious focus to them. You’ll be entertained – his improvs are compelling on many levels. And you’ll understand how dedication to craft can nurture larger questions of art and approach.
— Jim Macnie, Village Voice

(Photo, above:  David Agasi)


Ab Baars

FREE PERFORMANCE: Sunday, April 7, 2013, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: One of the central figures of the burgeoning improvised music scene in Amsterdam, Ab Baars has forged a unique voice on tenor saxophone and clarinet. Indeed, on the latter he is arguably among the most important contemporary practitioners, having distilled vocabulary from John Carter and Von Freeman, and an approach to improvising and composing no doubt influenced by the don of New Dutch Swing, Misha Mengelberg. Baars is in Chicago performing with Mengelberg’s ICP Orchestra, but at Corbett vs. Dempsey he will offer an unaccompanied set on clarinet, rare treat for lovers of the licorice stick!

(Photo, above:


Mats Gustafsson & Ken Vandermark

FREE PERFORMANCE: Sunday, March 24, 2013, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: Though they have worked together for more than 20 years, saxophonists Mats Gustafsson and Ken Vandermark have never performed as a duo, until today.  Two of the key figures emerging from the 1990s improvised music renaissance, Gustafsson and Vandermark are both boundlessly energetic and deeply sensitive players.  This should prove to be a memorable “first meeting” for two dear friends.  A live recording, it is destined for release on CvsD’s own label.

 (Photos, above: L: Mats Gustafsson by Rikkard Häggbom; R: photo of Ken Vandermark by Mireia Bordonada)


Evan Parker

FREE PERFORMANCE: Friday, March 1, 7:30pm
LONDON:  In his own backyard, legendary saxophonist Evan Parker performs solo at Thomas Dane Gallery, with a backdrop of works by Dominick Di Meo, in the exhibition Limp Voyeur in a Humid Landscape.

Thomas Dane Gallery

11 Duke St., St. James


ICEsolo(5): Phyllis Chen

FREE PERFORMANCE: Friday, February 15, 2013, 6:30 pm

CHICAGO: ICElab composer and internationally recognized toy piano virtuoso Phyllis Chen brings her unique and playful compositions to Chicago for this fifth free concert in Corbett vs. Dempsey’s “ICEsolo” series. Phyllis performs works for toy piano by David Lang and Fabian Svensson, alongside original works for toy pianos, music boxes and kitchen bowls. ICE flautist Eric Lamb makes a special appearance on Phyllis’ Beneath a Trace of Vapor for flute and electronics.



ICEsolo(4): Rebekah Heller

FREE PERFORMANCE: Friday, January 18, 2013, 6:30 pm

CHICAGO: International Contemporary Ensemble low-reed expert Rebekah Heller plays a ravishing new program, aided and abetted by electronics and the very live room.  Be there or beware!


DJ Damon Locks

FREE DJ SET:  Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 3:00pm

CHICAGO: To add an exclamation point to the final day of Joyce Pensato’s exhibition You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do, DJ Damon Locks will bring his wheels of steel and spin live here in the gallery. As an artist, musician, and DJ, Damon Locks has been blurring artistic boundaries in Chicago for years. From his early days in the post-hardcore band Trenchmouth, to his current group the Eternals, to his role as a printmaker, Damon has always kept his DJ muscles flexed. Corresponding to some of Joyce Pensato’s imagery, Damon will hand select a DJ set like no other. Please come by and work off some of those post Thanksgiving calories.


Suzanne Scanlon & Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi


FREE EVENT Hosted by Corbett vs. Dempsey, Friday, October 5th, 2012, 7:00pm

CHICAGO: Dorothy, a publishing project is dedicated to works of fiction or near fiction or about fiction, mostly by women. Edited by Danielle Dutton, Dorothy publishes books that, whether conventional or un-, are uniquely themselves, that do not lean against preconceived ideas of what is wonderful, but brilliantly and purposefully convince us that they are, themselves, wonderful.

Suzanne Scanlon‘s Promising Young Women is a series of fragmentary tales tells the story of Lizzie, a young woman who, in her early twenties, unexpectedly embarks on a journey through psychiatric institutions, a journey that will end up lasting many years. With echoes of Sylvia Plath, and against a cultural backdrop that includes Shakespeare, Woody Allen, and Heathers, Suzanne Scanlon’s first novel is both a deeply moving account of a life of crisis and a brilliantly original work of art.

Suzanne Scanlon’s writing has appeared in The Iowa Review, The American Scholar, DIAGRAM, and many other places. She has worked as an actress in New York and, more recently, in Chicago, where she now lives.

In Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi‘s Fra Keeler a man purchases a house, the house of Fra Keeler, moves in, and begins investigating the circumstances of the latter’s death. Yet the investigation quickly turns inward, and the reality it seeks to unravel seems only to grow more strange, as the narrator pursues not leads but lines of thought, most often to hideous conclusions.

Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is an Iranian-American writer of fiction and non-fiction. She received her MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University, and is a recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Catalonia, Spain. She is co-author of the Words Without Borders dispatch series ArtistsTalk: Israel/Palestine and is at work on a second project entitled The Catalan Literary Landscape, an exploration of notions of journey and the intersections between landscape and literature. She currently teaches in the MFA at Notre Dame University and lives in Indiana with her husband.



Robert Lostutter

2012 Gallery Weekend Chicago

Events Free and Open to the Public

Friday, September 21, 2012

1:30p Curator Talk: Laura Letinsky’s Ill Form and Void Full series Valerie Carberry Gallery, Hancock Tower, 875 N Michigan Avenue # 2510

2:00p Artist Talk: Muse: Exploring Inspiration Richard Gray Gallery, Hancock Tower, 875 N Michigan Avenue # 2503

3:00p Artist Talk: Joel Ross and Jason Creps, Alleys and Parking Lots moniquemeloche, 2154 West Division Street

6-8p Opening Reception: John Opera, People, Places, and Things ANDREW RAFACZ, 835 W Washington Blvd

6-8p Opening Reception: Clare Rojas Kavi Gupta, 835 W Washington Blvd

Saturday, September 22, 2012

11a-3p Bagels and Bloodies with Geoffrey Todd SmithWestern Exhibitions, 845 W Washington Blvd 2nd Floor

2:30p Artist Talk: Robert Lostutter talks about his new work Garden of Opiates Corbett vs. Dempsey, 1120 N. Ashland Avenue, 3rd Floor

3:00p Artist Talk: John Yau in Conversation with Gary Stephan devening projects + editions, 3039 West Carroll

3:00p Performative Lecture: Cauleen Smith threewalls, 119 N Peoria St # 2D

3-7p Opening Reception: New Work by Rodney Graham and Josiah McElheny Donald Young Gallery, 224 S Michigan Ave

4:30p Artist Talk: Karen Reimer at Gallery 400 University of Illinois at Chicago, Art and Design Hall, First Floor, 400 South Peoria

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2:00p Gallery Introduction and Exhibition Tour at Alderman Exhibitions Alderman Exhibitions, 1138 West Randolph Street

4- 7p Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Danh Vo, Uterus The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, 5811 S Ellis Ave, 4th Floor Artist Talk: 5-6pm

7-8:30p Opening Reception: Danh Vo, We The People The Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S. Michigan Ave

Lostutter2 copy

ICEsolo(3): Nuiko Wadden

FREE PERFORMANCE: Friday, September 14, 2012, 6:30pm

CHICAGO: International Contemporary Ensemble harpist Nuiko Wadden has forged a new path for her ancient instrument by commissioning and championing many works by young composers. Join her for a concert of new and classic works including music by Angélica Negrón, Ernst Krenek, and ICElab 2014 composer Suzanne Farrin at Corbett vs. Dempsey.

Suzanne Farrin’s Polvere et Ombre is a sweeping work of virtuosity that covers every sound-producing inch of the harp. Suzanne has been commissioned by ICE to write an evening-length work for the larger ensemble as part of the ICElab program in 2014. Austrian composer Ernst Krenek was a contemporary of Schoenberg’s and similarly forged a distinctive post-romantic musical path in the early 20th century. His Sonata for solo harp was written in 1955, shortly after his relocation to the United States ,and beautifully captures the harp repertoire right at the crux of major musical change.

Nuiko Wadden is the principal harpist of Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras as well as the Des Moines Metro Opera. She is also a member of both the janus trio, based out of Brooklyn, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Ms. Wadden has been a prizewinner in numerous competitions, recognized in the Minnesota Orchestra (WAMSO), Ann Adams, ASTA, and American Harp Society competitions. As a soloist she has appeared with the Skokie Valley Symphony, the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony, Oberlin Orchestra, and Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra. She made her professional debut as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra this past January.

This free concert is part 3 of the series ICEsolo, featuring ICE soloists up close. Space is limited, so please reserve your ticket by emailing


Angelica Negron: Technicolor
Ernst Krenek: Sonata
Suzanne Farrin: Polvere et Ombre


Jaap Blonk

FREE PERFORMANCE: Monday, August 27, 2012, 7:00pm

CHICAGO: A leading figure in sound art for the last 25 years, Jaap Blonk is a brilliant, extreme vocalist. The Dutch performer has been one of the primary champions of the modernist canon of concrete poetry, reviving Dadaist classics by Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, and Kurt Schwitters with a combination of rigor and irreverence. Blonk’s 1986 version of “Ursonate” by Schwitters (re-issued on Basta in 2003) remains one of the finest takes on the difficult nonsense piece, and his CD Flux de Bouche (Staalplaat, 1993) is an outstanding introduction to his excursions into both historical and contemporary sound poetry. Blonk is also an accomplished improvisor and composer; he’s worked with many international figures, including some of Chicago’s finest, and he has deeply explored the use of electronics in vocal art.

For this performance, he’ll be working acoustically, offering a range of historical works and his own compositions, thoroughly confounding the relationship between sounds, words and meanings.

(Photo, above: Alisa Garin)


Keiichi Tanaami

FREE SCREENING: Friday, August 10, 8pm at Corbett vs. Dempsey

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey is excited to present a selection of rarely seen short films and animations by Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami, specially selected and introduced by film scholar Michelle Puetz. A complement to our current exhibition of his audacious late 1960s drawings, the Chicago debut on view in CvsD’s West Wing, this screening offers a glimpse of Tanaami’s unique fusion of popular culture, commercial design and avant-garde aesthetics. Ranging from the frenetic, flickering chaos of recent collaborations with Japanese noise musicians to highly personal reflections on the firebombing of Tokyo during the second World War, Tanaami’s films move with an unparalleled electric intensity.

A GAZE IN SUMMER 1942 (2002, 4m)
YOSHIKEI (1979, 12m)
10 NIGHTS’ DREAMS (2004, 6m)
SWEET FRIDAY (1975, 3m)


Joe McPhee

FREE PERFORMANCE: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 7:00pm

Please join us for a live performance by Joe McPhee in celebration of two new CD reissues from 1977, Glasses and Variations on a Blue Line/’Round Midnight.

Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to announce a new series of CD reissues, produced in collaboration with the seminal Swiss label Hat Hut Records and their chief, Werner X. Uehlinger.

The new series, which extends CvsD’s existing catalog of musical offerings, will focus on the early years of Hat Hut, in particular the label’s early LPs by Joe McPhee.  These releases, which begin with two of the most important solo records by McPhee, Glasses and Variations on a Blue Line/’Round Midnight, are each issued in a limited number of 1000 slim-packed copies, with the records’ original artwork by Klaus Baumgärtner.  Beginning with the McPhee reissues CvsD’s CDs will have a cohesive look, updating but retaining original album artwork, courtesy of a design concept by Sonnenzimmer, invented especially for the reissues.  Plans to release other early Hat Hut LPs, including ones by drummer Philip Wilson and writer/artist Brion Gysin, are still in the works, but we can confirm subsequent McPhee releases such as the two-LP soprano tour-de-force Graphics, The Willisau Concert, and Rotation, as well as an upcoming non-Hat Hut reissue by Sun Ra.  These releases continue John Corbett’s longstanding commitment to McPhee’s music, which has seen his reissue of the multi-instrumentalist’s complete CjR works, including his debut, Nation Time (all reissued on Corbett’s Unheard Music Series, via Atavistic), as well as two CvsD double-disc issues, Sound on Sound and The Vassar Concert.

Both Glasses and Variations on a Blue Line/’Round Midnight were recorded in October, 1977, during a highly significant period in McPhee’s work, as he was pioneering the transatlantic, collaborative spirit that has helped to define the last three decades of his career.  Blue Line comes from a concert in Rouen, France, when McPhee played on a double bill with the Peter Brötzmann/Han Bennink duo.  It features the side-length tenor excursion “Beanstalk” (dedicated to Coleman Hawkins), an alternate version of “Knox” (known from his beloved LP Tenor), and two soprano pieces, “Motian Studies” and Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight.”  Recorded two nights later in Tavannes, Switzerland, Glasses also contains sensational tenor work, including the title piece, which finds McPhee ringing out a rhythm on a half-full wine glass, from which he extrapolates a melody on the saxophone, as well as a stunning version of John Coltrane’s “Naima.”  The final 15 minutes are spent in duet with the Swiss percussionist Reto Weber, who was so inspired by McPhee he asked to sit in and did so with his quite extensive battery of drums.  These two records come from a year-long run during which McPhee recorded and released four very different, extremely wonderful solo records, of which only Tenor has ever been reissued on CD.

Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to embark on this project with Hat Hut and, especially, to continue to make the work of Joe McPhee available to a wider public.

(Photo, above: Lloyd N. Peterson Jr.)


ICEsolo(2): Tony Arnold

FREE PERFORMANCE: Friday, May 25, 2012, 6:30pm

CHICAGO: ICE presents this second installment its ICE Solo series at Corbett vs. Dempsey. Legendary soprano Tony Arnold performs works by George Aperghis, including his ravishing Recitations.



Otis Clay

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, April 21, 2012, 4:00pm

CHICAGO: In celebration of International Record Store Day, in collaboration with Dusty Groove America, Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to host a very rare acoustic performance by Chicago soul legend Otis Clay.

One of the most mellifluous, rich voices in American music, and a figure whose career started in gospel in the 1950s, Otis Clay has been a staple of the soul scene since the early 1960s, when he released a series of smash singles on the One-Derful! label in the Windy City. In the ’70s, he signed with Hi Records in Memphis, waxing “Trying to Live My Life Without You” (later covered by Bob Seger) and “If I Could Reach Out.” A magnificent performer who just turned 70, Clay is also involved in Chicago politics and culture.

(Photo, above: Dragan Tasic)



ICEsolo(1): Claire Chase

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, March 17, 2012, 4:00pm

CHICAGO: Since the gallery’s inception in 2004, Corbett vs. Dempsey has presented more than thirty musical events, ranging from folk freaks like Peter Stampfel and Laura Veirs to free improvisors like Charlotte Hug and Han Bennink. As a part of that ongoing program, CvsD is proud to announce a new initiative, undertaken in collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the vibrant, innovative New Music organization based in New York and Chicago. ICE Solo will present unaccompanied performances by members of the ensemble, whose ranks include some of the most brilliant musicians in the contemporary classical arena, performing music of their own selection drawn from a broad spectrum of New Music.

No better way to kick off this new series than with ICE’s intrepid leader, Claire Chase, in a free concert of solo music for flute, performing works by Edgard Varese, Steve Reich, Salvatore Sciarrino, and (for all you Fluxus fans) George Brecht. This dynamic recital will show off Chase’s “extravagant technique, broad stylistic range and penetrating musicality” (New York Times).

American Record Guide said of Chase: “Look out world, here comes a monster.”

(Photo, above: David Michalek)


James Falzone

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, January 28, 2012, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: A concert of unaccompanied clarinet helps Corbett vs. Dempsey close out exhibitions by Art Green and Susanne Doremus. James Falzone is an esteemed member of the Chicago creative music community, both as a composer and as a performer and bandleader. Versatile and devoted, Falzone is an extremely strong improvisor whose interests also cover the contemporary classical arena. He leads several ensembles, including KLANG and Allos Musica, and was nominated clarinetist of the year by the Jazz Journalists Association and listed as a “rising star” on the instrument in Downbeat magazine’s critic’s poll in 2010 and 2011. For this solo concert, Falzone promises original music as well as a piece by Olivier Messiaen. Brave the weather – CvsD will put a little woodwind on the fire!


David Grubbs

FREE PERFORMANCE: Friday, November 4, 2011, 7:00pm

CHICAGO: One of the keenest intellects and most creative songwriters in contemporary music, David Grubbs hails from Louisville, KY, where he was a founding member of the classic group Squirrel Bait. He spent an extended period in Chicago, where his groups Bastro and Gastr del Sol were anchors of the so-called “post-rock” scene. His work has extended far and wide, from a period as a member of the Red Krayola and stints creating soundtrack music for films by Thierry Jousse and Angela

Bulloch and for installations by Doug Aitkin, to making song-based solo records and membership in the Wingdale Community Singers. His ongoing collaboration with writer Susan Howe has yielded three spectacularly inventive records, all released on Grubbs’ own Blue Chopsticks label. Although he has relocated to New York, where he is an Associate Professor at Brooklyn College, CUNY, Grubbs’ identity is still intimately linked to our fair city. This is a very special solo performance, featuring electric guitar – first appearance of that axe in the CvsD space.


Found Sound Chicago

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, August 13, 2011, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: As part of Found Sound Chicago, a new one-day audio festival, on Saturday, August 13, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present a short performance by Mark Booth. Booth is a painter, writer, and sound artist based in Chicago, known for his creative use and disabuse of language. He was shown in CvsD’s 2005 exhibition Eye & Ear. For this performance, he’s requested three powered speakers – more, we’re not at liberty to say.

