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Selected Reviews

Art Road Trip: 10 Exhibits to See This Fall
Stav Ziv, Newsweek, September, 2015

"Imagine for a moment that a group of art enthusiasts have squeezed into mom's old minivan (perhaps dragging along some art skeptics for good measure), loaded up the car with snacks and playlists, and set out to visit some of the country's top museums. There are hundreds of exhibits they could see this fall, but perhaps there's not enough time to reach them all..."

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Intelligentsia Curates Public Art
Matt Morris, New City, 2014

"Last night was the official unveiling of Antonia Contro's artwork "Scorza" on the facade of the 1611 West Division condo building at the corner of Division and Ashland. The ninety-two-foot-tall, twenty-seven-foot-wide digital print is the first "art wall" sponsored by Intelligentsia coffee bar, which will be opening a new location in the building on July 17..."

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Tempus Fugit
Edie Newhall, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2012

"The American Philosophical Society Museum has commissioned numerous art projects over the years, but its latest exhibition marks the first time it has invited an artist to select and interpret objects from the APS collections. In "Tempus Fugit," Antonia Contro has given new life to relics few of us have ever glimpsed..."

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It's About Time
Andrea Kirsh, The Art Blog, 2012

"Time, like death, is a subject certain to remain of eternal interest to artists, scholars, and the public at large; two exhibitions currently in Philadelphia approach the subject very differently. The delightful Tempus Fugit; Time Flies at the American Philosophical Society Museum (APS Museum) through December 30, is an exhibition conceived of as poetry, rather than the more usual form of scholarly prose. The artist Antonia Contro has selected works from the Philosophical Society's collections that deal with aspects of time and sensitively juxtaposed them..."

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Tempus Fugit
Alaina Mabaso, Broad Street Review, 2012

"In most contemporary art galleries or exhibits, the only thing on the walls as large as the artwork is a florid written statement from the artist or curator, to say nothing of the individual signs that accompany each piece.

Chicago-based artist Antonia Contro, in "Tempus Fugit," takes the opposite route, and it's an especially surprising choice for a show that pairs museum pieces with works of contemporary art: She resists the urge to post..."

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Tempus Fugit
Jim Cotter, WRTI, 2012

"In an exhibition called Tempus Fugit, (through December 2012) the Chicago-based conceptual artist Antonia Contro gives a fresh perspective to some of the American Philosophical Society's holdings by juxtaposing them in a newly created installation that, as you'll hear, is viewed to a soundtrack of..."

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Antonia Contro: Ex Libris
Abraham Ritchie, Flavorpill, 2011

"The mystery and discovery of a child exploring the books and ideas in a large library is evoked in Antonia Contro's exhibition Ex Libris, which translates from Latin to "from the books of." In this case, it's the books of the City of Chicago as Contro references the Cultural Center's previous life as the city's central library, as the building's gorgeous mosaics that bear quotes from literature's luminaries still hint. In the centerpiece film, Ex Libris, the carefully crafted artist books in the gallery come to life through animation, just as ideas from books have lives of their own — scenarios from physics play out, and phases of the moon pass. Don't miss the palm-sized video work on the doorway either."

Three's Company
Phil Morehart, Chicago Journal, 2011

The exhibition spaces that line the east side of the Chicago Cultural Center's first floor are amongst the city's hidden gems. The programming installed in the three interconnected galleries is always inventive and surprisingly challenging — let's hope that Mayor Emanuel's proposed budget cuts and ongoing restructuring that has decimated the Center's programming staff don't affect the displays.

The current exhibitions continue the impressive streak. On the surface, the three showcased artists — Antonia Contro, Art Fox and Terence Hannum — have little in common. However, a shared concern marks all of their work, specifically the power and impact of other mediums: books, architecture and music.

"Antonia Contro: Ex Libris" probes Chicago's history while remaining absolutely modern. Inspired by the Cultural Center's past as the home of the city's first public library, Contro constructed a variety of pieces that comment on the lives of — and lives within — books. The results are inspiring...

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Critic's Pick
Time Out Chicago, 2011

The exhibition, Ex Libris, currently on display at the Chicago Cultural Center, was chosen as Critic's Pick for October in Time Out Chicago, October 2011.

Artist Antonia Contro Presents Work at Ryerson Woods: The Observer
Jill Riddell, Ryerson Almanac, 2010

The moment of entry into Brushwood, the historic home at Ryerson Woods, always feels a bit like a step back in time. It's a well-made house with quiet rooms and plaster walls, and if you've been out in the bright sun, it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust. Ahead of you, down the hallway and through the back door, more nature is visible as the protected land rolls westward. To your left is the library, its shelves filled with field guides and nature books

This September, your moment of entry into Brushwood will feel even more transformative with an installation of work by artist Antonia Contro. "Complex, minimal and elegant" is how Friends' assistant director Deb Donnelley characterizes Contro's work. The collages, sculptures and books of Contro's that will be on exhibit in the upcoming show, called The Observer, support Donnelley's assertion.

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Clouds, et al
Lauren Weinberg, Time Out Chicago, 2008

Like its subject, "Clouds, et al" isn't as light as it appears—but it's a fun example of the large group shows that dominate the art world this season. Gallery artists' encore presentations, including Petroc Dragon Sesti's Event Horizon (2005)—a never-ending whirlpool enclosed in a glass vessel—meld seamlessly with works by outside artists that (mostly) adhere to the show's theme. Perhaps this is because the concept of "clouds" is interpreted broadly...

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Variable 'Clouds, et al' at Secrist
Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune, 2003

A popular image of summer for previous generations was that of a figure lying on its back staring up into the sky at clouds lazily drifting past. "Clouds, et al," the group show at Carrie Secrist Gallery, appears to set out to capture that idyll, though because the artists all are contemporary there is a darker cast.

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Off the page
Lauren Weinberg, Time Out Chicago, 2006

There are two kinds of people in Chicago: those who are in love with the Newberry Library, and those who have not visited it yet. Antonia Contro's "Closed and Open" promises to beguile both new and returning patrons by using art to celebrate the joys of collecting and sharing knowledge.

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'Travel Documents' lets us tour with artists
Margaret Hawkins, Chicago Sun-Times, 2006

Artists like to travel. Maybe that's because travel jumpstarts some of the same impulses artists work with all the time—the tilting of the familiar to sharpen perception, the heightening of attention paid to what ordinarily seems, well, ordinary. "Travel Documents" at A + D Gallery shows work by artists who travel, made in or about places other than where they live.

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