Carrie Mae Weems

Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change and The MacArthur Fellows at 40

Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change and The MacArthur Fellows at 40

While in Chicago this summer, I was fortunate to be able to see parts of the multi-site project, Toward Common Cause: Art, Social Change and The MacArthur Fellows at 40, curated by Abigail Winograd, organized by the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, in collaboration with other Chicago institutions.  Some of the exhibitions are open for another few weeks, others continue longer.

Here I will share with you two that are in their Dernier Jours. Carrie Mae Weems: A Land of Broken Dreams, at Logan Center Exhibitions through December 12, 2021, is an especially powerful installation. At the Smart Museum, a group show by the same name as the entire project features compelling, pivotal artworks or installations by 12 of the 29 artist fellows. These and other of the Toward Common Cause exhibitions I saw were dense, profound, and inspiring. It is always uplifting to see works by artists one admires, works one is familiar with and works not seen before, something like seeing old friends and meeting someone new. Seeing these new works by someone you’re familiar with brings a new level of admiration. The large-scale drawings of Toba Khedoori were especially memorable – she is an artist I look forward to seeing and learning more about.

I’m sharing a few photos from my iPhone of Weems’ installation and hope they will inspire viewers to visit the exhibitions and websites for detailed supporting background information, on this installation and the other artists and venues.


Posted by Thomas Alix Johnston in Blog, 0 comments

Meeting Oliver Sacks

With the passing this week of the multi-talented Oliver Sacks, I’m remembering an evening in January 2001 when he gave a talk as a distinguished guest at the university where I was a member of the faculty. I attended his talk and the reception following – as you would imagine, it was a very well attended event. At the reception I was visiting with an artist and friend from Seattle, Wesley Wehr, who asked rather casually if I’d like to meet Mr. Sacks. Continue reading →

Posted by Thomas Alix Johnston in Words, 0 comments