Booth’s exhibitions and projects include God is Represented by the Sea, Adds Donna Gallery Chicago, Nothing to do with wizards, O’Connor Gallery, Domincan University, River Forest, IL., pierecednightstarvoice at Schalter Gallery, Berlin, Germany, The Stinging Tentacles Of Anxiety That Constrict The Heart Are Healed By The Light Of An Inner Sun, Gahlberg Gallery, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL., Spanish Still Life (or a large list of merged animals), Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL., and Endless (Perverted by Language/Delay 1968), UBS 12×12, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, IL. Collaborative projects include the exhibition (6) The Speed of the Word Sound/The Sound of the Word Speed, at Light Projects, Northcote, Victoria, Australia, with Micheal Graeve, and the performance Quiet (A disruptive fog (or a hogshead full of vapor called memory) in Chicago, Illinois with Karen Christopher and John Sisson. He has performed and exhibited in the United States, Scandinavia, Australia and Europe. Booth is an Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Booth’s audio and performance work has been presented at the Overgaden Sound Art Festival, Copenhagen; Openport Festival, Chicago; Lincoln Park Conservatory, Chicago; Nova Art Fair, Chicago; and the Outer Ear Festival of Sound, Chicago.

Please join us and help inaugurate Found Sound Chicago. More at


Josh Berman

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, July 30, 2011, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: A solo concert by one of Chicago’s great young jazz musicians, cornetist Josh Berman. Berman is an important figure both as a player and as a presenter. Together with drummer Mike Reed, for a decade he has organized weekly concerts at the Hungry Brain, presenting top-flight jazz and improvised music from around the world. As a bandleader, he fronts Josh Berman’s Old Idea and Josh Berman and His Gang, and he’s co-leader of the Chicago Luzern Exchange, a transatlantic ensemble, and he’s worked with everyone under the sun, locally and internationally. It is particularly fitting that Berman perform during CvsD’s Dominick Di Meo exhibition; Di Meo played cornet early in his career and has been a lifelong jazz fan with a particular interest – like Berman’s – in music from the pre-swing era, when cornets were king. Unaccompanied cornet is a great challenge, but with his expressivity and panache, Berman is the guy for the job.

And as a footnote, CvsD salutes legendary Chicago saxophonist Von Freeman, who was just awarded the NEA’s Jazz Masters Award. Keep swinging, Vonski!

(Photo, above: Peter Gannushkin)


Joe McPhee

TICKETED EVENT: Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 9:30pm at The Hideout, Chicago

Following up on Sound on Sound, the 2-disc set that CvsD released late last year in conjunction with the Christopher Wool exhibition of the same name, we are now releasing a previously unissued performance called Live at Vasser, 1970.  One of the discs consists of a complete set of music by McPhee’s quintet – wild and deeply soulful free jazz quite close in spirit to McPhee’s legendary debut, Nation Time; on the second disc, a simmering Hammond B-3 set by the Ernie Bostic Quartet serves as a soul-jazz foil to McPhee’s political and astral explorations.

Tonight, McPhee will fete this release with two sets featuring a titanium quartet, with Ken Vandermark on saxophone and clarinets, Jason Adasieweicz on vibraphone, and Michael Zerang on drums.  The indominable Mr. Vandermark will spin records before, between and after the live music.  The new CDs will be on hand…and specially priced!

A short Joe McPhee inspired phrase to live by:  Don’t postpone joy!  See you tonight.

Didier Petit

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, May 28, 2011, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: An afternoon concert by the extraordinary French cellist Didier Petit. Petit is one of the great improvisors to emerge from Alan Silva’s Institute Art Culture Perception. As a youngster, Petit was inspired by Sun Ra and his Arkestra as well as Silva’s Celestial Communication Orchestra. Among many projects and ensembles, he has worked for over 15 years in the trio of bass clarinetist Denis Colin, and he is the leader of a quartet featuring Colin, saxophonist Daunik Lazro, and drummer Michael Nick. In addition to performing, Petit is the founder of In Situ, a label featuring the finest in French free music.

Didier Petit’s solo cello concert will take place in the context of CvsD’s current show of Richard Artschwager, which features 15 recent oil pastels. Anyone who knows Artschwager knows how undefinable his work is, and this batch confirms his status as one of the great mavericks of American art.

Phil Cohran


FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, April 16, 2011, 4:00pm

CHICAGO: As part of the national celebration of Record Store Day, Dusty Groove America and Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery present a rare live performance by a Chicago multi-instrumentalist Phil Cohran.

Cohran, who was a member of one of the classic incarnations of Sun Ra’s Arkestra in Chicago in the late 1950s, went on to become a founder of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), and then to form his own Artistic Heritage Ensemble and the legendary Affro-Arts Theater. Recent years have seen the re-release of some of Cohran’s classic Ethnic Heritage Ensemble recordings, like On The Beach, and The Malcom X. Memorial (both 1968), which featured future members of Earth, Wind & Fire and the great guitarist Pete Cosey. Cohran, who played trumpet with the Arkestra, invented his own electric thumb-piano, which he called a “Frankiphone,” and he also sometimes plays harp and assorted other instruments. He is, as BDP once said, a musical philosopher, and his performances often include improptu lectures on topics near and far – indeed, sometimes very far, as he draws on a wellspring of astronomical knowledge and deep understanding of cultural history.

Copies of  Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, The Astro Black and Other Solar Myths (WhiteWalls, 2010), a compilation that includes an essay titled “The Spiritual Musician,” written by Cohran in 1965, will be available for $25 and Cohran will have copies of his CDs for sale.

(Photos, below: Robert Loerzel)


Brian Labycz

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, February 26, 2011, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: To celebrate the impossible pliability and knuckle-cracking volatility of Peter Saul’s paintings and drawings, Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present a solo concert of synthesizer music by Brian Labycz. Labycz is a relatively new face on Chicago’s improvising scene who draws on a range of sources utilizing a modular synthesizer – a home-made rig made out of both commercially manufactured modules and DIY constructed components – as well as digital manipulations, field recordings, acoustic instruments and invented devices. As he puts it: “The goal is to transcend gadgetry to arrive at a fully-realized performance instrument which is then mastered.” Working in various contexts, from noise to jazz, Labycz is able to create an astonishing assortment of sounds, all assembled into a startling composite. A hyperbolic, antic, extreme diversity of aural experience, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma – electronic music or St. Elmo’s Fire? The intimate CvsD acoustics should be the perfect showcase for Labycz’s mad professorly set-up.

At the event’s end, the gallery will award one lucky visitor, chosen by raffle, a complete set of CvsD’s commemorative seasonal posters, all produced in limited editions, dating back to the gallery’s first season in 2004. Copies of individual posters will also be available for purchase.

Of course, this concert is a great excuse to see the Peter Saul exhibition Stupid Arguments, featuring two new paintings, six new
drawings, and an early pastel. Pick up a catalog while you’re here.


The Peculiar and the Particular


“The Peculiar and the Particular: A Conversation Inspired by Ray Yoshida”
Tuesday, February 8, 2011, 12 p.m.
At the Sullivan Galleries, 33 S. State St., 7th Floor
With Tyson Reeder, Mary Lou Zelazny, and Lisa Stone
Moderated by John Corbett and Jim Dempsey
Free and open to the public

This event will be one of your last chances to see the show before it closes on Saturday, February 12th. It will also be your first opportunity to purchase the newly-published 144-page exhibition catalog, featuring color reproductions of the entire show and explanatory texts, the perfect companion to the commemorative book Ray Yoshida published by SAIC on the occasion of the exhibition. The new catalog will be available at this event for $20, and thereafter for the regular price of $25.


From the SAIC press release:

Curators John Corbett and Jim Dempsey will lead a public conversation in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Sullivan Galleries with artists Tyson Reeder, Mary Lou Zelazny (SAIC BFA 1980), and curator Lisa Stone (SAIC MSP 1998) on Tuesday, February 8, at Noon. Held in conjunction with the exhibition “Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and His Spheres of Influence,” the panel will explore the impact of Ray Yoshida’s unrelenting vision as an artist, teacher, and collector, and consider both its historical significance and its resonance in contemporary practices. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Touch and Go was named “likely the best show of the year in Chicago” by veteran gallerist and critic Paul Klein of the Huffington Post in November, and Newcity magazine selected the exhibition “best art exhibit in the last year” in its Best of Chicago issue published December 10. The exhibition is curated by John Corbett—an SAIC faculty member—and Jim Dempsey, house manager at SAIC’s Gene Siskel Film Center.

Ray Yoshida’s (1930–2009, SAIC BFA 1953) influence on generations of Chicago art students is legendary. Art Green was a student of Yoshida’s and Mary Lou Zelazny worked closely with the painter, who was an SAIC faculty member for 44 years beginning in 1959. He was named Frank Harold Sellers Professor in the Department of Painting and Drawing at SAIC in 1971, retired as professor emeritus in 1998, and continued to teach until 2003. Tyson Reeder brings insight to the panel regarding Yoshida’s continued influence on younger generations of artists, and Lisa Stone, curator of the Roger Brown Study Collection, has extensive knowledge of the social and professional interactions among Yoshida and his peers.

SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries are located at 33 South State Street, 7th Floor. Touch and Go remains on view there through February 12. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

For more information visit

Ray Yoshida, a 72-page softcover commemorative book published in conjunction with the exhibition, is available at the Sullivan Galleries ($35). The book features photographs of the artist’s home-studio, images from his sketchbooks, writings, and works-in-progress. With an introduction by SAIC Dean of Faculty Lisa Wainwright and an interview with the curators, it includes personal recollections by artist-colleagues Mark Booth, Susanne Doremus, Art Green, Ted Halkin, Philip Hanson, Richard Hull, Michiko Itatani, Thomas Kapsalis, Jin Soo Kim, Jim Nutt, Frank Piatek, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Elizabeth Rupprecht, Rebecca Shore, Lisa Stone, Frank Trankina, Karl Wirsum, Jim Zanzi, and Mary Lou Zelazny.

Book Release Celebration for Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro Black and Other Solar Myths


Book Release Celebration for Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro Black and other Solar Myths
Saturday, December 18, 3 p.m.
Featuring a concert of solo bass and guimbri by Joshua Abrams

As we near the end of the year, Corbett vs. Dempsey is happy to pitch one final shindig, a rich musical and literary event around the long-awaited publication of the book  Traveling the Spaceways:  Sun Ra, the Astro-Black, and other Solar Myths (WhiteWalls, 2010).

With essays based on presentations at a 2006 symposium at the Hyde Park Art Center, this book offers a cornucopia of ideas and images spurred by the musician and mystic Sun Ra.  A companion to two previous books published by WhiteWalls, The Wisdom of Sun-Ra, and Pathways to Unknown Worlds,  Traveling the Spaceways considers Ra’s work from art historical and musical perspectives, as well as looking at his growing influence on contemporary visual art.  The book is co-edited by John Corbett, Anthony Elms, and Terri Kapsalis; contributors include Cheryl Lynn Bruce, Robert Campbell, Kevin Whitehead, Graham Lock, John Corbett, Victor Margolin, Phil Cohran, Kerry James Marshall, Calvin Forbes, Terri Kapsalis, Anthony Elms, Malik Gaines, Karl Erickson, and Glenn Ligon.  Copies will be available for the first time on this occasion.

Music is of course required to properly fete this new tome.  There’s no better musician equipped to do so than Joshua Abrams, an intrepid bassist and multi-instrumentalist, whose glorious new LP – yes, we love him for releasing a vinyl-only record! – Natural Information was released this year on Eremite.  Abrams is very well known to creative music fans for his work with Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble, the trio Sticks & Stones, as a member of Town & Country, and in many other settings playing jazz, electronic, and improvised music.  At CvsD, Abrams will play a solo concert of acoustic bass and guimbri, the three-stringed lute played by the Gnawa people of North Africa.

It will also be a wonderful excuse to come see Degree of Separation, the new exhibition of paintings and sculpture by Margot Bergman.  Warm up and chill out with great music and a sunny Sun Ra celebration.


Joe McPhee

FREE PERFORMANCE: Nov. 20, 2010, 7pm

Joe McPhee, based in Poughkeepsie, New York,  is one of the great American improvisors.  Since the late 1960s, he has worked as a saxophonist, trumpeter, valve-trombonist, and all around musical emanator.  His first LP, Nation Time, is now regarded as a free jazz classic; the unaccompanied outing Tenor ranks as one of the finest saxophone records of all time.  This concert is held in the context of Sound On Sound, an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Christopher Wool, which takes its name from a group of early recordings by McPhee.

To celebrate McPhee’s inspiring music, Corbett vs. Dempsey is issuing a two-CD set of these previously unreleased solo recordings from 1968 to 1973.  The extraordinary tracks document the very early years of McPhee’s tenor playing (he was initially a trumpet player, though he was an absolute natural saxophonist) and his omnivorous interest in sound-making devices of all types (from drone organ to nagoya harp, by way of soprano sax and hand percussion),  They present a little-known aspect of his early work, his interest in multi-track recording, here executed on a device known as a Sound On Sound tape machine.  When he performed live in concert with the device, he called it his “Survival Unit.”

It’s always a mystery what instrument(s) McPhee will have in hand for a given concert.  One thing is certain:  Whatever the axe, Joe McPhee will make it sing.

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Hal Rammel & Jason Roebke


FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to host an event celebrating the release of new music by Hal Rammel. As part of this afternoon event, Rammel will perform duo improvisations with bassist Jason Roebke.

Penumbra Music celebrates two new limited edition recordings of solo music by Rammel: the solo amplified palette CD Midwest Disquiet and a 7″ 45 rpm single titled “Song of the Interocyter” (featuring new music for interocyter, an instrument designed and built by Rammel in 1996).

Midwest Disquiet is Rammel’s first solo recording on the amplified palette since the release of the Crouton 10″ “Like Water Tightly Wound” early in 2007 and is released in a numbered limited edition of 99. As a visual artist, composer, and performer Rammel has been designing and building unusual one-of-a-kind musical instruments since the mid 1970s. The amplified palette – first constructed in 1991 – is simply an artist’s palette with various wood and metal rods attached to be played with mallets or bows specifically designed for the instrument. Amplified with a contact microphone it generates sounds which on first hearing may be likened to a mbira (‘thumb piano’) or to a prepared piano or, when played with a bow, to a cello or viola.

The interocyter, featured on “Song of the Interocyter,” originated in the chance meeting of a billiard ball rack and the gracefully carved leg of a discarded footstool on Rammel’s workbench in 1996. It generates sounds from the deeply resonant to the delicately ringing when played with a unique set of mallets and bows specifically designed for the instruments three-corner assemblage of watch springs and music box parts. The two sides of this 45 rpm record – Rammel’s first recording on the instrument – explore its abstract collision of broken melodies and sonorous crashes. “Song of the Interocyter” is released as the fourth 7″ single in the Penumbra Music catalog and is available in a number limited edition of 99.


Peter Stampfel

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, September 18, 2010, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: One of the most fabulous furry freaks to make it out of the 1960s, Peter Stampfel was a pioneer figure in New York’s original underground folk scene.  In the early 1960s, he and Steve Weber formed the Holy Modal Rounders, one of the milieu’s flagship bands, and together in 1964 they recorded “Hesitation Blues,” which contains the first recorded use of the term “psychedelic” in popular music.  Stampfel’s storied career included work with playwrite Sam Shepard, who was a member of the Holy Modal Rounders, and a crucial stint in the proto-punk folk band the Fugs, with whom he recorded three LPs.  Irreverant, winsome, by turns silly and profound, with a hillbilly voice, hacksaw fiddle, and a genius for timing, Stampfel has an encyclopedic bank of songs in his head, some of the best his own.  He’s remained extremely active in the last few decades, performing and recording with his band the Bottle Caps, reuniting periodically with Weber, and going solo.  In this very rare Chicago appearance, Stampfel will play solo, with a little help on hand-drums and backing vocals from his daughter Zoe.  Later in the evening, Stampfel will play a full set at the Hideout.

“Next to Bob Dylan, Peter Stampfel is the nearest thing to a genius folkiedom has thrown up. His enthusiasm is unquenchable. I’ve never heard anyone – anyone – sing with the sheer enthusiasm for singing that Stampfel puts out. He knows his Harry Smith backwards and forwards. But unlike most folksingers, he prefers backwards.” – Robert Christgau, The Village Voice



Sally Timms

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, June 19, 2010, 2:00pm
CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey is delighted to present a special concert featuring Sally Timms with members of Mar Caribe. Timms is one of the most beloved alt country singers in the world. By turns ethereal, wistful, hilarious, and heartbreaking, she’s got post-punk roots but is steeped in hillbilly and so-called insurgent country. Born in Leeds, England, Timms is based in Chicago, where she’s assembled a body of required records including Cowboy Sally’s Twilight Laments for Lost Buckaroos (Bloodshot, 1998) and In the World of Him (Touch & Go, 2004). She’s been a member of the Mekons since 1985 and participated in Vito Acconci’s “Theater Project for a Rock Band” and with Kathy Acker in the writer’s lesbian pirate operetta Pussy, King of the Pirates at Chicago’s MCA. On this occasion, Timms will perform on the closing day of Robert Barnes’ sumptuous painting show, with its five distinctly different takes on earthly paradise. Last chance to see the Barneses and Simone Shubuck’s glorious works on paper in the gallery’s East Wing. The music is free of charge. You are invited to buy a painting instead!


