Home Pride at the MCA



Paul Klein wrote a good Artletter yesterday, feeling almost ver clempt about the Constellations show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, (curated by Julie Rodrigues Widholm). The show features lots of local artists - Chicagoans AbercrombieSiglerOtero, Klement, Marshall, Kimler, Krane-Bergman, Ledgerwood, and Grabner along with fabulous works by artists from Magritte to Reinhardt (these are all Klein's links). He says,  

"For a while now I've been seeing more Chicago art in Chicago galleries. Additionally, there's a firestorm of new galleries popping up all over town. Healthy."

I'd like to second his sentiment not just from a nationalistic or hometown-pride point of view, but the practical appeal of local flavor. There's nothing worse than traveling to another city only to find all the same stores. I mean, the morons at Macy's could have made an exception for one store, and kept the name "Marshall Field's". Tourists loved the idea of a local clothing store, and tourism has dropped like a rock for the store since the name change.

So I'm not just ra-ra local, local makes a lot of sense. Like Klein says

I find this an intelligent move on the part of the MCA, expanding from the awareness that local art 'works' alongside global art to the realization that the dialog is enriched by the addition of The Local Voice to the International Chorus, be it harmoniously or as a counterpoint.

I think this is fabulous.  I'm tired of how similar all contemporary and modern American museums are. Add the local voice to each  . . . and every museum becomes special.


Photo: artwork by Kerry James Marshall, photo taken from Artletter without specific permission, but we're buddies so hopefully it's OK.

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