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Culture Catalysts: Chicago’s Movers and Shakers

Nov 8, 2011 – May 8, 2012

Get to know the work of a different Chicago-based thought leader each month. Meet the artists featured in our Chicago Works series and others who influence arts and culture in Chicago.

Scott Reeder

Scott Reeder is an artist whose work has been shown widely including exhibitions at Saatchi Gallery, London, The Museum Of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Karma International, Zurich, Switzerland, Los Angeles Daniel Reich Gallery. Reeder is known for his irreverent take on modernism and memorable titles like “Money in Bed” and “Symmetrical Pirate”.  In addition to his artistic practice, Scott has an active curatorial practice with his brother Tyson Reeder and wife Elysia Borowy-Reeder. Reeder’s paintings and projects have been reviewed in Artforum, Art & Text, Art Review, FlashArt, Frieze, The New York TimesArt News, Art In AmericaTimeOutThe Village Voice and The New Yorker.  Scott’s recent projects also include a soon to be completed feature film entitled “Moon Dust”; set 100 years in the future and tells the tragic story of a failing resort located on the moon. An excerpt of the film will première this spring the Museum of Contemporary art, Chicago.

Hamza Walker

Writer, curator and, since 1994, Director of Education for The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Hamza Walker has played a pivotal role in Chicago and beyond. Prior to his position at The Society, he worked as a Public Art Coordinator for The Department of Cultural Affairs. He has written articles and reviews for such publications as TransNew Art ExaminerParkett, and Artforum. For several years before its closing, he served on the board of Randolph Street Gallery and is currently on the boards of Noon, an annual publication of short fiction, and Lampo, a non-profit presenter of new and experimental music. He has served on numerous panels, locally, nationally and internationally and is the recipient of the 1999 Norton Curatorial Grant.

Stephanie Izard

Book signing follows talk at 7:30 pm

 Stephanie Izard was born in the Chicago suburb of Evanston but grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, where her parents got her hooked on food with their themed dinner parties, weekly menus posted on the fridge and a life-changing trip to Epcot where she couldn’t wait to get home and recreate the crepes she ate in “France.” As much as she loved cooking (and eating), she went the traditional route first and got a sociology degree from University of Michigan. Soon thereafter, she discovered that all she really wanted to do was cook. After graduating from the Le Cordon Bleu program at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, she worked at several restaurants, including the Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, before making the decision to return to Chicago in 2001. Stephanie is the winner of season four of Bravo’s Top Chef, owner and executive chef at Girl and the Goat, author of her first cookbook, Girl in the Kitchen: How a Top Chef Cooks, Thinks, Shops, Eats, and Drinks.

Laura Letinsky

A native of Canada and current Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Chicago, Letinsky is the second artist to be featured in the MCA’s Chicago Works series. A photographer known for her still lifes, she received her B.F.A. from the University of Manitoba, and an M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art. Letinsky has exhibited at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography; Casino Luxembourg; Galerie m Bochum, Germany; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nederlands Foto Institute; and The Renaissance Society, Chicago, and her work has been adopted into collections at Art Institute of Chicago; J.P. Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Her work has been featured in After All, Damiani Publishers (autumn 2010), Now, Again, Galerie Kusseneers, 2005, Hardly More Than Ever, The Renaissance Society, 2004, Blink, Phaidon Press, 2002, and Venus Inferred, University of Chicago Press, 2000. She is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York.


Judith Russi Kirshner

Judith Russi Kirshner has been Dean of the College of Architecture and the Arts at the University of Illinois at Chicago since 1997 where she also served as Director of the School of Art and Design.  Kirshner previously served as Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago from l976 to l980, at The Terra Museum of American Art from l985 to l987 and in the Art History Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Critic and curator, Kirshner lectures frequently on contemporary art and is a member of the Cultural Affairs Advisory Board of the City of Chicago as well as an advisory board member of numerous national and Chicago cultural organizations.  She has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts since 1980.  At the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1978, Kirshner curated Matta-Clarke’s last public project, Circus, or the Caribbean Orange.  Recent lectures include Arte Povera Portraits at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Art of Criticism, Carla Lonzi at The Tate Museum in London and at the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Christina Ramberg at the University of Richmond, and Gordon Matta Clark at the Royal Academy of Denmark.

Her most recent publications is an essay included in Wack! Art in the Feminist Revolution, 2007, on the Italian feminist artists Gina Pane, Carla Lonzi, Lea Vergine and Anne Marie Sauzeau Boetti.  A contributor to Art in America and  Artforum, Kirshner has also published and lectured on the work of Judy Ledgerwood, Tom Otterness, Dan Peterman, Gordon Matta-Clark, Cat Chow, Gary Simmons and Roni Horn.

Michael Dorf

Michael C. Dorf is a partner in the Chicago law firm Adducci, Dorf, Lehner, Mitchell & Blankenship, P.C., and Adjunct Full Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  In the mid 1980’s, he directed the creation of Chicago’s first Cultural Plan during the administration of Mayor Harold Washington.  He has previously served as Special Counsel to the late Congressman Sidney R. Yates,  formulating policies for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and other federal cultural organizations.  He also acted as Legal Affairs Consultant to the  presidentially appointed Independent Commission reviewing the policies of the NEA during the 1990’s and was a Co-Convenor of President Obama’s Arts Policy Task Force during the 2008 presidential campaign.  Michael  is a member of the board of Arts Alliance Illinois, the Illinois Humanities Council, and the Illinois Community College Board. In conjunction with This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, Michael speaks about his cultural experiences in Chicago during that decade and address renewed interest in a Chicago Cultural Plan today.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung’s innovative explorations of materials and process-based abstract painting make her one of Chicago’s most promising emerging artists. Chicago Works: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung is the artist’s first solo exhibition in a museum and includes new paintings that incorporate collage, found objects, and sculptural elements in unexpected ways that push the work beyond traditional notions of painting. She has shown extensively in Chicago and New York City and has two upcoming solo shows at Jacky Strenz, Frankfurt, and Corbett vs Dempsey, Chicago. Currently an exhibition called Hysterical Sublime at Spazio Cabinet, Milan, features her paintings alongside the work of David Keating. Zuckerman-Hartung also edits a zine called Conflict and is co-director at Julius Caesar, an artist run exhibition space in Chicago. She teaches at both The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University and has she has writing pending publication with Possible Projects. Zuckerman-Hartung is the third artist to be featured in the MCA’s Chicago Works exhibition series.


Season support for the MCA lecture and conversation series is generously provided by The Albert Pick, Jr. Fund.

Support for MCA lectures has been provided in part by Blanche Koffler, Altheimer & Gray, Aon Corporation, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Harris, Ione Kanne, Renee Logan, Leah and Ralph Wanger, Lenore Wexler, Ellen Stone Belic, James H. Stone, and Cynthia Raskin.

The Culture Catalyst: Hamza Walker and Culture Catalyst: Stephanie Izard presentations are made possible through the continuing support of the Friends of Edwin A. Bergman Fund.

Culture Catalyst: Judith Kirshner and Culture Catalyst: Michael Dorf: The Kristina Barr Lectures were established through a generous gift from the The Barr Fund to the Chicago Contemporary Campaign.

Air transportation is provided by American Airlines, the Official Airline of the Museum of Contemporary Art.