Ken Vandermark

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: Two rather rare events, rolled into one. Ken Vandermark, once the most active guy on the Chicago jazz & improvised music scene, now infrequently plays in his hometown, instead touring around the world, performing in innumerable contexts with the top echelon of creative musicians. And even rarer is a performance by Vandermark unaccompanied by others, although he is arguably one of the greatest soloists working today. Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Ken Vandermark alone, in the sweet wood, brick & glass environs of the gallery. By turns lyrical and sensitive, volatile and exploratory, intellectual and bluesy, Vandermark continues to extend his saxophone and clarinet.

Come enjoy a solo concert of reed music by Ken Vandermark, surrounded by the artwork of his longtime colleague, Peter Brötzmann. Rara avis esculentus!

(Photo, above: Amanda Kraus)


Laura Veirs

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, February 27, 2010, 5:30pm

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey is happy to announce a very special appearance of Laura Veirs, in concert this Saturday at the gallery. With a personal songwriting sensibility and fantastical lyrics that emanate from her native Portland, Oregon, Veirs has carved a unique niche for herself. Her discography includes great records like Carbon Glacier, Year Of Meteors, Saltbreakers (all Nonesuch, 2004, 2005, and 2007, respectively), and her fabulous new CD July Flame (Raven Marching Band), which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s “Heatseekers & Folk” charts. We’re fortunate to catch her on tour in support of her new record, which features the full Hall of Flames band. At CvsD, Veirs will play an acoustic solo set.

If you want to hear a bit of Laura Veirs’ new music, there are couple of free tracks on her website:

(Veirs is very pregnant in photos below)


Hans Koch

FREE PERFORMANCE: Friday, November 6, 2009, 4:00pm

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey continues its series of unaccompanied instrumentalists with a visit from the brilliant Swiss reed player Hans Koch. One of the foremost European improvisors, Koch is a member of various ensembles, including Koch-Schutz-Studer and the Barry Guy New Orchestra. He is active in ad hoc settings, playing with all the major figures, and he is well known as a soloist, particularly on the bass and contrabass clarinet and tenor saxophone, to which he has added a significant new vocabulary. Steady and measured, but with a keen sense of dynamics and a hidden passion that leaps forth periodically, he is a multiple reed player of major proportions. Koch joins us during an American tour that brings him to Chicago to perform at the Umbrella Music Festival.


Zombie Samba & the Devil’s Mambo


Friends and colleagues, ghouls and goblins,

Corbett vs. Dempsey will host a day-long Halloween listening party on Saturday, October 31st.  Come in anytime from 11 to 4 and hear such Hallow’s Eve classics as Captain Beefheart’s “Making Love to a Vampire with a Monkey on My Knee,” Cheap Trick’s “Oh Candy,” Kevin Coyne’s “Mummy,” King Pleasure’s “Don’t Get Scared,” and the Lafayette Afro Rock Band’s “Dr. Beezer ‘Soul Frankenstein’.”  Painstakingly chosen by Corbett and Dempsey, the playlist includes more black and orange hits by Henry Threadgill, Suicide, Gillian Welch, George Jones, Sun Ra, Tampa Red, Smog, the Bar-Kays, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, among many others.

While you’re digging the grave…I mean, tunes…make sure to check out Gina Litherland’s exhibition The Murmur of Pearls, which features 15 glorious new paintings, as well as the absolutely incredible Bart Johnson and Our Town, a selection of his quite haunted ink drawings.

Festivities begin at 11AM.  No costumes, please!

Jason Adasiewicz

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, July 4, 2009, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey is happy to present a special Independence Day event marking the end of the Albert Oehlen exhibition, featuring the wonderful vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz. Adasiewicz will play a unaccompanied set of songs by Sun Ra, original compositions, and improvisations.

A prolific and visible member of Chicago’s jazz and improvised music scene, Adasiewicz is quickly gaining widespread recognition from his extensive work as a sideman as well as such high-profile honors as his strong showing in the Rising Star Vibes category of DownBeat‘s 2007 and 2008 Critics’ Poll. Critics have called him “a remarkably adroit colorist” (Jay Collins, Cadence) and “a welcome new voice” (Chris Kelsey, JazzTimes), noting his “probing sound” (Michael McCaw, and ability “to create cunning and subtle rhythmic suspensions” (Derek Taylor, Dusted). Adasiewicz is a member of more than 20 working bands, including Rob Mazurek’s Exploding Star Orchestra, the Nicole Mitchell Quartet, Mike Reed’s Loose Assembly, the Guillermo Gregorio Trio, and Ken Vandermark’s Index Orkest.

The fireworks officially start early this year, at 2pm with Jason Adasiewicz, a perfect pre- or post-barbecue treat!

(Photo, above: Michael Jackson)



The Sun Ra Arkestra


PHILADELPHIA: ICA is very pleased to present The Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen. The Sun Ra Arkestra continues to deliver some of the most potent, soul-grabbing jazz music ever written. With lyrics and song titles filled with mysticism, mythology, space travel, and other similarly cosmic trains of thought, the Arkestra’s freewheeling stage shows, complete with colorful costumes and uninhibited adventurism, perfectly embody the otherworldly proclivities of true jazz innovator Sun Ra.

Tickets are $10 General Admission / $5 for Students with a Valid ID / FREE for ICA Members


Ark1-web Ark2-web Ark3-web Ark4-web Ark5-web Ark6-web Ark7-web Ark9-web


Charlotte Hug

FREE PERFORMANCE: Monday, June 1, 2009 at 6 p.m.

CHICAGO: A highly regarded performer of new composed music and a composer herself, Charlotte Hug is also a wonderful improvisor, and she will present a program ofsolo music for viola. Hug is a member of the London Improvisors Orchestra and has worked extensively with such musicians as John Butcher, John Edwards, Phil Minton, Maggie Nicols, Evan Parker, and Phil Wachsmann. Hug often seeks out unusual venues for her performances, places that lend surprising acoustic, visual or emotional accents to her playing. She has appeared in the icy caverns of the Rhône Glacier in the Upper Valais in Switzerland as well as in an acoustically insulated S&M torture chamber in Zurich’s red light district. The labyrinthine subterranean passageways of the “House of Detention,” a 250-year-old former dungeon in the London neighbourhood of Farringdon, have also played host to her productions. In the glass wood-and-brick environment of CvsD even her most fleeting and delicate sounds should be impeccably audible.

Bill Meyer’s preview of the CvsD performance in the Chicago Reader:

Neither the collapse of the world economy nor the increasing unpleasantness of air travel has kept Swiss violist Charlotte Hug from cultivating partnerships with improvisers in the Americas. The new LIFT (Edgetone), her first proper album in six years, is a wild collaboration with Mexican artist and inventor Guillermo Galindo (aka gal*in_dog) that juxtaposes prelingual vocalizing, mechanical clatter, and eerie, groaning strings. Tonight’s concert is a solo performance entitled Anderwelten, for which Hug will respond to a collection of abstract graphic scores she’s hung about the room; she draws these ‘Son-Icons’ while listening to recordings of her own earlier improvisations.


Hal Rammel

FREE ARTIST TALK: Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 2pm

CHICAGO: Hal Rammel will discuss the development and concept behind his amazing comic Aero, which Corbett vs. Dempsey has just published in a collection titled Aero Through the Ages.  The book compiles various cartoons and comic strips Rammel created with a central character named Aero over a thirty-year period from 1979 to 2009. Aero is a malleable, arrow-shaped figure whose many adventures include a mediation on the principles of Lawsonomy, trips to musical lands inhabited by Davey Williams & LaDonna Smith, Sun Ra, and Smoky Babe, and settings of poems by Philip Lamantia and Schlechter Duvall.  John Corbett will interview Rammel on the comic’s origins and future, and Rammel will present some of the original artwork.

This event corresponds with the final day of Corbett vs. Dempsey’s exhibition of Rammel’s recent drawings, Duets & Trios.

Saturday is also the final day of Rebecca Shore’s stunning exhibition A E i O U (and sometimes why).


Peter Evans

FREE PERFORMANCE: Monday, April 6, 2009, 8:00pm

CHICAGO: One of the most astonishing young musicians on the new jazz scene, trumpeter Peter Evans has appeared fully-formed with a mind-blowing new concept and the technical chops to see it through. Appearing on the New York creative music front in 2003, Evans has quickly gained an audience for his group music and his solo work alike. His first solo CD, More is More, was released in 2006 on Evan Parker’s psi label, and it was clear evidence of a radical new vision for the instrument. Utilizing circular-breathing, a stunning range of multiphonics, and an incredible melodic imagination, Evans virtually reinvents the horn. Corbett vs.Dempsey is very pleased to present him in his only public performance on this visit to Chicago.


John Sparagana Book Release


FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, January 31, 2009, 4:00pm

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to launch Sleeping Beauty: A One-Artist Dictionary, a new collaborative book by artist John Sparagana and writer Mieke Bal, published by University of Chicago Press. Sparagana will be on hand to sign copies of the book, and an example of his most recent work will be on display. John Sparagana’s work has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions in New York, Houston, and Chicago. Excorporating pages from popular magazines, he subjects them to a process of “fatiguing” by means of excessive handling; in his latest body of work Sparagana then uses various manual processes (and the introduction of reflective materials) to meticulously cut up, interdigitate, expand, and in some cases further distort the underlying image. The results are evocative, subversive, mysterious, provocative, powerful, and remarkably beautiful.

As a special part of the afternoon event, Glenn Kotche, percussionist extraordinaire and drummer with Wilco, will present a program including two solo pieces by composer Steve Reich. Like Sparagana’s process-intensive work, Reich’s pieces revolve around pattern, repetition, symmetry, asymmetry, phase shifting, and misregistration. An incredibly rare performance by one of creative music’s most vibrant forces.


Han Bennink

FREE PERFORMANCE: Sunday, January 25, 2009, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: Please join us for a concert by one of the most important figures in the history of improvised music and one of the most powerful drummers in jazz, Han Bennink. Hailing from Amsterdam, Bennink is the anchor of the legendary Instant Composers Pool Orchestra, which he co-founded over forty years ago with pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Willem Breuker. An uproarious, often maniacal performer known to utilize everything percussive under the sun, Bennink has worked with most of the important figures in jazz and free music, from Sonny Rollins and Eric Dolphy to Peter Brötzmann and Irene Schweizer. For this very rare solo gig, only his second in Chicago, Bennink will also present a small one-day exhibition of his collages, which have been an important part of his artistic life since the early 1960s.

(Photo, above : Andreas Terlaak)


Mats Gustafsson

FREE PERFORMANCE: Wednesday, November 12, 2008, 3:00pm

CHICAGO: A concert of solo music by Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson. For this event, Gustafsson will play duets with five of the welded steel sculptures in the current exhibition, treating them as compositions to be interpreted. In addition to being a first-time encounter for the great saxophonist, it’s an opportunity for everyone who hasn’t yet been out to come and see Joseph Goto’s powerful sculptures, lithographs and paintings. In 1963, Dore Ashton said of the artist: “Goto is certainly one of the few mature and forceful sculptors of his generation.”

Improvisor Gustafsson is uniquely suited to perform with the sculptures. He has worked in virtually every sort of musical context, working with stellar players including Peter Brötzmann, Thurston Moore, Jim O’Rourke, and Joe McPhee. He has worked extensively with visual artists, recording Ollé Bonnier’s landmark painting/composition “Plingaling.” Goto’s sculptures are already deeply musical, and Gustafsson will draw this inherent quality out in a fresh new way.



Fred Lonberg-Holm

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, October 11, 2008, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to present a concert of solo cello music by the great Fred Lonberg-Holm. An improvisor and composer of immense and expansive vision, Lonberg-Holm is one of the most active musicians in Chicago, working with everyone from Peter Brötzmann to Janet Bean, and his own ensembles include his Valentine Trio, with Jason Roebke and Glenn Koetche. To hear Lonberg-Holm alone is a rare treat, especially in an environment as perfectly suited to solo strings as the brick, wood and glass gallery at CvsD.

(Photo, above : Schorle)


Book Launch Celebration for The Hysterical Alphabet

BOOK LAUNCH & FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, June 28, 2008, 6-8pm

CHICAGO: Come celebrate the release of The Hysterical Alphabet (WhiteWalls Press) by Terri Kapsalis and Gina Litherland. Join us for a festive reception featuring an exhibition of the Litherland drawings reproduced in the book and live music by Janet Beveridge Bean (Freakwater/Eleventh Dream Day) with the Horse’s Ha.

The history of hysteria—four-thousand years of malady and myth manifested in a culture of traveling uteruses, the shrieking ladies of Grecian drama, and countless allusions to Freud consoling Dora on his upholstered settee—is the object of condensation in Terri Kapsalis and Gina Litherland’s pithy & playful abecedary The Hysterical Alphabet. Drawn from medical writings and images ranging from ancient Egypt to the present, each letter of this uproarious, articulate, and critically incisive collection introduces an episode direct from the annals of medical lore. From the poetic origins of the womb to the alliterative medicating of menstruation (with stops for diagnosis and cake along the way), The Hysterical Alphabet tracks centuries of female malady, heartily disproving the theory that time heals all wombs.



Songs of Glitter and Doom


FREE LISTENING PARTY: Saturday, May 3, 2008 11am-4pm

CHICAGO: As the closing of the Isobel Steele MacKinnon exhibition approaches, Corbett vs. Dempsey is happy to present a day in celebration of her time in Munich, featuring German music from between the World Wars by composers including Hans Eisler, Kurt Weill, Paul Dessau, Stephan Wolpe, and others.  We will also feature contemporary music with a similar cabaret atmosphere, such as Antony & the Johnsons, Scott Walker, and Carla Bley.  Due to popular demand, the MacKinnon show has been extended a week and now closes on May 10.

While you’re at CvsD, don’t miss the new show downstairs at Dusty Groove America, featuring five paintings hot out of the oven by Joel Dean. Convenient, isn’t it, that you can purchase a copy of the astonishing new compilation African Scream Contest at the same time.


The Hysterical Alphabet

TICKETED PERFORMANCE: Sunday, April 13, 20 & 27, 2008, 7:00pm, Chopin Theatre, Chicago

CHICAGO: Theater Oobleck proudly presents as part of its 20th Anniversary season The Hysterical Alphabet, a video and live sound performance by Terri Kapsalis, John Corbett, and Danny Thompson at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division, Sunday, April 13, 20 and 27 at 7 p.m. Theater Oobleck is also presenting Mickle Maher’s The Strangerer in the same theater, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m through May 11. Tickets are $10 or “more if you’ve got it, free if you’re broke.” Patrons presenting a program from The Strangerer receive $5 off The Hysterical Alphabet tickets. For information or reservations call 773.347.1041 or visit Tickets may be purchased at the box office the day of performance with cash or check (no credit cards).

The Hysterical Alphabet teams Oobleck founding members Terri Kapsalis (voice) and Danny Thompson (video) with John Corbett (sound). This work is structured like an ABC book with each letter introducing an episode direct from the annals of medical lore. Kapsalis’ text radically and poetically tracks centuries of hysteria, from ancient Egypt to the present. Thompson’s disquieting film collages and Corbett’s eclectic score enrich Kapsalis’ words.

Kapsalis is the author of the book Public Privates: Performing Gynecology from Both Ends of the Speculum.  She is a health educator and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Corbett, who has provided soundscapes for several Oobleck productions also teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is the co-owner of the art gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey.  Thompson has written many plays for Oobleck, including Necessity and the award-winning The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett…

The Hysterical Alphabet premiered at the Gene Siskel Film Center as part of the Outer Ear Festival of Sound, November 8, 2007. The Chopin Theatre performances coincide with the release of the book, The Hysterical Alphabet, by Kapsalis and visual artist Gina Litherland. This WhiteWalls Publication, distributed by University of Chicago Press, will be available at the performances.

Wolter Wierbos


FREE PERFORMANCE Saturday, March 8, 2008, 4:00pm

CHICAGO: Wolter Wierbos is one of the most important musicians to emerge from the fertile Amsterdam improvised music scene.  A longterm member of Misha Mengelberg’s ICP Orchestra, Wierbos has performed in disparate contexts with everyone from Harry Miller and Theo Loevendie to Sonic Youth to Maarten Altena.  A trombonist of astonishing technique and sensitivity, he will play a short set (half-hour) of unaccompanied solos against a backdrop of CvsD’s current exhibition, which features collages by James Garrett Faulkner and paintings by Thomas H. Kapsalis.  In a review last week in the Chicago Tribune:  Kapsalis is one of the city’s most inspiring painters of any persuasion, and the opportunity of seeing more of him should always be taken.


Stop Smiling

FREE PERFORMANCE: Monday, Feb. 18, 2008, 9:00pm

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey suggests that you boogie over to the Empty Bottle on Monday night to catch (((Powerhouse Sound))), the astonishing ensemble featuring saxophonist Ken Vandermark, guitarist Jeff Parker, bassist Nate McBride, and drummer John Herndon.

Doors open at 9PM, band plays at 10:30PM, DJ sets by Josh Abrams and Ben Fasman.

Empty Bottle:  1035 N. Western Ave.

It’s free of charge and is designed to launch Stop Smiling’s new jazz issue, which sports in-depth considerations of Eric Dolphy, Peter Brötzmann, and Mr. Vandermark, among others, and includes thoughtful pieces on jazz fashion, jazz album artwork, and which five records Mats Gustafsson will steal from John Corbett’s collection.

Corbett and Dempsey were guest editors on the issue.  They hope to see you there!

Swing low!


Organ Music


FREE LISTENING PARTY: Saturday, February 9, 2008, 11-4pm-closing reception and all-day organ marathon

CHICAGO: In celebration of the closing weekend of Philip Hanson‘s exhibition Organ Music, Corbett vs. Dempsey has planned a day-long adventure in organ sounds.  Consonant with Hanson’s vibrant, pulsing paintings and drawings, Corbett and Dempsey will spin organ records from their collections, from stately to saucy, from greasy to curried, from minimal to maximal, and all organic points between.

