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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Exquisite Chicago Art Events in February

A comprehensive list of February art-programming events in our dear city would read like a most artful and prolific Valentine’s Day love-letter, in flowery script, from the handsome and dashing city of Chicago! Please allow your friends at MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. to serve as Cupid, sending to you, with our swift arrow, a loving message containing 12 excellent art events this month in Chicago:

Image: Head of a Woman (Fernande), Pablo Picasso

[Image: Head of a Woman (Fernande), Pablo Picasso.]

1. African Art and the Modernist Eye

February 18th, 6-7 p.m.

111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
Price Auditorium
Contact: (312) 443-3600

Free Admission

Christa Clark of the Newark Museum presents a fascinating lecture on the impact of African art on the European masters of the 20th century. Clark considers how the interest in primitivism in art shaped Western understandings of African art as well as how African art informed the creative process of artists such as Picasso.


Image: "Covered" by Anna Shteynshleyger

[Exhibition: Now though February 14th.]
[Image: Covered, Anna Shteynshleyger.]

2. Sexy Challahs, Pregnant Shabbat Candlesticks, and Women with Sidelocks: Anna Shteynshleyger’s Embodied Judaism, lecture by Leora Auslander at the University of Chicago

February 7th, 2:00 p.m. through February 14th

1025 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL
Swift Hall, room 106
Contact: Renaissance Society (773) 702-8670

Free Admission

Auslander will deliver a lecture in conjunction with the Renaissance Society’s solo exhibition of photographs by Anna Shteynshleyger. The exhibition includes twenty-four large-scale portraits, still-lifes, landscapes and interiors, from Shteynshleyger’s City of Destiny series. Sensitive and technically stunning, the photographs intimately express her relationship to Orthodox Judaism.


Image: Aspen Mays, Every Leaf 0339, 2009.

[Exhibition: Aspen Mays, Every Leaf on a Tree: February 6th-28th.]
[Image: Aspen Mays, Every Leaf 0339, 2009.]

3. UBS 12 X 12 Artist’s Talk: Aspen Mays at the Museum of Contemporary Art

February 9th, 6 p.m.
220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60611
Contact: (312) 280-2660

Photographer Aspen Mays brings intensive ordering, reordering, and cataloging into the realm of high art and celebration/collaboration with the natural world. Can an intensive reordering of the universe create a new universe? The Exhibition includes Every Leaf, in which Mays photographs every leaf on the tree outside her studio (over 900 photographs) and Every Book—books on Einstein arranged in a highly satisfying color spectrum.


Image: Max Klinger, Abduction (A Glove, Opus VI)

[Image: Max Klinger, Abduction (A Glove, Opus VI).]

4. The Dark Mirror: Writing from the Interior Image at the Smart Museum of Art

February 13th, 1-4 p.m

5550 South Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL
Contact: (773) 702-2351

Free Admission, but advanced registration required; contact Kristy Peterson at

Poet Eric Elshtain leads an adult writing workshop centered about 19th century Victorian poetry and works from the Smart Museum’s exhibition The Darker Side of Light. Participants compose a rough draft of a poem.

5. Sketching at the Smart

February 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Free Admission, but advanced registration required; contact Kristy Peterson at

Instructor-led drawing workshop focusing on shading-experimentation. All skill-levels welcome. Free snacks, refreshment and music. Graphite, paper, and other materials provided.

[Both events held in conjunction with the Darker Side of Light exhibition February 11th-June 13th.]

The exhibit, organized by the National Gallery of Art, focuses on 19th century prints, drawings, illustrated books, and small sculptures by artists such as Félix Bracquemond, James Ensor, Max Klinger, Käthe Kollwitz, James McNeill Whistler, Charles Meryon, and Anders Zorn.


Image: Vanessa Bell, Dust jacket design for Mrs. Dalloway, 1925.

[Exhibition: A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections, now through March 14th.]
[Image: Vanessa Bell, Dust jacket design for Mrs. Dalloway, 1925.]

6. Love Letters and Live Wires at Northwestern University’s Block Museum

February 20th, 2 p.m.

40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL 60208
Contact: (847) 491-2261
Admission: $6

Short works from 1930’s avant-garde filmmakers, including Len Lye, Norman McClaren, and Lotte Reiniger, which exhibit the Modernist style evident in the Bloomsbury aesthetic. Shown in conjunction with the exhibition A Room of Their Own: The Bloomsbury Artists in American Collections; witness works by members and affiliates of the Bloomsbury group, including Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry, Duncan Grant, and Dora Carrington.


