EYE CANDY

Here’s Your Reading List for the Revolution, Illustrated

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Tom VanEynde

The Chicago-based artist Cauleen Smith may primarily work in film, but this year she showed up at the Whitney Biennial with a series of messages emblazoned across banners that fit right in with the exhibition’s pronounced political spirit, from phrases like “rage blooms within me” to simply the word “black” amid motifs of guns and blood. Now, just in time for summer, Smith’s expanded upon her text-based artistic vocabulary: Her new exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, which is up through October, displays her renderings, in graphite and watercolor, of no less than 57 life-changing books, authored by the likes of everyone from Harriet Tubman to Yoko Ono to bell hooks. If you couldn’t tell from titles like Citizen: An American Lyric, Claudia Rankine’s poetic meditation on race relations, many are political and fall right in line with Smith’s ongoing examinations of power structures and race (though others, like Starfish, Sea Urchins, and Their Kin by Nelson Herwig, are admittedly just personal favorites of the artist, regardless of agenda). Study up on your syllabus for the revolution, here.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, Wild Seed, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, The Black Interior, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, Grapefruit, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2016.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, Martha Washington Goes to War, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, The Fire Next Time, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, Dhalgren, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, Blacks, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, The Intimacy of Four Continents, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015.

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Tom VanEynde

Cauleen Smith, Sister Outsider, from Human_3.0 Reading List, 2015.