While you’re at CvsD, don’t forget to pick up a catalog for Organ Music.  And get ready for the following Friday, when James Garrett Faulkner’s new collages and Thomas H. Kapsalis’s recent paintings converge for the first time.  Catalogs are just in for that show, too.

Peter Brötzmann Tentet

CHICAGO: A veritable “who’s who” of contemporary improvised jazz, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with only one concert in North America at the MCA. This high-caliber performance will be recorded for future CD release. The group includes:

Peter Brötzmann (Germany) – reeds
Johannes Bauer (Germany) – trombone
Jeb Bishop (USA) – trombone
Mats Gustafsson (Sweden) – saxophones
Per-Åke Holmlander (Sweden) – tuba
Kent Kessler (USA) – bass
Fred Lonberg-Holm (USA) – cello
Joe McPhee (USA) – trumpet
Paal Nilssen-Love (Norway) – drums
Ken Vandermark (USA) – reeds
Michael Zerang (USA) – drums

Running time: 90 minutes, one intermission

Exhibition: Metal & Wood
Beatrice C. Mayer Education Center lobby, MCA
November 13 to December 2

Best known as a preeminent figure in contemporary improvised music, artist and musician Peter Brötzmann was trained as a visual artist in his hometown of Wuppertal, Germany, in the late 1950s. His early music career as a saxophonist and clarinetist was paralleled by his first art exhibitions in Holland and Germany. Brötzmann’s small constructions often include found or fabricated wooden boxes and sometimes integrate metal elements, including cans, can lids and various rusted industrial objects. Metal & Wood is a collection of works created between 1963 and 2004 by Brötzmann and is on view in the Beatrice C. Mayer Education Center lobby at the MCA from November 13 to December 2. A companion exhibition of Brötzmann’s work – Paintings & Objects – is currently on view at Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery in Chicago until December 2.

(Photos : Ziga Koritnik)

Peter Broetzman's Chicago Tentet / 10th anniversary

Big Picture

If you can take time to see these programs at the Gene Siskel Film Center, they are a compliment to the Chicago History Museum exhibition.

CHICAGO: Flanked by the Hollywood storytelling machine to the West, and the legacy of art cinema and cinema-verite documentary to the East, film production in the Chicago metropolis has historically been relegated to the realm of the industrial, commercial, and educational film. In collaboration with the exhibition Big Picture: A New View of Painting in Chicago at the Chicago History Museum, these programs explore the connections between traditions of industrial production and the undervalued amateur and artistic cinematic output of filmmakers working in Chicago and the Midwest. This series is presented as part of the Film Center’s November-December focus on preservation of our international film heritage.

This series is a co-presentation of the Gene Siskel Film Center, the Chicago History Museum, and the Chicago Film Archives. Programming and notes by Michelle Puetz and Andy Uhrich of the Chicago Film Archives.

Reduced admission for Chicago History Museum members: $5 with a valid CHM membership card.

– Jim Dempsey

Cityscape as Landscape:
The City as an Ever Variable Constant
1932-75, Various directors, USA, ca. 90 min.

Cityscape as Landscape presents the ever-changing Chicago skyline as a backdrop for various cinematic interpretations of urban life. Mid-century films such as Wayne Boyer’s THE BUILDING: CHICAGO STOCK EXCHANGE (1975), Jack Behrend’s time-lapse footage of the construction of the Equitable building (1964), James Benning’s CHICAGO LOOP (1976), and Kenji Kanesaka’s SUPER UP (1966) provide complex portraits of Chicago as rapidly changing industrial city. Various formats. (Puetz/Uhrich)
Saturday, November 3, 2007, 3:00 pm
Tuesday, November 6, 2007, 6:00 pm

Domestic Portraiture
1932-1972, Various directors, USA, ca. 80 min.

This program illustrates the manner in which cinematic conventions are embedded in amateur film production, as well as the various ways in which nonprofessional films challenge the candy-coated portraits of domestic life presented by Hollywood and television. The home becomes a battleground in Margaret Conneely’s wonderful story of fed-up housewives’ revenge in MISTER E (1959), while in Peter Kuttner’s MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB (1966), a young African American couple’s budding romance is the front line in a struggle between the sacred and the secular. Various formats. (Puetz/Uhrich)
Saturday, November 10, 2007, 3:00 pm
Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 6:00 pm

Hattula Moholy-Nagy in person!
Form Becomes Function:
The Institute of Design and the Art in Industry
1930-70, Various directors, USA, ca. 70 min.

Founded in 1937, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s Institute of Design left a lasting legacy on the industrial and commercial creative output of Chicago. Combining films directed by Moholy-Nagy with the work of students and associates, this program examines the intersection of artistic and functional, visionary and market-driven in works that range from pure abstraction to the completely utilitarian. Films include Moholy-Nagy’s EIN LICHTSPIEL–SCHWARZ WEISS GRAU (1930), Morton and Millie Goldsholl’s UNION PIER FILM EXPERIMENTS (1942), and Ken Josephson’s 33RD AND LASALLE (1962). Various formats. (Puetz/Uhrich)

Hattula Moholy-Nagy, scholar and daughter of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, will be present at both screenings for audience discussion.
Sunday, November 18, 2007, 5:00 pm
Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 8:00 pm

An Accidental Avant-Garde
1932-81, Various directors, USA, ca. 80 min.

This final program emphasizes Chicago’s unique contribution to art cinema and the filmic avant-garde. While most of these films can be categorized as experimental in form, they were produced by filmmakers who made a living by making films ranging from commercials and educational films to soft-core pornography. Films include Red Grooms’s TAPPY TOES (1969), a comic-musical depiction of the late-60’s art group the Hairy Who starring Ed Paschke; and Don Klugman’s NIGHTSONG (1965), a portrait of Chicago’s Near North nightclub scene that features legendary African-American folk singer Willie Wright. Various formats. (Puetz/Uhrich)
Sunday, November 25, 2007, 3:00 pm
Tuesday, November 27, 2007, 8:15 pm

Gene Siskel Film Center
164 North State Street
Chicago Il 60601

Dirty Found

FREE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION: Saturday, July 29, 2006. 7:30pm

CHICAGO: Join Dirty Found Founder Jason Bitner and friends as we celebrate the best raunchy lost-and-discovered stuff from around the world. Too nasty for our PG-13 sister, we were forced to create a new home for these “special” finds. Witness a pervy Powerpoint presentation, experience the Dirty Found XXX Survey, and share your smutty finds. For adults only!

IMG_8289 IMG_8294 IMG_8298 IMG_8299 IMG_8302 IMG_8308


Jeb Bishop

FREE PERFORMANCE: Wednesday, June 27, 2007, 7pm

CHICAGO: One of the key figures in Chicago’s improvised music renaissance, Jeb Bishop has led his own trio and co-led the ensemble Lucky 7s, as well as playing with the Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, the Vandermark 5, and innumerable ad hoc and ongoing groups.  This is a rare opportunity to hear Bishop play solo, and he’ll feature a new take on an old piece by fellow ‘bone-man Julian Priester.

This single set of music, is aninformal closing event for the Ted Halkin exhibition, First In/Last Out, which closes the following weekend.  If you have already seen Halkin’s exhibit, come see it again and pick up a complimentary 24-page color catalog, now available. This exhibition of Halkin’s work will be reviewed in an upcoming issue of Art in America. Also, don’t miss Katie Kahn’s great work in the gallery’s East Wing.

(Photo, above: Angie Evans)



Wilbert de Joode

FREE PERFORMANCE: Tuesday, April 17, 2007, 7:00pm

CHICAGO: Dutch bassist and improvisor Wilbert de Joode makes a rare solo stop in the unique acoustic environment of Corbett vs. Dempsey.


Along The Way

Extensions Out, Plus: Four Poetry Books (1959/1972)


Pick Up the Pieces Excursions in Seventies Music

Catalog: Christopher Wool

Catalog: Josiah McElheny

Catalog: Magalie Guérin: bunker

Catalog: Lui Shtini: A Sawdust Feast

Catalog: Rebecca Shore: Rebecca Shore

Catalog: William Weege: Peace is Patriotic

Zine: Tom Kapsalis’s Protest

A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation

A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation book release
Tuesday, February 23, 7pm
192 Books, New York
free admission

An evening celebrating two new books by Chicago-based writer, curator, and gallerist John Corbett. Microgroove: Forays into Other Music (Duke University Press) is a collection of essays and interviews covering a wide range of musics including jazz, rock, contemporary classical, folk, and cartoon music, while A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation(University of Chicago Press) delves deeply into a single genre, offering a how-to-listen manual for freely improvised music.

Corbett will give short readings from the books, followed by a conversation with artist and music aficionado Terry Winters and a new piece of live music performed by David Grubbs.

For more information visit the 192 Books site here.

Catalog: John Corbett: Vinyl Freak

Catalog: Arlene Shechet: In the Meantime 2017

Catalog: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Jennifer Jason Leigh 2017

Catalog: Christopher Wool: Westtexaspsychosculpture

Catalog: Christopher Wool: Road

Catalog: Christopher Williams: Supplements Models Prototypes 2017

Catalog: Karl Wirsum: No Dogs Aloud 2017

Catalog: Cauleen Smith: Human 3.0 Reading List 2015-2016

Catalog: Joyce Pensato: The Godmother 2016

Catalog: Rebecca Morris 2016

Catalog: Diane Simpson 2016

Catalog: False Image

Catalog: Jimmy Wright: Bathhouse, Meatpacking District and the Dream Cards

Catalog: Gina Litherland: Unknown Rooms

Catalog: Robert Lostutter: Garden

Catalog: John Sparagarana: Themesong Variations

Catalog: Magalie Guérin: Notes On

Catalog: Brian Calvin: The Meditations: Chicago 1991 – 1999

Catalog: John Corbett: A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation


Catalog: Diane Simpson: Diane Simpson: The Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston

Peter Brötzmann

FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: Please join us at the gallery  for a live performance of alto saxophone and clarinet solos by Peter Brötzmann.  One of the pioneer free improvisors in Europe, Brötzmann’s legendary recording Machine Gun has just been reissued on CD.  The cover painting, from the same period as the music, is on display along with many recent paintings and constructions.  Saturday’s performance will offer a rare opportunity to see and hear Peter Brötzmann in the same space

A 96 page full-color catalog is available.  ($10 during the exhibition, $20 later.)  A limited edition (200 copies) CD of Peter Brötzmann and bassist Harry Miller will be available for the first time at the opening. The first 50 copies of the catalog come with signed, numbered CDs. Catalogs with signed copies of the CD are available for $30.

(photo, above:  Michael Jackson)




The Marble Index

Catalog: Kati Heck: Ins Büro!

Catalog: Thomas Grünfeld: Almanac

Catalog: Barbara Rossi: Barbara Rossi

Catalog: Terry Winters: The Pencil of Nature

Catalog: John Corbett: Microgroove

Catalog: Albert Oehlen: Rawhide

Catalog: Charline von Heyl: Why Not?

Catalog: Keiichi Tanaami: Collages 1969-1973

Catalog: Jackie Saccoccio: Echo

Catalog: Rebecca Shore: Barely Committed to Three Dimensions

Catalog: Ed Flood: Floaters & Fins

Catalog: Robert Lostutter

Catalog: John Sparagana & Reto Geiser: Reading Revolutionaries


Catalog: Josiah McElheny: Dusty Groove

Albert Oehlen

Bob Thompson

Charline von Heyl

Keiichi Tanaami

Jackie Saccoccio

Matthew Metzger

Morris Barazani

Rebecca Shore

Eleanor Coen

Ed Flood



Lui Shtini

Josiah McElheny

Dominick Di Meo

Magalie Guerin

Walter Hamady


Roy De Forest

Margot Bergman

George Herriman

Charline von Heyl

Charline von Heyl

Keiichi Tanaami

Philip Hanson

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Sensitive Instruments

Arturo Herrera

Jackie Saccoccio

John Sparagana

Alex Chitty

Richard Koppe

Jonathan Gardner

Konrad Klapheck

Rebecca Morris

Robert Nickle

Peter Brötzmann

Hedwig Eberle

Matt Nichols

Robert Donley

Gertrude Abercrombie / Julia Thecla

Gina Litherland

David Hartt

Dominick Di Meo

Diane Simpson

Rodney Quiriconi

Joyce Pensato

Walter Hamady

Robert Lostutter

Keiichi Tanaami

Seymour Rosofsky

Vivian Maier

Arturo Herrera

Big Youth 2

Horst Ademeit

Rebecca Shore

Miroslav Tichý

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Susanne Doremus

Art Green

Christina Ramberg

Chicago Imagists

Albert Oehlen

Joe Zucker

Jonathan Gardner

Dominick Di Meo

Richard Artschwager

H.C. Westermann and Ed Flood

Walter Hamady

Tim Berresheim & Matthias Schaufler

John Sparagana

Peter Saul

Brian Calvin

Aretha Franklin’s

Margot Bergman

Touch and Go

Christopher Wool

Michiko Itatani

Philip Hanson

Ox-Bow Centennial

Gabrielle Garland

Robert Barnes

Simone Shubuck

Maybelle Stamper

Ted Halkin

Peter Brötzmann

Harold Haydon

Jeff Marlin

Thomas H. Kapsalis

Sam Prekop

Margo Hoff

Gina Litherland

Bart Johnson

Ed Flood

Tappy Toes

Big Youth

Albert Oehlen

Pathways to Unknown Worlds

Rebecca Shore

Robert Donley

Morris Barazani

Ronald Ahlström

Robert Lostutter

Sarah Canright

Big Picture

Joseph Goto

Margot Bergman

Anne Harris

Frank Vavruska

Nineteen Sixty-Six:

Dominick Di Meo

Isobel Steele MacKinnon

Benjamin Seamons

James Garrett Faulkner & Thomas H. Kapsalis

Philip Hanson

Ralph Arnold

Peter Brötzmann

Peter Brötzmann

Pathways to Unknown Worlds

Stephen Lapthisophon

Harold Haydon

Jimmy Wright

Jimmy Wright & Mark Mulhern

Katie Kahn

Ted Halkin

Bold Saboteurs

Art Green & Suellen Rocca

Gina Litherland

Joseph Friebert, Fred Berman

Abstract Imagist

Max Kahn & Eleanor Coen

Full Frontal

Morris Barazani

Margot Bergman

Robert Amft

New Acquisitions & Gallery Artists

Briggs Dyer & Paul LaMantia

Dorothy Loeb: The Lost 1909 Mural Unveiled

Four WPA Muralists in Their Studios

Philip Hanson

Six Rings

Walter Hahn

Ann Starr and Linda Kramer

Chicago Northside/Southside

Eye & Ear

Jimmy Wright

Eve Garrison

Diane Simpson a “Standout” at Independent

NEW YORK – The New York Observer writer, Ryan Steadman selects Diane Simpson’s Window 4, Window Dressing: Apron VI as one of three standout works at the Independent Art Fair.


Margot Bergman, Greetings, nominated for best show of 2014 by AICA

NEW YORK – ARTnews has announced the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) nominees for its 2014 awards. Margot Bergman’s exhibition, Greetings, is one of eight exhibitions nominated in the “Best Show in a Commercial Space Nationally” category.


David Hartt, Interval, at the Bonaventure Hotel with LAXART

LOS ANGELES – Situated in a street level suite of the Bonaventure Hotel, Interval contains a two-channel film work on LCD monitors, including original music by Mitchell Akiyama accompanied by seven photographs laminated as decals on the storefront of the space. A final element on the checklist is the building itself, which the artist sought out and made clear was the preferred installation site.


Joyce Pensato solo show at Petzel Gallery

NEW YORK – Opening February 19th, Petzel Gallery, New York will be presenting new paintings and drawings by Joyce Pensato and primiring digital c-prints of collages in her Brooklyn studio.


Rebecca Morris and Charline von Heyl in Call and Response

NEW YORK – Gavin Brown’s Enterprise presents the work of 59 artists in dialogue, including the work of Rebecca Morris and Charline von Heyl. The exhibition is on view through February 28th.  (more…)

Diane Simpson Project with Matt Keegan Launched at LA Book Fair

LOS ANGELES – A small-run arts publication edited by Matt Keegan, featuring Diane Simpson will be released January 29th at the LA Book Fair. ==#2 is a non-thematic arts publication contained in a box with a 96-page bound volume featuring artist-to-artist interviews, texts, and transcriptions. Six loose multiples are also included.


David Hartt awarded FCA grant

NEW YORK – The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) has awarded fourteen unrestricted grants of $35,000 each to individual artists and one collective in the United States. Nominated confidentially by prominent artists and arts professionals and selected by the Directors of the Foundation and noted members of the arts community, artist David Hartt is one of three artists awarded the visual arts grant.


Diane Simpson at Mitchell-Innes & Nash

NEW YORK – Mitchell-Innes & Nash is pleased to present a three-person show with Jo Baer, Anne Neukamp, and Diane Simpson. This will be the gallery’s first time exhibiting work by these three artists and will include a range of paintings and sculptures from 1978 to the present. The exhibition will be on view from December 13, 2014 through January 24, 2015.  Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, December 13 from 6 to 8 pm.


Rebecca Morris in The Curve at Wallspace

NEW YORK – Wallspace is pleased to present The Curve, a collection of works by six artists that broadly considers objects and their depiction, as well as how pattern and surface can be mobilized to wide-ranging, often delirious effect. A shared interest in geometric forms – in all of their attenuated, ribald permutations – pervades the show, as does a garrulous palette ranging from treacle to acid rain. A fastidious attention to detail and a palpable joy-in-making links this diverse group, as does a devout belief in the power of objects to entrance, delight and confound.


