In conjunction with the Block Museum of Art’s Up is Down: Mid-Century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio, an exhibition exploring the groundbreaking Chicago design firm that brought Bauhaus aesthetics to the American public through innovative explorations with light and film, curators Amy Beste and Corinne Granof sat down for conversation with artist Jan Tichy, who served as an exhibition consultant for the project. Beste, Granof , and Tichy discussed the Goldsholl’s legacy and the ways in which their work resonates with an ongoing history of Chicago artists whose practices cross boundaries between design, art, and film. They also addressed Tichy’s “Artes in Horto – Seven Gardens for Chicago,” which is presented as part of Art on theMart, the world’s largest permanent digital art projection.
Amy Beste is director of public programs and senior lecturer in the department of film, video, new media, and animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her publications include “Interview with Hannes Schüpbach” in Schüpbach (2015) and “Designers in Film: Goldsholl Associates, the Avant-Garde, and Mid-century Advertising Films” in Jacob and Baas (2012). She curates “ Conversations at the Edge,” an ongoing series of screenings, talks, and performances by leading media artists at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago. Beste received her PhD from Northwestern University.
Corinne Granof is Curator of Academic Programs at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University where she directs the museum’s curatorial initiatives involving students and faculty collaboration. Recently she has co-curated the exhibitions William Blake and the Age of Aquarius (2017) and A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s (2016), and led the related companion publications with Northwestern University Press and Princeton University Press. Working with students and faculty, Granof has curated, co-curated, and collaborated on over 30 exhibitions and publications with the Block Museum, among them The Left Front: Radical Art in the “Red Decade,” 1929-1940 (2014); Design in the Age of Darwin: From William Morris to Frank Lloyd Wright (2008); From the Trenches to the Street: Art from Germany, 1910s-1920s (2007); Casting a Shadow: Creating the Alfred Hitchcock Film (2007); The Last Expression: Art and Auschwitz (2002).
Jan Tichy is a contemporary artist and educator. Working at the intersection of video, sculpture, architecture and photography, his conceptual work is socially and politically engaged. Born in Prague in 1974, Tichy studied art in Israel before earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is now Associate Professor at the Department of Photography and the Department of Art & Technology Studies. Tichy has had solo exhibitions at the MCA Chicago; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; CCA Tel Aviv; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Chicago Cultural Center among others. His works are included in public collections of MoMA in New York and Israel Museum in Jerusalem among others.
Image credit: Morton Goldsholl, Untitled (Light Painting), c. 1944, glass slide collage. Digital restoration by Jan Tichy. Courtesy of the Goldsholl Family.