September 22, 2014 - Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts - Szalon
September 22, 2014


Patrick Chamberlain, Baron Essi von Szalon, 2014. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

September 19–November 23, 2014

Reception: October 10, 6–8pm
Featuring special performances by Otobong Nkanga (10:30am–6:30pm) and Derrick Adams (7:30pm)

Logan Center Gallery
Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
University of Chicago
915 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL, 60637

Featuring: Derrick Adams, Lisa Alvarado, Holly Cahill, Neil Campbell, Patrick Chamberlain, Jim Denomie, Nicole Eisenman, Alonso Lee Evans, Krista Franklin & RJ EL, Gabrielle Garland, Liam Gillick, Hannah Givler & Katherine Harvath, Marva Pitchford Jolly, Robert Kelly, Elizabeth McIntosh, Tim Nickodemus, Otobong Nkanga, Paulina Olowska, Annie Pootoogook, Napachie Pootoogook, David Reed, Martha Rosler, David Schutter, G.L. Smothers, Mina Totino, Ramyar Vala, Stanley Whitney, and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun among other special guests

Taking equal inspiration from the heterogeneous spaces of the studio and the salon, Szalon (pronounced sha-lon) makes room for an idiomatic place where the practice of showing and telling can flourish. Here, art is lived with and worked on, amidst (and sometimes as) conversation, storytelling, wordplay, rehearsal, research, exercises of judgment, and causes for debate.

What constitutes a “good hang”? How does the exhibition space become a place to “hang out”? How does the gallery become a curatorial studio? (How) can truly distinct artistic impulses—in the form of paintings, collages, prints, furniture sculptures, social sculptures, television programs, performances—coexist and thereby thrive? Can artworks live fuller lives when they are not classified? Or is there always a class imaginary involved in the construction of space, perhaps the dream of a new kind of middle (class)?

These questions have been in the back of our minds as we contacted artists and collectors whose work we admire and whose studios and salons have been sites of memorable conversations. We aimed for a show that looks as good as it sounds. The selection of works was personal and ponders the possibility of peaceful coexistence in the world—however “crazy” that may sound.

The word szalon was thought up as a combination of salon and something else: the beginning of szalone (“crazy” in Polish) but also a word that sounds close to shalom (peace, prosperity and completeness in Hebrew, also used to mean both “hello” and “goodbye”). It turns out that it is also the Hungarian word for “salon.”

Adjacent to the exhibition in the main gallery, a presentation of fragments and photographs related to the artistic, educational, and hosting activities of Lorado Taft (1860–1936) in Midway Studios at the turn of the last century serves as another important anchor for a project that must remain open and multivalent.

Szalon is dedicated to the late Belgian curator Jan Hoet, whose exhibitions such as Chambres d’Amis brought value to the private zone or the private home as a space to experience art and whose insistence on intuition as a guiding force in exhibition-making we keep alive after his passing. It also honors our own close neighbors—the collectors’ collective Diasporal Rhythms, who celebrated their tenth anniversary with an exhibition at the Logan Center gallery in the fall of 2013 and whose Annual Home Tour departs from the Logan Center once again in 2014. Two of the collective’s members, Patric McCoy and D.E. Simmons, have generously lent works to the exhibition.

Curated by Monika Szewczyk (Visual Arts Program Curator, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts) with the assistance of Katherine Harvath (artist and Curatorial Assistant, Logan Center Exhibitions). Graphics by David Giordano.

Presented in collaboration with the University of Chicago’s Open Practice Committee/Department of Visual Arts; the Arts, Science & Culture Initiative, and the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.

Related events
All free and open to the public

Opportunities to encounter Exhibiting Artists:
Monday, October 13, 6pm in Performance Penthouse
Otobong Nkanga OPC artist talk

Monday, November 10, 6pm in Performance Hall
Liam Gillick OPC artist talk

Monday, November 24, 6pm in Logan Center Gallery
David Reed & Jessica Stockholder discuss artist-conceived and -curated exhibitions as part of the Council on Advanced Studies’ Departmental Visitor Series Rethinking Exhibitions. Organized by Jessica Stockholder.

Other events in the exhibition:
Sunday, September 21, 3pm in Logan Center Gallery
Szalon hosts Raven Chacon and Kade L. Twist, members of the interdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity, for a special presentation on their work.

Monday, November 17, 6pm in Logan Center Gallery
Lynne Cooke and Josiah McElheny discuss artist-conceived and -curated exhibitions as part of the Council on Advanced Studies’ Departmental Visitor Series Rethinking Exhibitions. Organized by Jessica Stockholder.

Please continue to check our website for further news on artists’ visits and impromptu conversations:


Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
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