Diane Simpson in All Summer In a Day

PORTLAND – Fourteen30 contemporary is pleased to present a group exhibition All Summer In A Day, with work by Matt Connors, Kristan Kennedy, Owen Kydd, Diane Simpson, and Erika Verzutti. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 21, and the exhibition will run through January 4, 2015.


Catalog: Dominick Di Meo: Good Night, Good Morning

Frieze Masters 2014, Rumble in the Jungle

REGENTS PARK, LONDON – From 16 – 19th October Corbett vs. Dempsey & Thomas Dane Gallery present Rumble in the Jungle 1974. For their fifth collaboration, the third at Frieze Masters, Corbett vs. Dempsey and Thomas Dane Gallery propose to set their shared booth in October, 1974, exactly forty years ago.

Magalie Guerin a Critic’s Pick on

CHICAGO – Magalie Guerin’s exhibition at Corbett vs. Dempsey was recently reviewed by Matt Morris as an Critic’s Pick. (more…)

David Hartt shortlisted for 2014 AIMIA – Art Gallery of Ontario Photography Prize

TORONTO – David Hartt is one of four artists who have been shortlisted to receive 2014 prize. The winner will be determined by a public vote. (more…)

Rebecca Morris In The Office Of The Drunken Monkey at TSA New York

NEW YORK – Open until September 7, Rebecca Morris appears in a group exhibition at TSA Gallery, New York, along with Brian Scott Campbell, Rubens Ghenov, Rachael Gorchov, Lucia Hierro, David Humphrey, Julian Kreimer, Margrit Lewczuk, Dustin London, Dona Nelson, Devin Troy Strother, Christopher Ulivo, and Stephanie Washburn.


Diane Simpson’s Cape now on view at the Art Institute of Chicago

CHICAGO – Diane Simpson’s Cape was recently installed in gallery 299 at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Catalog: Walter Hamady: Merit Badge

Catalog: Joyce Pensato: I Killed Kenny

Catalog: Margot Bergman: Greetings

Catalog: Morris Barazani: Shoots Straight, 1948-2014

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung receives 2013 Tiffany Foundation Award

NEW YORK – Molly Zuckerman-Hartung is one of 30 artists selected for the most recent Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award.


Rebecca Morris in Paintings on Paper at David Zwirner

NEW YORK – Opening June 26th, Rebecca Morris will exhibit new works on paper at David Zwirner Gallery, New York, along with Ben Berlow, James Bishop, Ilse D’Hollander, Raoul De Keyser, Suzan Frecon, Mary Heilmann, Paulo Monteiro, Ad Reinhardt, Al Taylor, and Stanley Whitney.


Christina Ramberg exhibition at the Liverpool Biennial 2014

LIVERPOOL – Opening July 5th, Christina Ramberg is featured in A Needle Walks into a Haystack, curated by Mai Abu ElDahab and Anthony Huberman.


Joshua Mosley, Jeu de Paume at The Wexner Center

COLUMBUS – Opening Friday, August 1, The Wexner Center will be presenting Joshua Mosley’s Jeu de Paume. (more…)

Philip Hanson and Rebecca Shore at David Nolan Gallery

NEW YORK – Opening June 26, paintings by Philip Hanson and Rebecca Shore will be on view at David Nolan Gallery as part of a group exhibition of abstract paintings.


Cauleen Smith and Joshua Mosley screenings at the Schaulager

MÜNCHENSTEIN, SWITZERLAND – Cauleen Smith and Joshua Mosley have been selected for the “Artist’s Choice” film series in conjunction with the Schaulager’s current Paul Chan exhibition. (more…)

Diane Simpson in Displayed, curated by Matthew Higgs

NEW YORK – Opening July 2, Anton Kern Gallery presents a group exhibition titled, Displayed featuring Diane Simpson and curated by Matthew Higgs.


Sun Ra: When Sun Comes Out, Ephemera 1956-1975 at David Nolan Gallery

NEW YORK – David Nolan Gallery, New York, and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, are pleased to present Sun Ra: When Sun Comes Out, Ephemera 1956-1975.


Diane Simpson in My Hands Are My Bite at Monique Meloche

CHICAGO – My Hands Are My Bite features artists Diane Simpson, Lilli Carré, Laura Davis, and Carol Jackson in a group exhibition curated by Dan Gunn.


Morris Barazani: Shoots Straight, 1948-2014 (Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art)

CHICAGO – The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, in cooperation with Corbett vs. Dempsey, presents a retrospective exhibit of Chicago abstract painter Morris Barazani.


Now Chicago! opens at the Hughes Gallery, Australia

SURRY HILLS, AUSTRALIA – Opening May 1st, artists Rebecca Shore and Gabrielle Garland are featured in Now Chicago!, an exhibition of work by contemporary painters connected to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


David Hartt Stray Light opens at the Carnegie Museum of Art

PITTSBURGH – Stray Light, David Hartt’s exhibition of photographs, sculptures, and film opens Saturday, May 17th at the Carnegie Museum of Art.


Margot Bergman in Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo at the MCA Chicago

CHICAGO – Painter Margot Bergman included in Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, through October 5, 2014.


Catalog: Rebecca Morris: Southafternoon (Kunsthalle Lingen / Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht)

Catalog: Rebecca Morris: Paintings, 1996-2005 (Renaissance Society)

Catalog: Charline von Heyl: Interventionist Demonstration (Why-A-Duck?)

Southafternoon, paintings by Rebecca Morris, at the Bonnefanten Museum

MAASTRICHT, NETHERLANDS – Traveling from Kunsthalle Lingen, Rebecca Morris presents twelve recent paintings in the exhibition Southafternoon, through September 7th.


Jackie Saccoccio solo exhibition at Eleven Rivington

NEW YORK – Through May 18th, new paintings by artist Jackie Saccoccio are on view at Eleven Rivington.


Diane Simpson in What Not to Wear at GWU’s Brady Gallery

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Opening April 16, Diane Simpson’s work will be on view at George Washington University’s Luther W. Brady Art Gallery in What Not to Wear: Women Sculptors.


Album: Ken Vandermark and Michael Snow: Duol

Album: Mats Gustafsson and Jason Adasiewicz: Timeless

Album: Sun Ra: Discipline 27-II

Album: Suns of Arqa: Seven

Album: Suns of Arqa: Revenge of the Mozabites

Album: Eugene Chadbourne: The Lost Eddie Chatterbox Session

Album: Wendy Gondeln: Projections

Album: Billy Bang: Distinction Without a Difference

Album: Hans Reichel: Bonobo

Album: Hans Reichel: Wichlinghauser Blues

Album: Rüdiger Carl Inc.: King Alcohol

Album: Eugene Chadbourne: There’ll Be No Tears Tonight

Album: Picnic: Picnic

Album: Joe McPhee/ André Jaume: Nuclear Family

Album: Terri Kapsalis & John Corbett: Dead Level

Album: Phillip Wilson: Esoteric

Album: Jimmy Lyons: Push Pull

Album: Brian Calvin and Devin Johnston: Some Hours

Album: Staffan Harde: Staffan Harde

Album: Joe McPhee: Alone Together

Album: Wadada Leo Smith: Red Chrysanthemums

Album: Brötzmann/van Hove/Bennink: 1971

Album: Tom Prehn Quartet: Axiom

Album: Steve Lacy/Steve Potts: Tips

7″ Single: Joe McPhee: Cosmic Love

Christina Ramberg solo exhibition part of Glasgow International

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – Curated by Carol Rhodes and Merlin James as part of Glasgow International, work by Christina Ramberg is on view at 42 Carlton Place, through April 21st, 2014.


Album: Peter Kowald/Kent Kessler/Fred Lonberg-Holm: Flats Fixed

Album: Thurston Moore: Sonic STREET Chicago

Album: Rob Mazurek: Mother Ode

Catalog: Scapula (Art Cologne 2014)

Catalog: Philip Hanson: I am a child of the Light, student of the Dark

Joyce Pensato’s Joyceland at Lisson Gallery

LONDON – Joyce Pensato opens a solo exhibition, Joyceland, at London’s Lisson Gallery, through May 10, 2014.


Rebecca Morris opens Fantastic L.A., a solo exhibition at LAXART

LOS ANGELES – Rebecca Morris presents new paintings on canvas and paper at LA><ART, through April 26th.


Catalog: Arturo Herrera: Series

Catalog: Dominick Di Meo: Limp Voyeur in a Humid Landscape

David Hartt opens at David Nolan Gallery

NEW YORK – On March 6th, artist David Hartt opens The Republic, an exhibition of new photographs, film, and sculpture, at David Nolan Gallery.


Christopher Wool solo exhibition opens at the Art Institute of Chicago

CHICAGO – On Sunday, February 23rd, traveling from the Guggenheim in New York, Christopher Wool’s solo exhibition will open at the Art Institute of Chicago.


Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2014

Catalog: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Violet Fogs Azure Snot

“Scapula” selected by Charline von Heyl at Art Cologne

COLOGNE – From Thursday, April 10th through Sunday, April 13, Corbett vs. Dempsey will present a booth in the “Collaborations” section of Art Cologne, with a myriad of work from the gallery’s inventory selected by artist Charline von Heyl.


David Hartt releases new publication at LA Art Book Fair

LOS ANGELES – On Saturday, February 1st, artist David Hartt will release his new publication, Belvedere, at the LA Art Book Fair. The book includes photographs by the artist, as well as a conversation with Berlin-based architect and writer Markus Miessen.


Cauleen Smith one of two recipients of FCA award in the Visual Arts

NEW YORK – The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA) has awarded fourteen unrestricted grants of $30,000 each to individual artists and one collective in the United States. Nominated confidentially by prominent artists and arts professionals and selected by the Directors of the Foundation and noted members of the arts community, artist Cauleen Smith is one of two artists awarded the visual arts grant.

Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY opens at CAM St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – Opening January 24th, Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY continues on from the Santa Monica Museum of Art to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. An artist talk will take place in the galleries on Tuesday, January 21st.


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung in Painting in the Expanded Field at Georgia Regents University

AUGUSTA, GA – Opening January 16th, the exhibition Painting in the Expanded Field includes Molly Zuckerman-Hartung along with Inna Babaeva, Cora Cohen, Nicole Cherubini, Liz Deschenes, Suzanne Joelson, Annette Lemieux, Jessica Stockholder, TM Sisters, Wendy White, and Tamara Zahaykevich.


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Jackie Saccoccio at Brand New Gallery

MILAN – Molly Zuckerman-Hartung will show new paintings in Shakti, a group exhibition, which opens January 23rd at Brand New Gallery. Jackie Saccoccio also has a concurrent exhibition, Portraits, in Gallery 2.


Diane Simpson’s Window Dressing at New York University

NEW YORK – On January 26th in New York University’s galleries at 55 E. 10th Street, artist Diane Simpson will unveil Window Dressing, previously exhibited at the Racine Art Museum in Wisconsin.


Jackie Saccoccio solo exhibition at Villa Croce

GENOVA – On January 16th, Jackie Saccoccio will open an exhibition at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, her the first solo exhibition to be held in a European museum.


John Sparagana at Sicardi Gallery

HOUSTON – John Sparagana opens El Cuerpo Sutil with Miguel Ángel Rojas at Sicardi Gallery on Friday, January 17th.


Rebecca Morris at Stephen Wirtz Gallery

SAN FRANCISCO – On January 9th, Rebecca Morris joins artists Maysha Mohamedi, Ruby Neri, and Laurie Reid in The Optimists at Stephen Wirtz Gallery.


Catalog: Arturo Herrera: Books

Catalog: John Sparagana: Crowds & Powder

Nation Time in Best of 2013 Lists

CHICAGO – The re-issued Nation Time: The Complete Recordings has garnered acclaim among the year-end “Best of” lists.


Rebecca Morris one of 14 “Painters to Watch” in 2014

NEW YORK – For the Huffington Post, publisher Steven Zevitas (New American Paintings) names Rebecca Morris as one of 14 “Painters to Watch” in 2014.


Catalog: Karl Wirsum

Rebecca Shore solo exhibition at Eight Modern

SANTA FE, NM – Rebecca Shore unveils new paintings in her solo exhibition Part and Parcel at Eight Modern, through January 11, 2014.


Art Basel Miami Beach 2013

MIAMI – Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present work by David Hartt, Albert Oehlen, John Sparagana, Karl Wirsum, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.


The Guggenheim presents Richard Hell, Arto Lindsay, The Thing, and Joe McPhee

NEW YORK – In celebration of the exhibition Christopher Wool, an international cast including writer Richard Hell, musician and composer Arto Lindsay, Scandinavian free-jazz band The Thing, and legendary multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee comes together for an explosive night of art and performance. Co-curated by John Corbett and Christopher Wool.


Josiah McElheny in conversation with Lynne Cooke

PORTLAND – This weekend artist Josiah McElheny speaks with writer and curator Lynne Cooke in conjunction with his artist project at Zena Zezza.


Diane Simpson at JTT Gallery

NEW YORK – Diane Simpson’s solo exhibition at JTT Gallery recently reviewed by Jerry Saltz for New York Magazine, Lumi Tam for Artforum, Andrew Russeth for Gallerist NY, Holland Cotter for the New York Times, and by Art in America.


ICA Boston opens first solo museum exhibition of Christina Ramberg in 25 years

BOSTON – The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) presents the first solo museum exhibition of Christina Ramberg (1946–1995) in 25 years, curated by Jenelle Porter.


Karl Wirsum at Derek Eller

NEW YORK – Karl Wirsum’s solo exhibition at Derek Eller reviewed by John Yau for Hyperallergic, Peter Plagens for the Wall Street Journal, and Andrew Russeth for Gallerist NY.


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung in I Work From Home at MOCA Cleveland

CLEVELAND – I Work From Home, Michelle Grabner’s first comprehensive solo museum exhibition, includes work by gallery artist Molly Zuckerman-Hartung. The exhibition runs through February 16, 2014.


Catalog: Konrad Klapheck: The Squared Circle

Joe McPhee’s Nation Time box set

CHICAGO – On sale November 1st, Corbett vs. Dempsey presents a 4-disc, box set edition of Joe McPhee’s Nation Time. A seminal spiritual-free-funk record, complete with all the recordings made during the 2-day 1970 session and two concerts from 1969.  The 60-page book features period photos and definitive new interview with McPhee.


Arturo Herrera at Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany

BIELEFELD – Arturo Herrera creates site-specific work for the Kunsthalle Bielefeld in a major group exhibition, For the Time Being: Wall Paintings, Painted Walls, open through October 20, 2013.


Christopher Wool opens solo show at the Guggenheim

NEW YORK – On Friday, October 25, the Guggeinheim Museum opens a major solo exhibition by painter Christopher Wool.


Diane Simpson solo exhibition at JTT

NEW YORK – Diane Simpson will exhibit her sculptures and drawings in a solo exhibition at JTT gallery on the Lower East Side, opening October 27.


Rebecca Morris at Susan Hobbs Gallery in The Room and Its Inhabitants

TORONTO – Opening October 17th, Rebecca Morris shows new watercolors at Susan Hobbs Gallery in a group exhibition titled The Room and Its Inhabitants. Organized by Patrick Howlett, the exhibition also features Robert Bordo, Merlin James, Allison Katz, Sandra Meigs, Kim Neudorf, Justin Stephens, and Roger White.


Art Green: Certain Subjects at Garth Greenan Gallery

NEW YORK – Opening October 17, Corbett vs. Dempsey artist Art Green opens a solo painting exhibition, Certain Subjects, at Garth Greenan Gallery.


Karl Wirsum reviewed in the New York Times

NEW YORK – Karl Wirsum’s solo exhibition, currently up at Derek Eller Gallery, was reviewed by Ken Johnson for the New York Times.


PennDesign Fine Arts Lecture Series: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

PHILADELPHIA – On Thursday, October 17th at 6:30pm, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung will give an artist’s talk at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) in Philadelphia.


Karma International presents a Chicago Imagist exhibition

ZURICH – Opening October 13th, Marina Leuenberger of Karma International has organized an exhibition of work by a selection of artists associated with the Chicago Imagists, including Ed Flood, Art Green, Phil Hanson, Robert Lostutter, Gladys Nilsson, Christina Ramberg, and Karl Wirsum.


Karl Wirsum solo exhibition at Derek Eller Gallery

NEW YORK – Derek Eller Gallery presents a solo exhibition of paintings and drawings by Chicago-based artist Karl Wirsum, opening October 12. This will be his first New York show of recent work in over 25 years.


Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey / Sonnenzimmer: Nation Time

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2013

Rice University to host exhibit and concert series by Peter Brötzmann

HOUSTON – Rice University’s Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts will host an exhibit by internationally acclaimed German artist and musician Peter Brötzmann this fall. “Peter Brötzmann Graphic: Design Work 1958-2013” will be on display Oct. 8-Nov. 14 at the Rice Media Center’s Visual and Dramatic Arts Main Gallery.


Albert Oehlen’s solo exhibition at MUMOK featured on Contemporary Art Daily

VIENNA – A full slideshow of images from the exhibition Malerei, which closes October 20th, can be found at Contemporary Art Daily.


500 Words: Rebecca Morris and Josiah McElheny featured on

NEW YORK – This past month featured Rebecca Morris on her current exhibition at Corbett vs. Dempsey, Party Cut, and Josiah McElheny on his current exhibition at The Arts Club of Chicago, Two Clubs at The Arts Club of Chicago.


