Pitchfork   The Dissolve   Festivals: Chicago | Paris
Photo by: Yewon Kim | Nothing Major boot at MAAF 2013

Photos by Yewon Kim

One couldn't help but notice that the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival was a cool affair—and we're not just talking about the mild temperatures. With design outfit Sonnenzimmer and poster maker Drug Factory Press well represented, Parson's and the Owl serving cocktails in a parking lot, bites from Chicago Diner, Longman & Eagle and the like and live sets from Football, Cave, Dam-Funk, Basic Cable, and many more plus an exotic animals petting zoo, it had an air of unforced, leisurely good times. Nothing Major was there, too with our Nothing Belongs to Ebbets Field caps and other festival-exclusive offerings in our pop-up shop. We were jazzed to meet so many NoMa fans in realtime. If you've forgotten what it was like, or missed it altogether, never fear, we took pictures.

Keep an eye on our journal for announcements regarding an upcoming pop-up.

The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival for 2013, curated by the Land and Sea Department, celebrates arts, music, food, and culture in Logan Square, Chicago—which just so happens to be the home of Nothing Major HQ. 

The fest features the work of over 50 visual artists and designers from the area (graphic superstars Drug Factory Press and Sonnenzimmer for instance) in pop-up galleries, live music on two stages (notable acts include Dam-Funk, Waco Brothers, Santah, and The Cairo Gang), and food booths from the likes of stellar local restaurants Reno, Chicago Diner, and Parson's Chicken & Fish. 

But the MAAF is even better than that because Nothing Major will be on hand—in pop-up shop form, that is. 

The Nothing Major shop at MAAF will be stocked with limited quantities of OLO Lightning Paw perfume, Juniper Ridge room spray, Taylor Stitch shirts, our Coil Lamp, totes, T-shirts, patches, and diamond pins. The shop will also stock a limited range of items from FairEnds, Needles & Pens, Co.lab and Filly.

We're also excited to introduce four new caps from our Nothing Belongs to Ebbets collection, which will be available exclusively at MAAF. Plus, we'll have discount code buttons for our online shop. So come on by and meet the team!

The Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival runs Friday June 28 5pm-10pm, Saturday June 29 12pm-10pm, Sunday June 30 12pm-10pm on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago's Logan Square. Visit MAAF online for more information.

Video by Score. Music by Boyton.

Curator and artist SuperBlast traveled the States from coast to coast to meet Cleon Peterson, Cody Hudson, and Martha Cooper—all artists represented in the upcoming "FUTURE/MEMORY" show opening June 22 in Dresden, Germany. Hudson talks about the relationship between his sculpture and painting—and his art as a means of expression. Peterson explains his attraction to dark subject matter. Also on the show flyer are Boogie, Horfeé, Husk Mit Navn, Stefan Marx, Cleon Peterson, Jay "One" Ramier, Skki, and SuperBlast himself. The show is for the Street Culture @ Hellerau, a festival at the European Center for the Arts Dresden.

FUTURE/MEMORY runs June 22—July 6, 2013, 4pm-8pm, free.

Photo by: Charles Burns | Mark E Smith

Fans of RAW artist Charles Burns may or may not know that The Believer magazine published the artist's work on covers between 2003-2013. Burns created the images of ink on paper in a strict format of 6x6. His distinctive black lines communicate sophisticated textures and lighting in the portraits. This summer, Adam Baumgold Gallery is featuring the many portraits Burns made for the magazine as well as a before-and-after series of works from comic Black Hole.

Over 300 drawings of artists, musicians, animals, and comic and fantasy characters as well as historical figures are included in the show. But today, we're focusing on the musicians Burns drew in yearbook style.

"Cover Portraits for The Believer 2003-2013 + Before & After Portraits from Black Hole" runs through July 26 at Adam Baumgold Gallery, NYC.

Stephen Malkmus

Kathleen Hannah
Nick Cave

Liz Phair
Devendra Banhart

Photos by Yewon Kim

Chicago is awash in street fests each summer, but the Guerrilla Truck Show, hosted by Morlen Sinoway Atelier during mega trade fair NeoCon each year stands out for its relaxed vibe and focus on creative work from small studios. Hundreds of designers and artists from Chicago and beyond show their latest projects and current wares from rented Ryder and U-Haul trucks. As one attendee noted Tuesday night, "it's a bad day to move out of an apartment in Chicago." As usual, we were inspired and enlightened.

Photo by: Jason Ferguson | Home Sweet Home

Curated by Gregory Tom of Eastern Michigan University, the exhibition includes work from Jason J. Ferguson, Matt Kenyon and Osman Khan. The artists play with typical elements found in an American home; a table and chairs, a houseplant, or a beam, and alter them to express ideas about faith, the mortgage crisis, and the American family.

The exhibit ties into "Mobile Homestead," a permanent artwork by the late Mike Kelley located on the grounds of MOCAD and based on the artist's childhood home in Westland, a neighborhood which primarily housed many workers for the Big Three auto makers. 

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) presents (in)Habitation on Friday, June 7, 2013. The exhibition runs through July 28, 2013. There's an opening party tonight, June 7, with a live set from Illy Mack, $5 at 7pm.