Image: László Moholy-Nagy, Lightplay: Black White Grey

[Exhibition: February 10th-May 9th]
[Image: László Moholy-Nagy, Lightplay: Black White Grey.]

7. Moholy-Nagy: An Education of the Senses, Curator Carol Ehlers leads a tour through the exhibition at Loyola University Museum of Art

February 23, 6:00 p.m.

820 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL
Contact: (312) 915-7600

Free Admission

Part of Living Modern Chicago, a city-wide tribute to the 90th anniversary of the Bauhaus, this retrospective focuses on the tools of the innovative Hungarian-American artist Moholy-Nagy—art, design, modern technology, and light.


Work by Christine Tarkowski

[Exhibit: Now through May 3rd.]
[Image: Photograph of Tarkowsky by Stephanie Anderson]

8. Christine Tarkowski: Last Things Will Be First and First Things Will Be Last, Artist Gallery Talk at the Chicago Cultural Center

February 25, 12:15 p.m.

78 East Washington Street, Chicago, IL
Chicago Rooms
Contact: (312) 744-6630

Free Admission

Tarkowski’s artist’s statement addresses her ideas concerning architecture and reverence: “I am building my own religion. Religion is not an entirely accurate description for what I’m creating, a faith-based system is more suitable. The order in which I’m developing this system doesn’t follow the expected logic of such a pursuit… I’m building my system in reverse order, starting with only a fragment of the architecture, propaganda, and music.” The exhibition includes a geodesic dome as house of worship, sketches of satellites, and automobiles as vehicles of “holy” spaces.


Gene Siskel Film Center

[1968-1987, Al Jarnow, USA, 90 min.]

9. Celestial Navigations: The Short Films of Al Jarnow at the Gene Siskel Film Center

February 19th and 20th, 8:00 p.m.

164 North State Street, Chicago, IL
Contact: (312) 846-2800

Admission: $10 for adults, $7 for students

Explore one of Chicago’s hidden cinematic gems while watching the short films of Al Jarnow at the Siskel Film Center. Said by the Center to bridge “the worlds of children’s television and avant-garde, and of geometric abstraction and avant-Gondry playfulness,” the films showcase the inventiveness of this interesting artist and include a documentary by the artist on his creative methods.


Bobby Sengtacke

10. Bobby Sengstacke: The Fierce Urgency of Now, Photographs from the New World of the 1960’s and 1970’s at Chicago State University

Exhibit runs now through February 26th

9501 South Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, IL
CSU President’s Gallery, 3rd floor
Contact: (773) 995-3984

Robert Abbott Sengstacke’s oeuvre represents over 5 decades of photographic work. His familial connection to The Chicago Defender granted him access to a wide-range of photographic subjects.


Image: Sonia Sanchez, photograph by Marion Ettlinger

[Image: Sonia Sanchez, photograph by Marion Ettlinger.]

11. Freedom’s Sisters at DuSable Museum of African-American History

Exhibit runs now through April 4th

740 East 56th Place, Chicago, IL
Contact: (773) 947-0600

Included with General Admission ($3 for Adults) Interactive Stations relate the stories of Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Septima Poinsette Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy Height, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, along with thirteen more important women leaders.


MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. in the Old Republic Building

12. Visit us at MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.

View works in our collection and bring in works from your own collection for an evaluation (much like your own personal "Antiques Roadshow")! Additionally, for a limited time, MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. will be donating a percentage of your appraisal fee to the Red Cross for disaster relief in Haiti. Just mention "Help for Haiti" when you call to schedule an appointment. With an attitude of reverence and with supreme skill, the experts at MIR extensively research fine art and personal property, providing in-depth analysis, consultation, and formal appraisal reports for your most prized works of art. Please do email or call (312) 814-8510.

Written and researched by Jessica Savitz & Justin Bergquist

MIR Appraisal Services, Inc.
Principal Appraiser & Director: Farhad Radfar, ISA, AM
307 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 308
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 814-8510

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    Welcome to our blog site! MIR Appraisal Services, Inc. is a fine art and personal property appraisal company dedicated to serving clients throughout the United States and abroad since our incorporation in Chicago in 1994. We specialize in the multi-faceted field of appraising fine art, jewelry, antiques, and decorative items. We also provide professional fine art restoration and conservation treatment for various media, including but not limited to, artworks on canvas, board, masonite, and paper. We offer professional and precise appraisal services carried out by our team of accredited appraisers for the purposes of insurance coverage and claims, charitable donations, estate planning and probate, equitable distribution and fair-market value. We started our art commentary blog site as a venue for colleagues and fellow art enthusiasts to share their experiences within the art community.