Rebecca Morris at MOCA LA

LOS ANGELES – Rebecca Morris’ watercolors are on view at MOCA LA in the exhibition Room to Live: Recent Acquisitions and Works from the Collection, curated by Bennett Simpson.


Susan Giles connects with Diane Simpson at the Art Institute of Chicago

CHICAGO – Join artist Susan Giles as she speaks about her work in relation to gallery artist Diane Simpson for the Art Institute of Chicago’s Artists Connect series on Saturday, October 5th, at 2:00pm.


Brochure: Peter Brötzmann: Graphic: Design Work, 1959–2013 (Rice University)

Album: Pipeline

Arturo Herrera at Ballroom Marfa

MARFA – Arturo Herrera unveils a massive installation for Comic Future, an exhibition at Ballroom Marfa, featuring work by artists who employ the language of various and discordant approaches such as abstraction and figuration to twist representation of their immediate environment thereby imbricating a skewed, often apocalyptic vision of the future.


John Corbett featured in Chicago Tribune curators issue

CHICAGO – Gallery co-founder and co-owner John Corbett featured in the Chicago Tribune for curatorial work.


Jim Dempsey and John Corbett named #7 in Newcity’s Top Art 50

CHICAGO – The annual Newcity list “Art50: Chicago’s Visual Vanguard” named gallery co-owners Jim Dempsey and John Corbett in the top ten of the city’s visual art movers and shakers.


Rebecca Morris: Party Cut in New American Paintings

CHICAGO – Stephanie Cristello reviews Party Cut for New American Paintings: “If there is something that Party Cut propagates more than a visual language, it is its subversion.”


Catalog: Josiah McElheny: Two Clubs at The Arts Club of Chicago

Eyeline at EXPO Chicago, with David Nolan Gallery

CHICAGO – Corbett vs. Dempsey, with David Nolan Gallery, is delighted to present Eyeline, a shared booth at EXPO Chicago.


Albert Oehlen, Markus Oehlen, Joyce Pensato, Matthias Schaufler, John Sparagana, Rebecca Warren at Galerie Max Hetzler

BERLIN – On September 7th, 2013, Galerie Max Hetzler christens a new Berlin space with a group show featuring Corbett vs. Dempsey artists John Sparagana, Albert Oehlen, and Joyce Pensato, along with Markus Oehlen, Matthias Schaufler, and Rebecca Warren.


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung opens Chlorophyll Bluess at Diana Lowenstein

MIAMI – On September 6th gallery artist Molly Zuckerman-Hartung presents Chlorophyll Bluess, a solo exhibition of new paintings and installation work, at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts Gallery in Miami. The exhibition runs through October 31, 2013.


Josiah McElheny: Two Clubs at The Arts Club of Chicago

CHICAGO – The Arts Club of Chicago is pleased to announce Josiah McElheny: Two Clubs at The Arts Club of Chicago (17 September – 14 December 2013).


Rebecca Morris: #18 at Galerie Barbara Weiss

BERLIN – Galerie Barbara Weiss presents its third solo show by the Los Angeles-based American painter Rebecca Morris (*1969 in Honolulu). A selection of new paintings from 2010-2013 will be exhibited, which have been recently shown at the Kunsthalle Lingen and that will further be presented at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht in spring 2014.

Morris’ often-colorful paintings stand for a powerful, undisguised, but also ‘cool’ approach to abstraction, in which she combines various painting techniques and styles. Searching for clearly recognizable references will be a vain attempt and it is precisely this that brings a special quality to her work; since it is not about a clever conceptualized‚ ‘network-painting’. Rebecca Morris’ works are impressive testimonials that form out of a longstanding painting practice based more on enthusing intuition – rather than on calculated strategy – which is still dominated by the central question, how one paints a ‘good painting’. Her statement “Making a good painting is one of the hardest things you’ll do”, is a continuing theme within her practice. In her current position as a mid-career-artist, she is focused on developing herself, rather than in a (‘success’) model. Purposefully has she chosen, #18, as her exhibition title, these digits standing for this being her 18th solo show. On a subtle note, she points to the challenge of conceptualizing yet another new solo exhibition while at the same time the question resonates of when an artist should or could speak of ‘being-grown up’ or even ‘mature’.

Rebecca Morris’ paintings from previous exhibitions were mostly known for single painting elements that were tightly spaced together or sometimes even reflected over imaginary axials of symmetry. The new works, however, show often light and inventive arrangements, in which individual image fragments ¬– under which clear geometrical forms, parts of shapes or even indefinable color stains, blobs or ornament clusters – are free-floating within a set framing line in front of a vibrant coloured background. One gets the impression, the artist has stretched out her vocabulary and placed it under a magnifying glass, in order to analyse it more thoroughly. In contrast, there are also more compressed painting compositions, which similar to her older works, seem to use the canvas to its full extent; recurrently we find passe-partout-like frames or built-in grid structures, which ascribe an almost analytical level to their seemingly nonchalant patchwork of shapes and patterns.

Beginning of 1980’s the Italian Designer-group Memphis was formed. The aim of the group, which included Ettore Sottsass and Michele De Lucchi, was to develop a ‘radical’‚ ‘provoking’ and unpretentious design, in which – breaking away from the Form-Follows-Function doctrine of the Bauhaus movement and the Ulmer school – everyday elementary forms were combined with relish and coated with colourful plastic laminate. While not everyone might be attracted to this playful approach of the named ‘postmodern’ epoch of the early Memphis group, that has by now set its foot into almost every household by the likes of Alessi and Co., it is possible that a similar energy and impertinence is experienced when looking at Rebecca Morris’ new works.

Barbara Buchmaier

August 24 – October 5, 2013
Opening: Fr, August 23, 6–9 pm
Opening hours: Tue–Sat, 11 am–6 pm

Galerie Barbara Weiss   Kohlfurter Strasse 41/43     10999 Berlin      +49-30-262 42 84

Catalog: Rebecca Morris: Party Cut

Stray Light reviewed in Art in America

NEW YORK – David Hartt’s Stray Light exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem recently reviewed by Aimee Walleston in Art in America.


Stray Light a Critic’s Pick on

NEW YORK – David Hartt’s Stray Light exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem recently reviewed by Eva Díaz as an Critic’s Pick.


Catalog: David Hartt: Stray Light

Catalog: Peter Brötzmann: Left / Right

Chicago Magazine’s “Best of 2013”

CHICAGO – Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to be named “Best Overall Art Gallery” in Chicago.


Album: Vandermark / Gustafsson: Verses

Dominick Di Meo at the DePaul Art Museum

CHICAGO – The DePaul University Art Museum opens a solo exhibition of 1960s–1980s work by Dominick Di Meo this week.

DiMeo was a member of the so-called Monster Roster—Chicago artists who in the mid-twentieth century developed a distinct approach to the human figure: disarticulated and often terrifying. Even as he has come to inspire subsequent generations of artists, his work—paintings, prints, and collages—remains fresh and ferocious.

The exhibition runs from July 11 – September 1, 2013. More information can be found on the DePaul Art Museum‘s website.


Image: Dominick Di Meo, Visionary Garden (triptych), 1980s, polymer, acrylic and fabric on canvas, 72 x 50 inches (each)

Peter Brötzmann: Works, 1959–2013 at the International Centre of Graphic Arts Ljubljana MGLC

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA – Artist and musician Peter Brötzmann is known as one of the most important representatives of contemporary improvised music. At the end of the fifties he studied painting in his native Wuppertal, collaborated with the Fluxus Movement and with Nam June Paik. His music career as a saxophonist and clarinettist coincides with his first art exhibitions in Germany and in The Netherlands. He has been consistently active in the art field since the late fifties, occasionally exhibiting in both Europe and in the U.S. His retrospective show at MGLC, is the artists tribute to Slovenia. Included in the exhibition is a large cycle of drawings entitled Slovenian Landscapes, as well as a range of large oils on canvas, delicate lyrical watercolors,  prints,  and small constructions. The exhibition is a visual introduction to the 54th Ljubljana Jazz Festival and is organized in cooperation with Cankarjev dom.

Peter Brötzmann
Works, 1959–2013
July 2nd – August 25th, 2013
International Centre of Graphic Arts Ljubljana MGLC






BRÖTZMANN SOLO / Works 1959 – 2013 from mglc on Vimeo.

Catalog: Robert Donley: Personal Universe

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Touch & Go: Ray Yoshida and his Spheres of Influence (Sullivan Galleries of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) (2011)

Albert Oehlen: Malerei solo exhibition at mumok

VIENNA – Opening June 8 and running through October 20, the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna (mumok) features a major solo exhibition of work by Albert Oehlen.

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2005

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Negative Joy (2012)

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Big Picture: A New Take on Film in Chicago at the Gene Siskel Film Center

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2005

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2006

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2004

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2006

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2007

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2007

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2008

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2008

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2009

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2009

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2010

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2010

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2011

Albert Oehlen / John Sparagana at STUDIOLO

ZURICH – Opening Saturday, May 25, Fred Fischli and Niels Olsen of STUDIOLO present new work by Albert Oehlen and John Sparagana.

STUDIOLO exists in the former studio of sculptress Marianne Olsen, a house designed by the Swiss postwar architect Georg Gisel.

More about STUDIOLO here.

An opening reception with the artists will be held Saturday, May 25, at 6pm. The exhibition runs through August 18, 2013.


Catalog: Gina Litherland: The Reason for the Unreason

Joyce Pensato’s I KILLED KENNY at the Santa Monica Museum of Art

SANTA MONICA – Brooklyn-based gallery artist Joyce Pensato opens her first solo museum exhibition I KILLED KENNY at the Santa Monica Museum of Art on May 31, 2013. Curated by Jeffrey Uslip, the exhibition runs through August 17, 2013. I KILLED KENNY features monumental enamel paintings and large-scale charcoal drawings rendered directly onto SMMoA’s gallery walls. These new, site-specific works are contextualized by sculptural assemblages composed of derelict toys, objects, and ephemera from the artist’s studio, and a selection of charcoal drawings and key paintings made between 1990 and the present. The exhibition’s title, I KILLED KENNY, invokes the vernacular of “South Park,” framing Pensato’s visual vocabulary within the cartoon’s sardonic w­it and cultural critique.

Appropriating iconic American cartoon characters as her point of departure, Pensato’s gestural paintings and drawings flicker in the liminal space between menacing abstraction and comedic representation: Batman is depicted as a hollow, deliquescent mask, Bart Simpson peers through abraded skin, and Felix the Cat is rendered as a decapitated head. Joyce Pensato’s paintings reinvigorate the legacy of Abstract Expressionism, imbuing her taxonomy of characters—The Simpsons, South Park, Donald and Daisy Duck, Olive Oil, and Mickey Mouse—with an uninhibited and arresting presence. Through her dynamic application of paint and pop cultural references, Pensato’s compositions extend the possibilities of action painting into bold figuration and abstraction.

I KILLED KENNY also debuts a series of paint-splattered collages, in which historic images of Abraham Lincoln are overlaid with portraits of iconic Hollywood celebrities, contemporary artists, and legendary American boxers–Robert DeNiro in “Raging Bull,” Gena Rowlands in “Gloria,” Christopher Wool in his studio, and publicity stills of Muhammad Ali.  Pensato’s new Lincoln collages provide further aesthetic context: In these works, Pensato’s signature splatters of industrial paint exploit the material’s visceral physicality, careening America’s fraught social and political past into the forefront of our contemporary consciousness.

Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY is organized by Jeffrey Uslip, Curator-at-Large for the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

A full-color catalogue will accompany this exhibition with an essay by Jeffrey Uslip.

About the artist:

Joyce Pensato was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been shown widely, including recent exhibitions at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, Capitain Petzel Gallery, Berlin, Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. Previous exhibitions include the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the St. Louis Art Museum (with Mike Kelley and Raymond Pettibon). Her work is in distinguished collections, including as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Dallas Museum of Art; St. Louis Art Museum; Speed Museum of Art, Louisville; and the FRAC des Pays de la Loire. Pensato lives and works in Brooklyn.

About the curator:
Jeffrey Uslip was born in 1977 and lives and works in New York City. He recently curated Michael Queenland: Rudy’s Ramp of Remainders and Agnes Denes: Body Prints, Philosophical Drawings, and Map Projections, 1969 – 1978 for the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Uslip has also organized exhibitions for PS1/MoMA, New York, Artists Space, New York, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, California State University, Los Angeles, and LAXART, Los Angeles. Uslip has lectured at the Yale University School of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and is an online contributor to Artforum. Uslip is currently a PhD candidate at The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Above image: Joyce Pensato, Badass Batman II, 2013, enamel on linen, 80 x 80 inches


Exhibition shots below:






Catalog: David Hartt: for everyone a garden

Sun Ra: Continuation

Thomas Kapsalis at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

CHICAGO – Opening, Friday, June 7, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art presents a solo exhibition of over two decades of recent painting and sculpture by gallery artist Thomas H. Kapsalis.

The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is proud to present one of Chicago’s great abstractionists in T.H. Kapsalis: American Artist, Works 1990-2013. The focus of this exhibition is Kapsalis’s works from 1990-2013, and features works in various media, such as paintings, sculptures in metal, wood, and recycled materials. Many of the works were created in the past decade, and have never been publicly exhibited.

Kapsalis’s combinations of colors and shapes are masterfully composed, making his work visually very attractive. But there is more in Kapsalis’s work than geometric abstraction – the titles of the works will open the door to another dimension of his works. They reveal something about the artist and his observations of everyday life, sometime intellectual, sometime with humor, but always with perspective of an American Artist.

A prisoner of war in Germany, captured during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, Kapsalis returned to the United States, and continued his pursuit of art-making. He has been an important artist and educator since the late ’40s, when he graduated from the School of the Art Institute. He has taught at the School of the Art Institute since 1954. Kapsalis’s work has been exhibited in numerous group and solo shows, and he received many prestigious prizes and awards.

The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is located at 2320 West Chicago Avenue, and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12pm to 4pm. An opening reception will be held Friday, June 7, from 6pm to 9pm.

The exhibition T.H. Kapsalis: American Artist, Works 1990-2013 runs through August 4, 2013.


Image(above): Thomas Kapsalis, L-2-D Figure, 2008, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

Installation views, and gallery talk (below)

TomK1 TomK2 TomK3  TomTalk4

Margot Bergman & Jimmy Wright at NADA New York

NEW YORK – Corbett vs. Dempsey’s 2013 NADA New York booth will feature two artists, Jimmy Wright and Margot Bergman. The gallery will offer a contrast of four new paintings by Bergman, who has been working in Chicago since the late 1950s, with a series of 1970s and 1980s drawings and text works by Wright, who has lived and worked in New York since 1974.

Over the last 15 years, Margot Bergman has explored collaborative paintings with unknown partners, over-painting thrift-store finds, but in this new series of large scale works she has gone it alone: inventing intensely vibrant floral paintings, often featuring a repeated diamond motif, imbued with a lurking sense of menace and comic perversity.

Juxtaposed with Bergman’s paintings are a series of highly explicit drawings by Jimmy Wright, loosely titled Meat Market Underground & the Dream Cards, depicting nocturnal couplings in New York’s gay underground of the mid 1970s. On the other side of the AIDS crisis, from the late 1980s, a selection of marvelous text-image works by Wright documents his vivid dream life, often surreally crossing the machinations of the art world with memories of the gay subculture of the previous decade. A group of these works was published last year in Butt magazine, and Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to present the drawings in their first public exhibition.

NADA New York is open Friday, May 10, from 2pm–8pm; Saturday, May 11, from 10am–8pm; and Sunday, May 12, from 10am–5pm. Admission during these times is free, and open to the public.

NADA New York is located at Pier 36 – Basketball City, 299 South Street, at Montgomery Street.


Above Left image: Margot Bergman, Candy Man, 2012, acrylic on linen, 54 x 36 inches, Right image: Jimmy Wright, Uniform, 1975 graphite on paper, 30 x 22 inches

Installation shots (below)


Book: Sun Ra + Ayé Aton: Space, Interiors and Exteriors, 1972

Scar, Left Cheek at Art Cologne 2013

COLOGNE – Corbett vs. Dempsey’s booth exhibition at Art Cologne 2013 is titled Scar, Left Cheek, after a descriptive line in Duke Ellington’s c.1939 passport, which will be on display. The year 1939 was very good for the American bandleader, pianist and composer Duke Ellington. He was at the helm of one of the finest ensembles, the legendary Blanton-Webster band, with revolutionary bassist Jimmy Blanton and tenor saxophonist Ben Webster. In that same year, Ellington began his long association with Billy Strayhorn, who came up with the signature composition “Take the A Train” in their first season working together. Ellington’s passport is a schematic diary of the period, showing him touring Europe even as war was brewing. The orchestra was not permitted to perform in Germany on the 1939 European tour — jazz was banned by the Nazi government — and Ellington’s train was detained for hours in Hamburg, en route to performances in Sweden.

In keeping with the photographic theme of the passport, Corbett vs. Dempsey’s booth will have a selection of vintage photographs and photo-prints by Ralph Arnold, Weegee (Arthur Fellig, Jr.), Walter Hamady, Clarence John Laughlin, and Ralph Eugene Meatyard.

We will present a new series by Arturo Herrera (a set of ten silkscreened and altered books), new large paintings by Joyce Pensato and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, and a selection of vibrant and fantastical drawings by Karl Wirsum. We will also show three films never before screened in Germany, all with jazz soundtracks, by Christopher Wool, Cauleen Smith, and David Hartt respectively.

Art Cologne runs from April 19–22, 2013. A full-color, 28-page, passport-inspired publication will be available at the booth.