Matt Kenyon, Spore
Osman Khan, House

Joana Vasconcelos, Trafaria Praia (detail), 2013. Installation within the Trafaria Praia ferryboat. Photograph: Luís Vasconcelos. © Unidade Infinita Projecto

In order to give a name to the 55th installment of the Venice Biennale, director Massimiliano Gioni borrowed the title "The Encyclopedic Palace" (or "Il Palazzo Enciclopedico" in its original Italian) from the artist Marino Auriti. The title refers to Auriti's conceptual plan for a museum that housed the entirety of the human race's knowledge and inventions, and was chosen to describe the 55th Biennale's survey of the last 100 years of art, not simply a grouping of contemporary work.

The six-month event will show the work of 150 artists from 38 countries, including the first exhibition presented by the Vatican. Obviously, there's more to the vast Biennale than one can squeeze in a blog post, but these five shows have caught our eye and are worth checking out if you're headed to Venice.

Ragnar Kjartansson, "S.S. Hangover," 2013
Courtesy the artist; i8 Gallery, Reykjavik; Luhring Augustine, New York

1. Ragnar Kjartansson's "S.S. Hangover" at various locations
To make the most of Venice's canals, Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson created a kinetic sculpture using a fishing boat built in 1934 in Reykjavik and six local brass musicians. The band will perform a site specific composition by Kjartan Sveinsson while continuously sailing in a semi-circle pattern meant to simulate stereoscopic sound. They'll also periodically drop off players at piers while the band continues to perform, highlighting different elements of the composition, while altering the piece being played on the boat.

2. Dayanita Singh at the German Pavilion 
Dayanita Singh, who has photographed scenes of life in India for decades, will show photos from her 2001 work Mona, which examines the culture of eunuchs in India. The project, which began as a commission for the Financial Times to accompany a story about eunuch culture in 1989, was scrapped after Mona, the subject of the photos, demanded the negatives be returned to her. After realizing the feature was for a British newspaper and not an American one, she feared relatives who did not know she had become a eunuch would find out. Despite having to cancel the original assignment, Singh befriended Mona and photographed her over a decade later for her book Myself Mona Ahmed.

3. Richard Mosse at the Irish Pavilion
Using a custom-built large format camera and infrared film originally developed to detect camouflaged enemies during combat, photographer Richard Mosse documented conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo with his surreal photos of pink rolling hills, red trees, and illuminated water. His installation, "The Enclave," is a multimedia work shot in 2012 with the goal of rethinking war photography. During the Biennale, the work will be released as a 240-page monograph from the Aperture Foundation.

4. Joana Vasconcelos at the Pavilion of Portugal
This year the Pavilion of Portugal will actually be housed in a traditional Portuguese ferry boat covered in Portuguese tiles called azulejos. The ferry boat, called Trafaria Praia, is both a reference to Venice's canals, as well as the national "seafaring" identity of Portugal. Trafaria Praia will house work from Joana Vasconcelos, and take periodic 30-minute voyages between two ports in Venice. 

5. Koki Tanaka at Japan's Pavilion
For his showing at this year's Biennale, Japanese video artist Koki Tanaka tried to answer the question, "What message should Japan be sending to the world after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami?" In order to share the experiences of those who survived the earthquake with attendees who were more removed from the tragedy, Tanaka's video installation will assign visitors tasks designed to put them in unfamiliar positions, meant to represent the challenges of responding to a disaster.

Visit the Biennale online for more information.

Needles and Pens, opened in June of 2003 by founders Andrew Martin Scott and Breezy Culbertson, has accomplished a lot in the last ten years. As it curated 85 exhibits featuring artists all over the world, published half a dozen books, hosted musical performances, and sold some nifty stuff, the San Francisco based art space/shop established itself as a community hub for artists. To celebrate this success, Needles and Pens hosts an anniversary show at The Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco. The opening reception for the show is May 10, 6-9:30pm, includes work from 66 unique artists, as well as musical performances by Tara Jane O'Neil, Strawberry Smog, and WR/DS.

The show will be running until June 8, so make sure to stop by and celebrate a decade of Needle and Pens.

The bears, deer, and other creatures in Deedee Cheriel's paintings aren't chosen lightly. Her work is concerned with the interaction of the natural world and human emotion, and by painting animals she hopes to show emotions like fear and happiness taking non-human form. Although she now lives and works in urban Los Angeles, she cites childhood camping trips with her mom in a Volkswagen bus as the beginning of her fascination with the natural world. Cheriel's earliest experience as a working artist actually came a few years after those camping trips when she painted album covers and T-shirts for her teenage band and record label.

Her new show "Little Spirit and The Infinite Longing" opens April 19 and will run through May 13 at the Pure Evil Gallery in London.

Eric Lebofsky's new show Cosmos explores the multiverse, ancient aliens, cosmology, and chaos in drawings that sorted themselves into three groupings: the primeval, the chorus, and the totemic ghost-gods. It might sound like the stuff of late night History Channel viewing or pulp novels, but in Lebofsky's hands, the spiritual and the alien mix in a sci-fi universe that the artist has spent some time in. In fact, the exhibit takes its name from a Witold Gombrowicz book, which like Lebofsky's work, uses elements of sci-fi, humor, and eroticism in dense narratives.

Independent curator Eyeball Mansion culled Lebofsky's material (approximately 20 new ink drawings on paper as well as a signed and numbered artist book) for an exhibition which opens Saturday night at Rational Park (2557 W North Ave) in Chicago. The opening is Saturday, April 20th 7-10pm and the show runs through May 11 by appointment.

An artist book with process and finished drawings, as well as a short sci-fi story will be on display and for sale.