Anyone here hit up the David Bowie Is art exhbit in Chicago?

downtownrobbrowndowntownrobbrown 446 Posts
edited October 2014 in Strut Central
I'm coming into town first weekend of December and was wondering people's opinions.
David Bowie Is presents the first retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie???one of the most pioneering and influential performers of our time. More than 400 objects, most from the David Bowie Archive???including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, photography, set designs, album artwork, and rare performance material from the past five decades???are brought together for the first time.

Bowie???s work has both influenced and been influenced by wider movements in art, design, theater, and contemporary culture, and the exhibition subsequently focuses on his creative processes, shifting style, and collaborative work with diverse designers in the fields of fashion, sound, graphics, theater, and film. Multimedia installations incorporating advanced sound technology produced by Sennheiser, original animations, continuous audio accompaniment, and video installations immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of Bowie???s artistic life. David Bowie Is was organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and has embarked on an international tour with the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago as the only US venue.

Organized chronologically, David Bowie Is traces the artist???s evolution from his years as a teenager in the 1950s to the early 2000s when he retired from touring. Before the surprise release of the 2013 album The Next Day, Bowie had not released an album since Reality in 2003. On display are more than sixty stage costumes including the Ziggy Stardust bodysuits (1972), designed by Freddie Burretti; Kansai Yamamoto???s flamboyant creations for the Aladdin Sane tour (1973); and the Union Jack coat designed by Bowie and Alexander McQueen for the Earthling album cover (1997). Bowie???s many personae are amply documented through photography, graphic designs, models of concert sets, visual excerpts from films, and live performances, including his starring role in Nicolas Roeg???s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and his appearance on Saturday Night Live (1979), as well as music videos for songs such as ???Boys Keep Swinging??? (1979) and ???Let???s Dance??? (1983). Alongside such prominent examples are more personal items such as never-before-seen storyboards, handwritten set lists and lyrics, and some of Bowie???s own sketches, musical scores, and diary entries, which help reveal the evolution of his creative ideas. His chameleonic character transformations throughout the years are central to his contribution to contemporary culture and highly relevant to contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman, Wu Tsang, Janelle Monae, and Lady Gaga.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue edited by Victoria and Albert Museum curators Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, which includes contributions from leading experts in musicology and cultural history and benefits from its reliance on and full access to the David Bowie Archive.

This exhibition is overseen in Chicago by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

  Comments


  • DocMcCoyDocMcCoy "Go and laugh in your own country!" 5,921 Posts
    I caught it when it ran in Berlin. There were several Berlin-specific exhibits which might not have made their way across the Atlantic, but I'm sure the US leg will compensate for that in other ways.

    It's beautifully put together, with a wealth of fascinating memorabilia, notes, costumes and audio-visual material. It does a first-rate job of properly putting into context not just the development of Bowie as an artist and performer, but also that of a lot of British pop music of the 60s and 70s. You get to see some of the ways in which post-WWII austerity provided the fuel for Bowie's imagination and that of his peers, and how the monochrome drabness of British life was turned on its head by the arrival of the teenager and the paintbomb that was rock 'n' roll. It's clear that Bowie the artist was as plugged-in to the prevailing trends of the day, and anything else you might describe as cutting-edge, as you'd expect any hip young person to be. You're able to trace not only how long it took him to develop a distinctive artistic voice but also the route he took as well.

    I came away from it thinking, perhaps for the first time, that Bowie was - not in a cynical way - actually a bit of an opportunist and a hustler as well as the enigmatic chameleon figure we so often see him represented as. But examine the history of post-Elvis pop and you'll find any number of artists who've responded to changing tastes and trends every bit as opportunistically as Bowie did in his early career, with little of the success. Very few ended up leading or changing those tastes and trends themselves either, and I'd argue that none managed to turn an ability to reinvent and adapt into a central element of their artistic identity. If you like Bowie, British/European rock music or post-war popular culture, I strongly recommend paying a visit.

  • Hey bro,
    I visited the Bowie exhibition last year in London at the Victoria and Albert museum.
    It is mindblowing. Certainly the best music retrospective I've ever seen. I left with a greater appreciation for Bowie.
    I'm very particular about re-issues so I was a bit let down that a lot of the items were reproductions but don't let that deter you from going. It is amazing!

    Peace, stein...

  • youngEINSTEIN said:
    Hey bro,
    I visited the Bowie exhibition last year in London at the Victoria and Albert museum.
    It is mindblowing. Certainly the best music retrospective I've ever seen. I left with a greater appreciation for Bowie.
    I'm very particular about re-issues so I was a bit let down that a lot of the items were reproductions but don't let that deter you from going. It is amazing!

    Peace, stein...


    Yeah I was disappointed in the reissues also but it was still pretty sweet. Was there at the absolute worst time as it was packed but it was still enjoyable.

    My favorite outfit of his was the Japanese Cat Costume.

  • DocMcCoyDocMcCoy "Go and laugh in your own country!" 5,921 Posts
    I'd imagine the decision to use repros may have been forced upon them a little bit. If you consider that some of the stage costumes will be 40 years old at least, and that they'll already have endured the wear and tear of a substantial tour or two (and probably weren't built to last to begin with), then the risk of possible further damage in transit becomes a bit easier to understand.

  • white_teawhite_tea 3,262 Posts
    downtownrobbrown said:
    youngEINSTEIN said:
    Hey bro,
    I visited the Bowie exhibition last year in London at the Victoria and Albert museum.
    It is mindblowing. Certainly the best music retrospective I've ever seen. I left with a greater appreciation for Bowie.
    I'm very particular about re-issues so I was a bit let down that a lot of the items were reproductions but don't let that deter you from going. It is amazing!

    Peace, stein...


    Yeah I was disappointed in the reissues also but it was still pretty sweet. Was there at the absolute worst time as it was packed but it was still enjoyable.

    My favorite outfit of his was the Japanese Cat Costume.

    I thought the museum limited the amount of tickets for this event to control crowding? I was gonna go one day on the spur of the moment and there were no tickets.
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