TOP: Detail of Duke Ellington’s c.1939 passport, BOTTOM: Karl Wirsum, Untitled, 2000, colored pencil and graphite on paper, 18 x 29 inches

Installation shots (below)

Art-Cologne-2013-install-01 Art-Cologne-2013-install-02 Art-Cologne-2013-install-03 Art-Cologne-2013-install-04 Art-Cologne-2013-install-05 Art-Cologne-2013-install-06




Ephemera: Sun Ra: El Saturn Publicity Poster (offset printed poster, double-sided)

Ephemera: Sun Ra: The Universe in Blue (offset print, front & back cover)

Ephemera: Sun Ra: Sun Ra Visits Planet Earth (offset print, front cover)

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2011

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Christopher Wool: Sound on Sound (2010)

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2013

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Fall 2012

Poster: Corbett vs. Dempsey: Exhibitions Spring 2012

David Hartt Stray Light at the Studio Museum in Harlem

NEW YORK – Opening Thursday, March 28 at the Studio Museum in Harlem, David Hartt: Stray Light is a presentation of color photographs, sculptures and a video installation by Chicago-based conceptual photographer David Hartt (b. 1967) reflecting on the iconic headquarters of the Johnson Publishing Company in downtown Chicago.

The eleven-story Modernist building on South Michigan Avenue was home to Jet and Ebony magazines since its design in 1971. The building was heralded as the first major downtown Chicago building designed by an African-American architect since the eighteenth century. In the case of the Johnson family and its legacy, Hartt looks to the intersection of the publisher’s ideals and values, the style and aesthetics embodied by the site and the lasting cultural impact of the magazines.

David Hartt: Stray Light was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where it was curated by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator. Support for this exhibition is generously provided by the Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Family Foundation. The presentation at The Studio Museum in Harlem was organized by Thomas J. Lax, Assistant Curator.

The exhibition runs through June 30, 2013.




Stills from David Hartt, Stray Light, 2011, HD video, 12 minutes, 12 seconds (above)

Installation shots (below)

StudioM1 StudioM2 StudioM3 StudioM4

Ephemera: Sun Ra: When Sun Comes Out (serigraph and offset print, front cover)

Ephemera: Sun Ra: Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow (offset print, front cover)

Ephemera: Sun Ra: Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow (offset print, back cover)

Ephemera: Sun Ra: The Soul Vibrations of Man (offset print, front cover)

Ephemera: Sun Ra: The Soul Vibrations of Man (offset print, back cover)

Album: Joe McPhee: Glasses

Album: Joe McPhee: Variations on a Blue Line / ‘Round Midnight

Catalog: Rodney Quiriconi: Constructions, 1960-1970

Catalog: Diane Simpson

Dominick Di Meo at Thomas Dane Gallery

LONDON – Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to present Limp Voyeur in a Humid Landscape, a solo exhibition of 1960s paintings and works on paper by gallery artist Dominick Di Meo at Thomas Dane Gallery, London. The exhibition opens on February 27 and runs through April 28, 2013.

A full-color, 68-page hardback catalog published by Corbett vs. Dempsey and Thomas Dane Gallery accompanies the exhibition.


Image: Dominick Di Meo, Hello Max! Tick-Tock, 1966, acrylic and synthetic polymer on canvas, 22 x 30 inches.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung in Painter Painter at the Walker Art Center

MINNEAPOLIS – At a time when artists may work without obligation to medium, why choose the materials of painting? What does it mean for an artist to assume the role of painter today? And just what is at stake for a new generation committed to painting?

Painter Painter presents new work by 15 artists from the US and Europe in a focused survey of emergent developments in abstract painting and studio practice. With an expanded series of public programs, it also considers the ever-shifting role of the painter in contemporary art and culture, which remains as fluid as the medium itself.

The exhibition posits abstract painting today as a means, not an end. For these artists, painting is a generative process—one that is rooted in the studio yet open and receptive to the world. Here new languages of abstraction and eccentric methods of making are freely pursued, crossing paths with sculpture, poetry, film, music, performance, design, publishing, craft, and fashion. Thus painting becomes a conduit—a way to make contact beyond the closed frame of their formal invention.

The Walker’s first group painting show in more than a decade, the exhibition features Matt Connors, Sarah Crowner, Fergus Feehily, Jay Heikes, Rosy Keyser, Charles Mayton, Dianna Molzan, Joseph Montgomery, Katy Moran, Alex Olson, Scott Olson, Zak Prekop, Dominik Sittig, Lesley Vance, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.
As a complement to the exhibition, a series of studio visits with the artists offers an open-ended look at their interests and working methods. The online Studio Sessions—a collection of dialogues, texts, and visual essays—are as varied in approach as the work of the artists themselves. This exhibition is co-curated by Eric Crosby and Bartholomew Ryan.

More information can be found at the Walker Art Center. Painter Painter opens Saturday, February 2nd, and runs through October 27th, 2013.

Artist Molly Zuckerman-Hartung will give a studio talk at the Walker Art Center on Thursday, February 21 at 7pm.

Top image: Painter Painter co-curator Eric Crosby with Molly Zuckerman-Hartung in front of The Necessary (Blushing for Now), 2012, oil, acrylic, and dropcloth on canvas, 70 x 60 inches. Photograph courtesy the Walker Art Center.

Bottom image: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung installing her mixed-media work The Failure of Contingency (2012). Photograph courtesy the Walker Art Center.

Album: Joe McPhee: The Loneliest Woman

John Sparagana in Analogital at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

SALT LAKE CITY – Analogital is an exhibition of international artists who engage with concepts generated from the transitional space between analogue and digital. Specifically the notion analyzes the forms that emerge from our culture’s conversion from film grain to computer pixel. However, more broadly the term identifies a perceptual evolution in the human experience and its mediation.

In the mid-seventies at the University of Utah, innovators made breakthrough developments in early computer graphics and virtual designs like the “Utah Teapot”, experiments that would lead to the founding of Pixar and early pursuits of digital reality. Eventual media such as ASCII, ProTools, Nintendo Entertainment System, CAD, gifs, jpegs and above all the Internet opened a multiverse of possible ways to render, perceive and copy the world around us. Social networking interfaces, video game systems and reality television additionally provide new avenues through which communication, behavioral learning and interaction occur virtually or with mediated remove. Analogital is about artists analyzing this science-fictional relationship existing between technology and the human condition.

“Today’s voracious image culture has led to a simulacrum of compounds where artists reference references of references and imagine the copy of the copy to be the original,” says Senior Curator Aaron Moulton. “New image vocabularies are emerging coupled with an unnostalgic condition where these new images appear, quickly evolve, disperse and disappear unarchived. Yet certain likenesses pervade our consciousness with no traceable reference, a kind of collective consciousness in an open-sourced handmade pixel. This combined with the virtual social conditions allow for a new way of considering sentimentality, sentience and sociality in the 21st century.”

Artists: Cory Arcangel, Juliette Bonneviot, Spartacus Chetwynd, Vuk Cosic, Chris Coy, Harm van den Dorpel, Constant Dullaart, Lauren Elder, Daniel Everett, Mark Flood, Christian Jankowski, Oliver Laric, Mark Leckey, Joep van Liefland, Eva and Franco Mattes, Ciprian Muresan, Rob Pruitt, Borna Sammak, John Sparagana, Ignacio Uriarte, Utah Teapot, Jennifer West, Jordan Wolfson

JAN 18 – APR 20, 2013

For more information, visit UMOCA’s website.

Utah Museum of Contemporary Art
20 S. West Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah

Image: John Sparagana, Untitled #1, #2, #3, 2012, oil stick on inkjet prints and reflective mylar, sliced and mixed, on paper, each piece 37 1/2 x 18 1/2 inches, suite of three.

Joyce Pensato is the recipient of the 2012 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize for painting

NEW YORK – Joyce Pensato is the recipient of the 2012 Robert De Niro Sr. Prize, an annual award honoring an outstanding mid-career American painter. Brooklyn-based Joyce Pensato will receive the $25,000 award, administered by the Tribeca Film Institute, for her considerable contribution to the field of painting. Pensato is the second recipient of the merit-based prize, which pays tribute to the work and legacy of accomplished painter De Niro Sr. Painter Stanley Whitney received the inaugural award —among the first to celebrate and shine a light on mid-career artists—in 2011.
A selection committee of distinguished individuals in the art world was appointed to nominate candidates and select the prize recipient. Pensato was selected by a jury including Betsy Baker, former editor of Art in America Magazine; art collector and television executive Douglas Cramer, founder and former President of the Board of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and longtime Trustee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; John Yau, poet and art critic for The Brooklyn Rail and Professor of art criticism at Rutgers University; and Robert Storr, Yale University’s Dean of the School of Art.
“Like my father, Joyce Pensato has truly demonstrated a lifelong commitment to her art,” said Robert De Niro. “I am proud to recognize her exceptional work and to continue to honor my father as an artist through the Robert De Niro, Sr. Prize.”
John Yao praises Pensato’s work saying, “The great thing about Pensato’s drawings and paintings is that they are neither overtly political nor boringly literal. Pensato is one of the few artists who didn’t find it necessary to reject her early training in order to gain her authority. If anything, she made it into something all her own, which is a strong indication of how willful and single-minded she is.”
Robert Storr added, “For all the promotional talk about artists who just go at it their own way there aren’t very many who really run that risk, and fewer still who run it year in and year out over decades. Joyce Pensato has and continues to do so. The results are full tilt, high gear, Id-driven images that freely, even piratically take from popular culture but which, when she is finished with its icons, look like nothing we’ve seen before. Pensato’s work is a jolt of manic energy of a kind we desperately need, a kind that can’t be faked and that few have the strength to muster much less the stamina to sustain.”
Joyce Pensato was born in Brooklyn to a Sicilian immigrant father and an Italian-American mother. In the early 1970s, she enrolled in the New York Studio School, where one of her instructors was Mercedes Matter, who founded the school in 1964. At the New York Studio School, Pensato studied with instructors who taught drawing in a way that recalled Giacometti’s emotion-laden work, and was encouraged to draw in paint. She continued to explore this foundation in drawing and painting throughout her career.
Pensato draws in charcoal and paints in enamel. For years her palette has been black, white and silver, though color is beginning to make an appearance in her recent paintings. Her drawing process is one of making marks, rubbing them out and making more marks, with line being the essential form. In her paintings, the line is made of enamel that initially appears to have been applied quickly, though its varying densities and its field of drips and splatters makes it clear that it wasn’t done in a single shot. In both drawing and painting Pensato is committed to finding the linear form that captures her subject matter, the cartoon characters and toys of contemporary American culture.
Pensato lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She has exhibited widely, including in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the St. Louis Art Museum; The Speed Museum of Art, Louisville; and The Cleveland Museum of Art. Her work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Dallas Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the FRAC des Pays de la Loire, France, among others. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship; the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award; the Anonymous Was A Woman Award; and most recently the 2012 Award of Merit Medal in Painting from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She will have her first solo museum exhibition, curated by Jeffrey Uslip, at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in June of 2013. She attended the New York Studio School.
De Niro Sr. was part of the celebrated New York School of post-war American artists. His work blended abstract and expressionist styles of painting with traditional representational subject matter, bridging the divide between European Modernism and Abstract Expressionism. He studied at the renowned Black Mountain College with Josef Albers, and later with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown and New York. He went on to exhibit at Peggy Guggenheim’s renowned Art of this Century gallery in 1945 and 1946, as well as at galleries throughout the U.S. during his career. In 2010, a retrospective exhibition of his work was presented at the Musée Matisse in Nice, France. De Niro Sr.’s work is found in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Parrish Art Museum, among others. The Estate of Robert De Niro, Sr. is represented by DC Moore Gallery, New York, and is advised by Megan Fox Kelly and Jeffrey Hoffeld. The prize is funded by Robert De Niro.
Photo: Dave Allocca

NADA Miami Beach 2012

Deauville Beach Resort
December 6 – 9, 2012
Presenting artwork by:
Thomas Grünfeld
Robert Lostutter
Molly Zuckerman-Hartung
Fair Hours
Thursday, December 6th (2PM–8PM)
Friday, December 7th (11AM–8PM)
Saturday, December 8th (11AM–8PM)
Sunday, December 9th (11AM–5PM)
For more information about the fair please visit

Catalog: Richard Koppe: Gyroscopic

Catalog: Joyce Pensato: You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

Palimpsest at Frieze Masters, London, with Thomas Dane Gallery 2012

LONDON – Corbett vs. Dempsey is proud to present Palimpsest, a joint booth at Frieze Masters, London, with Thomas Dane Gallery, featuring:Ralph Arnold, Morris Barazani , Dominick Di Meo , James Garrett Faulkner, Ed Flood,  Llyn Foulkes, Art Green, Al Hansen, Robert Heinecken, Martin Kippenberger, Jiří Kolář , Nicholas Krushenick, Glenn Ligon, Albert Oehlen, Francis Picabia, Lari Pittman, Dieter Roth, Saul Steinberg, Peter Saul, Keiichi Tanaami, Christopher Wool , and Ray Yoshida.
Fair Hours
Thursday, October 11, 12 – 7 pm
Friday, October 12, 12 – 7 pm
Saturday, October 13, 12 – 7 pm
Sunday, October 14, 12 – 6 pm
For more information about the fair please visit
Image: Francis Picabia, Zona, 1921, ink on paper, 10 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches
Installation shots (below)
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Catalog: Robert Lostutter: Garden of Opiates

Catalog: Seymour Rosofsky: Xylophone Solo

NADA New York 2012

NEW YORK – NADA New York 2012

 Floor 3  Booth 14
May 4 – 7, 2012
Presenting artwork by:
Peter Brötzmann
Diane Simpson
John Sparagana
Center 548
548 West 22nd Street
between 10th and 11th Aves.
Open to the Public:
Friday, May 4; 2pm to 8pm
Saturday, May 5; 11am to 8pm
Sunday, May 6; 11am to 6pm
Monday, May 7; 11am to 4pm
Admission is free.
More information about the fair here.
Image (above): Diane Simpson, Muff, 1998, faux fur, fleece and mahogany, 49″ x 28″ x 13″
Installation shots (below)
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Automaton (group exhibition) at Galerie Daniel Buchholz in Cologne

COLOGNE – Opening April 18, Galerie Daniel Buchholz will present a group exhibition titled ‘Automaton’ featuring a handful of Corbett vs. Dempsey related artists.


Catalog: Rebecca Shore: All In One

Catalog: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Negative Joy

Christina Ramberg at David Nolan Gallery

NEW YORK – Corbett vs. Dempsey and David Nolan Gallery are pleased to present Christina Ramberg: Corset Urns & Other Inventions, 1968-1980, an exhibition of Ramberg’s paintings and works on paper. Held at David Nolan Gallery, New York, the exhibition runs from December 10, 2011 through January 21, 2012.

In the late 1960’s, Christina Ramberg studied with Ray Yoshida at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Yoshida, who encouraged the use of commercial and popular cultural imagery, led a group of artists who came to be known as the Imagists who distinguished themselves from the art scenes in New York and Europe with high color figurative paintings and drawings. Mining comic books, magazines, and lingerie catalogs for references, Ramberg and her contemporaries such as Ed Paschke, Roger Brown, Jim Nutt, and Gladys Nilsson, among others, stand out as the forerunners of a distinctly American Pop approach to painting that is sexy, irreverent, and renegade in attitude. Ramberg painted parts of women’s bodies, like bound torsos, hands, waists, and hair, rendering them in seductive, sleek surfaces and muted colors. No faces ever appear in Ramberg’s works, and this precise cropping denies complicity between the gaze of the viewer and the subject. Haunting and perverse, Ramberg’s immaculately produced paintings stand in stark contrast to the hundreds of drawings she made, compulsively exploring shape and form in every possible variation of whatever subject she chose. Corsets, girdles, and bras were a particular obsession, for they not only served to shape the body to conform to an ideal, but they also symbolize the need to contain and heighten female sexuality.

A 62030

Image: Christina Ramberg, Corset / Urns, 1970, acrylic on eight masonite panels, each panel 10 x 7 1/2 inches; series 13 x 66 1/2 inches

Catalog: Art Green: Tell Tale Signs

NADA Miami Beach 2011

MIAMI – NADA Miami Beach 2011
Booth #100
December 1 – 4
Presenting artwork by:
Margot Bergman, Tim Berresheim, Brian Calvin, Dominick Di Meo, Philip Hanson, David Hartt, Robert Lostutter, Albert Oehlen, Joyce Pensato, Rebecca Shore, John Sparagana, Christopher Wool & Richard Hell, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Catalog: Albert Oehlen: Painthing on the Möve

Catalog: Joe Zucker: The Grid Paintings

Catalog: Dominick Di Meo: Transfer

Catalog: Richard Artschwager: In the Driver’s Seat

Catalog: Walter Hamady: Search Engine

Catalog: John Sparagana: Between the Eyes

Catalog: Peter Saul: Stupid Arguments

Catalog: Margot Bergman: Degree of Separation

Catalog: Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and his Spheres of Influence

Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and his Spheres of Influence

CHICAGO – Presented in the Sullivan Galleries of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and curated by John Corbett and Jim Dempsey, Touch and Go is the largest and most extensive gathering of works ever devoted to the influential painter and collage-maker, Ray Yoshida (American, 1930–2009). This exhibition is the first large-scale show since the artist’s death, and the first to comprehensively examine Yoshida’s oeuvre in relation to his life in an educational institution, both as a student and a teacher.

Yoshida was a driving force in the Chicago art world for nearly half a century.  Born in Hawaii, he received his undergraduate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 1953, and attended Syracuse University for his MFA in 1958. The following year Yoshida returned to Chicago, and SAIC, and began a teaching career that would span four decades.  Working primarily as a painter and collagist, Yoshida was formally resourceful, subtly humorous, and often startlingly original. Movement between abstraction and figuration in his work resulted in an art historical arc that was at once logical in its development and full of surprising turns and reprises. In the early 1960s Yoshida was celebrated for his earthy, soft, and painterly canvases. Gradually, over the next decade, his style morphed into a hard-edged, pop aesthetic. In the late 1960s he began to paint and collage works steeped in rigorous studies of folk and self-taught artists; vernacular imagery including street signs, tattoos, and commercial advertising; and perhaps most notably, mainstream and underground comics.  One of Yoshida’s signature ideas was the result of a direct intervention in comic art, his important “comic specimen” collage series in which he appropriated fragments from comic books, arranging them in neat typological categories or amassing them into surrealistic body-part aggregates.

Parallel to these artistic explorations, as a professor Yoshida helped stimulate a cadre of young Chicagoans with their own unique sensibility – the brash, iconoclastic artists known as the Imagists.  Most of the Imagists (including Roger Brown, Ed Flood, Art Green, Philip Hanson, Jim Nutt, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, and Barbara Rossi,), along with several subsequent generations of budding artists, studied at SAIC with Yoshida.  Indeed, understanding Yoshida’s legacy as a teacher, and more generally as a part of the larger Chicago art community, is arguably essential to a full understanding of his artwork and the significant developments it underwent during his lifetime. Yoshida was uncommonly open to input from his students, taking inspiration in his own work from their new discoveries. Yoshida was a sympathetic yet brutally honest, sometimes productively enigmatic instructor, and many of his relationships with his SAIC students quickly developed into collegial friendships. He supported generations of young Chicago artists as they emerged into the public sphere, and engaged with them privately in a vigorous intellectual exchange.

The exhibition runs from November 13, 2010 – February 12, 2011.

A full-color, 144-page catalog accompanies the exhibition.

Catalog: Christopher Wool: Sound on Sound

Catalog: Philip Hanson: The Subtle Diagram

Catalog: Ray Yoshida: Touch and Go (SAIC)

Catalog: Ted Halkin: Relief

Catalog: Harold Haydon: Crime & Punishment

Catalog: Peter Brötzmann: Wood & Water

Catalog: Margo Hoff: Restless City: Paintings & Prints, 1940-1990

Catalog: Gina Litherland: The Murmur of Pearls

Catalog: Ed Flood: Constructions: Boxes and Works on Paper, 1967–1973

Catalog: Margot Bergman: Dancing With an Unknown Partner & Philip Hanson: The Operatic Canvas

Catalog: Big Youth: New Painters From Chicago

Catalog: Albert Oehlen: A Vanguard with Decorum

Catalog: Rebecca Shore: AEiOU (and sometimes why)

Catalog: Hal Rammel: Aero Through the Ages

Catalog: Jimmy Wright: Radiant

Catalog: Robert Donley: Red Sun, Black Moon: The L.A. Paintings, 1959–1964

Catalog: Morris Barazani: Paintings, 1972–2008

Catalog: Robert Lostutter: Early Girls: Watercolors, 1968–1973

Catalog: Joseph Goto: Iron Man

Catalog: Margot Bergman: The Dust Blows Forward, The Dust Blows Back

Catalog: Frank Vavruska: The Horizon is a Circle: Paintings, 1942–1956

Record: Peter Brötzmann Quartet: Lila Eule No. 1 & 2 (1965, 2008)

Catalog: Dominick Di Meo: The Man in the Moon: Paintings, Drawings, and Reliefs, 1947–1974

Catalog: Isobel Steele MacKinnon: Weimar Portraits, Riviera Landscapes: A Chicagoan in Hofmann’s Studio, 1925–1929

Catalog: Thomas H. Kapsalis & James Garrett Faulkner

Catalog: Philip Hanson: Organ Music

Catalog: Ralph Arnold: Who You / Yeah Baby

Catalog: Peter Brötzmann: Paintings & Objects

Big Picture: A New View of Painting in Chicago at the Chicago History Museum

CHICAGO – Chicago epitomizes the splendid diversity of American art. A central hub for art education in the United States, the city has retained an eclectic character across the span of a century and a half, welcoming divergences while cultivating stylistic debate. Where other surveys of Chicago art have concentrated on shorter historical segments, Big Picture takes the long view, assembling paintings from the city’s formative years to the present day. In the place of a linear chronology, works are gathered into thematic sections, juxtaposing paintings from distant stylistic worlds, jump cutting between historical epochs, and allowing a rare glimpse of the grand scheme of Chicago’s bountiful artistic legacy. Drawn primarily from the Chicago History Museum’s holdings and delighting in the diversity of aesthetics and approaches, Big Picture presents a vivid story of the major tendencies and minor tributaries of painting in the Windy City.

The Big Picture exhibition is curated by John Corbett and Jim Dempsey, and is on view at the Chicago History Museum from October 20, 2007 – August 3, 2008.

New City dubs BIG PICTURE best art exhibit


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A 8320 A 8325 A 8329 A 8332 A 8344 A 8353 A 8365

Catalog: Harold Haydon: Binocular Vision

Catalog: Eve Garrison: Life Study, 70 Years of Figurative Painting

Catalog: Jimmy Wright: The Lost Women

Catalog: Ted Halkin: First In / Last Out

Catalog: Bold Saboteurs: Collage & Construction in Chicago

Catalog: Art Green & Suellen Rocca: Imagist Classic Hits, Vol. 1

Catalog: Gina Litherland: Recent Paintings

Catalog: Joseph Friebert, Fred Berman, & the Milwaukee Scene, 1935–1965

Catalog: Abstract Imagist

Interstellar Low Ways at the Hyde Park Art Center

CHICAGO – Curated by Anthony Elms and Huey Copeland, Including works by the following artists: Matt Bakkom, Pedro Bell, Destroy All Monsters, Karl Erickson, Robby Herbst, Matthew Hanner, Alex Hubbard, Derek Jackson, Karl Heinz Jeron, Tim Kerr, Stephen Lapthisophon, Glenn Ligon, Dave Muller, Wangechi Mutu, My Barbarian, Senam Okudzeto, Joe Overstreet, Charlemagne Palestine, Adam Pendleton, Reverend Seymour Perkins, Mai-Thu Perret, Plastic Crimewave, Rob A. Pruitt, Simone Shubuck, Joshua Smith, travis, Fatimah Tuggar, and Christopher Wool.

“Sun Ra is not a person, it’s a business name. And on the certificate, it’s a business certificate which was gotten in New York City; they didn’t notice that I didn’t have down there what my business was. They stamped it, notarized it, and they filed it. So therefore, it’s a business name, and my business is changin’ the planet.”Sun Ra, quoted in John Corbett’s Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein (1994) Well before he left us in 1993, it was evident that while Sun Ra might go to outer space, he would never go out of business: in ways both seen and unseen he keeps on changin’ the planet. “Interstellar Low Ways” explores Ra’s evolving legacy in the visual field. Mysticism and expressionism, prophecy and placelessness, hermeneutics and racial politics, collectivity and counter-discourse, do-it-yourself myths and build-your-own futures: these are just a few of the territories that Ra obsessively charted, at times with dizzying fervor and often with cosmic prescience. His various modes of address–broadsheet, lecture, music, theater, proclamation, visual art, poetry–not only hold out a map to current artistic production, but also continue to inspire a range of practitioners equally invested in traversing the impossible, whether in UFOs or in search of alternative consciousness. Navigating these channels is far from an easy task.

The artists in this exhibition offer distinct projects that take up Sun Ra’s characteristic forms, ranging from neon sculptures to paintings that flirt with formlessness. The works manifest varying degrees of engagement with their source, in some cases profound enlightenment, in others benign bemusement. Yet what such disparate gestures share is a determination to reimagine accepted histories as living myths that leave this world behind. In tipping their hats to Ra’s spirit, the artists gathered in “Interstellar Low Ways” establish concrete paths to a “beta world” tomorrow, today. Ra, no doubt, wouldn’t have it any other way. About the curators: Anthony Elms is the editor of the publication WhiteWalls, and Assistant Director of Gallery 400, University of Illinois (Chicago), in addition to being an artist. Dr. Huey Copeland is a Professor of Art History at Northwestern University and has written extensively on contemporart black art in publications and magazines including Art Journal and Qui Parle.

Istallation views (below)


Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn & Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954-1968

CHICAGO – Curated by John Corbett, Anthony Elms, and Terri Kapsalis, and opening at the Hyde Park Art Center in October 2006 (5020 S. Cornell Avenue Chicago), this unique exhibition showcases a diverse, brilliant, provocative and by-and-large never seen range of materials related to pianist, bandleader, mystic, philosopher and Afro-Futurist Sun Ra.

Most of these materials come from Ra’s tenure in Chicago (and the period directly thereafter, where from New York he maintained close contact with his Chicago colleagues), especially during mid-50s when he and his business partner and fellow mystic Alton Abraham – together with a small secret fraternal organization that has remained heretofore but a shadowy part of Ra’s early years – built a network of cryptic associations, amassed a huge library of books on the occult, magic, Egyptology, race studies, Theosophy, philosophy and religion, and began constructing the mythology and public persona that was presented to a crossover audience later in the ’60s in the form of Sun Ra’s Myth-Science Arkestra.

In the same period, Ra and Abraham began assembling an increasingly large jazz ensemble (first called 8 Rays of Jazz, later known as the Arkestra), and in 1957 they began releasing LPs and singles on their own label, Saturn Records, which was, along with Charles Mingus and Max Roach’s Debut label and Harry Partch’s Gate 5 label, one of the very first and most active artist-owned record labels. Pathways to Unknown Worlds will include a great number of previously unknown ephemeral items, including a dictionary of terms that the secret society had created, which has on its back page the names of the members of the secret society (led, at the top, by Herman Poole Blount, later known as Le Sony’ra, Sun Ra, or Sunny to his friends).

A huge array of artifacts from the earliest days of Ra’s record production is a highlight of the exhibition, including his original drawings for the mid-60s albums Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow and Other Planes of There and the original artwork for numerous other LPs. These consist not only of the sketches and final versions of the art (including the painting from the Saturn debut, Jazz in Silhouette , and four Hans Arp-like amoeboid cut-out images for covers, including Angels and Demons at Play), but also all steps along the way to printing the covers. Among the most beautiful industrial objects in the exhibition are linoleum block plates (and a few rubber stamps) used for this purpose, as well as hand-painted color separations for silkscreen images; the exhibition will include several complete sets of transparencies designed for album covers. Along with these materials are a stunning collection of cover designs that were never used, including a number of colored charcoal drawings by an artist named Claude Dangerfield. Dangerfield was a classmate of many of the musicians in the Arkestra at Du Sable High School, and he conducted early experiments with glow-in-the-dark paints, reputedly painting luminous designs on the walls of saxophonist John Gilmore’s apartment.

As well as this large group of original artworks, the exhibition will include a range of different related ephemera, most of it never seen by anyone but a few business associates in the ’50s. Graphically brilliant, with a charming array of space and futuristic themes, these include: stationery, business cards, press kits, and other PR material. An assortment of previously unseen photographs of Ra will also be part of the exhibition, including an astonishing portrait from the late ’40s (autographed “H. Sonne Blount”), some of the only known color photos of him from the ’50s, and a selection of dazzling live performance shots from the south side club the Wonder Inn, where Ra had a long engagement in ’59. One-of-a-kind posters, programs, ticket stubs, and other paper ephemera will augment this incredible, previously entombed representation of Sun Ra’s Chicago period.

In two annexed rooms, the exhibition presents multi-media montages consisting of films, slide shows, clips of some of Ra’s influences (Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers), music, and spoken word, much of it previously unknown. In the period before Ra launched his extraterrestrial jazz into the broader public imagination, he spent virtually all of his time and energy on Chicago’s south side, performing regularly in black-owned and black-frequented clubs, selling his records to small black-owned record stores, teaching youngsters from his neighborhood the basics of a capella singing, and spreading his singular philosophical message via streetcorner lectures modelled on Christian and Nation of Islam preaching. To facilitate the latter, Ra sometimes composed scripts or even roadside/broadsheet hand-outs. Until recently, only one such mimeographed sheet was known to exist – the one that Ra gave saxophonist John Coltrane in 1956. Coltrane was so enthralled by the page’s numerological and philosphical insights that he xeroxed it and gave it to friends and associates.

Also unveiled are a group of newly discovered broadsheets from the mid-50s, typewritten and many of them hand annotated by Sun Ra. Along with this, a manuscript of a planned, but never published, collection of Ra’s poetry titled The Magic Lie will be exhibited. This set of writings – the startling, often harrowingly provocative content of which, by many accounts, was extremely influential on the nascent Black Islamic movement – will represent a gigantic addition to the scholarly and popular understanding of Ra’s achievement. Along with enriching our understanding of Sun Ra, his work and vision, this exhibition will demonstrate a number of more fundamental things about Sun Ra and the incipient grass-roots Afro-Futurist movement in Chicago. These ideas will be of immediate interest and quite accessible to the Ra scholar and the layperson alike. The materials are playful and vibrant, with themes that include flying saucers, pyramids, time-travel and Chicago’s elevated trains. But the fun aspect of the images and sounds belies something profound.

The exhibition reframes the development of Sun Ra as a much more substantive proposition than the mere creation of a colorful eccentric cult celebrity and his costumed band. Instead, it puts the development of the Ra persona and the Arkestra back into its originary context of black independent business, and there it configures Ra’s activities as being part of a broad scheme for disseminating his radical ideas about race, culture, ethics, futurity, alterity, humanity and beauty. It’s essential that this be understood in a black context, on the south-side, aimed at a black audience, drawing on a semi-professional design community working in a way that might be described as “outsider design.” There was an air of unrelenting independence about what Ra did with Saturn Records in the late ’50s, a sense of defiance, a quality of stark separatism and harrowingly singular vision. Indeed, as the exhibition will demonstrate, Ra and Abraham were actively looking for expanses of land to annex via federal programs, and a lovely little collage titled El Saturn Treasure Map shows the manner in they sought to spread their philosophy – pencilled musical notes emanate from radio stations, sweeping Africa, India, and a no-man’s region of10,000 acres of unclaimed land – but also how immersed they were, at least initially, in a separatist ideology, how drawn they were to the notion of establishing a new space for black people to live, work and create. Thus, the do-it-yourself aspect of south-side creative life is brought vividly to light in the form of a matrix of artists, musicians, business people, writers and thinkers – a genuine organic intellectual community in the heart of black postwar Chicago.

Click here to read a review of the exhibition catalogue in JazzTimes Magazine. The exhibition runs from October 1, 2006 – January 14, 2007

Exhibition catalogues are available for purchase through the University of Chicago Press.



ICA Institute of Contemporary Art

University of Pennsylvania · 118 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 · 215 898-7108

April 24 – August 2, 2009

Jazz pioneer, bandleader, mystic, philosopher, and consummate Afro-Futurist, Sun Ra, (born Herman Poole Blount 1914, Birmingham, Alabama, died 1993) and his personal mythology have grown increasingly relevant to a broad range of artists and communities. “Pathways to Unknown Worlds: Sun Ra, El Saturn & Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954-1968” presents a collection of paintings, drawings, prints, manuscripts, ephemera, and video produced by and about Ra and his associates—much of it previously unseen. This exhibition examines how Ra and his dynamic, continually-evolving ensemble, the Philadelphia-based Arkestra, crafted both their otherworldly image and fiercely independent approach to self-production.

Highlights of the exhibition include original drawings for their 1960’s albums Art Forms of Dimensions Tomorrow and Other Planes of There, and five newly discovered typed and annotated broadsheets. Until recently, only one such broadsheet was known to exist—the one that Ra gave saxophonist John Coltrane in 1956. The show will also include the unpublished manuscript, The Magic Lie, a book of Ra’s poetry, which has become influential in the nascent Black Islamic movement. In addition to these documents, the film Spaceways, by Edward English, will be on view. The film documents Ra and his Arkestra (a deliberate re-spelling of “orchestra”), in 1968, as they prepare to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Early in his career, Sun Ra spent virtually all of his time and energy on Chicago’s south side, identifying with broader struggles for black power and identity, and saw his music as a key element in that struggle. As well as Sun Ra’s connection to the incipient grass-roots Afro-Futurist movement in Chicago, he also has a connection to Philadelphia. In 1968, Sun Ra brought the Arkestra to Philadelphia, where his band mate Marshall Allen inherited a house on Morton Street in Germantown. The house served as band headquarters until Sun Ra’s death in 1993. The Arkestra continues to perform under the leadership of Marshall Allen, who still resides at the Germantown house.

“Pathways to Unknown Worlds” is curated by John Corbett, Anthony Elms and Terri Kapsalis for the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago and is coordinated at the ICA by Whitney Lauder Curatorial Fellow Stamatina Gregory. This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.

Photo-Sun Ra and his Arkestra, Chicago, c. 1960. (left to right: Ricky Murray, John Gilmore, Ronnie Boykins, Sun Ra, Phil Cohran, Jon Hardy, Marshall Allen) Collection of the Chicago Jazz Archive, Special Collections Research Center and University of Chicago Library. Photo by Charles Shabacon.

New York Times review-

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Catalog: Max Kahn & Eleanor Coen: Contemplating a Roller: Major Print Works, 1936–1960

Catalog: Morris Barazani: Expert Marksman: Paintings & Collages, 1948–1968

Catalog: Margot Bergman: Wonderland and Other Reveries

Catalog: Briggs Dyer & Paul LaMantia: Inside Out: Drawings & Paintings from the 1960s

Album: Eye & Ear: Artist <–> Musician

Album: Brother to Brother