Recent News


5:04 pm on May 29th, 2010

SubCity Projects presents
Daniel Sullivan and Timothy Bergstrom in
May 22 through June 26th 2010

A recent graduate student from SAIC (Timothy Bergstrom) and a current undergraduate student (Daniel Sullivan) face off in the tiny space, which SubCity Projects occupies. Nobody wins, as all bets are off.

Resigned, two black paintings lean against the walls.
A slippery and golden snapshot illusion prevails, as a glass window is served up, dirty martini style.
Black predominates in the paintings.
The mood is sinister.

For more about Timothy Bergstrom

For more about Daniel Sullivan

SubCity Projects hours:

Monday-Friday 7 AM to 10 PM
Saturday 7 AM to 9 PM
Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM


2:38 pm on March 10th, 2010


MARCH 19 – MAY 3, 2010

SubCity Projects is pleased to present a collaborative project by Chicago-based artists Paola Cabal, Michael Genge, Christopher Grieshaber, and Amanda Tworek who comprise the utility Projects Collaborative (ƒ)utility Projects Collaborative. This is their formal debut as a collective.

In Depth of Field, (ƒ)utility Projects creates the illusion of an actual window that extends beyond the wall of the project space and into the internal corridor of the Fine Arts Building. (ƒ)utility Projects seeks to generate a perspectival illusion that invites viewers to momentarily sustain their gaze and suspend their belief by optically stretching the volume of the space.

(ƒ)utility projects: Begun in summer 2009 as an offshoot of Drawing Studio:Articulating Space, (ƒ)utility consists of Paola Cabal, SAIC painting and drawing faculty, Michael Genge, SAIC architecture student, Christopher Grieshaber, SAIC designed objects student, and Amanda Tworek, SAIC sculpture student. The group forged its working paradigm over the course of two major installations in the pedway open studio, a Department of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program space below the Chicago Cultural Center, and has been invited to discuss their integration of electronic visualization and digital production methods at this year’s “Version” festival. Upcoming projects include new work for Version fest and a solo exhibition at “2nd Floor Gallery Space”, an alternative space on the second floor at 903 W 19th in Chicago.

February 2010

7:10 pm on January 30th, 2010

Sabina Ott


A four part video assemblage of imaginary sound scapes.

February 8-March 8, 2010

“The human mind has neither identity or time,  it is flat land seen from above. Human nature, on the other hand is represented by its inability to transcend a single viewpoint; it is the land seen from the ground.”

–Stanzas in Meditation from Gertrude Stein

January 2010

2:38 pm on December 7th, 2009

Tyson Reeder & Andrew Greene

create a temporary studio site where they invited guests to collaborate on the painting Holiday Sweater by Tyson Reeder.

Tyson Reeder

Holiday Sweater, 2009, gouche, colored pencil, pen, ink on paper on canvas, 28 x 34 inches

Read a review of the project at the link below.

December 2009

12:45 am on December 4th, 2009

The Organic Art Factory


ONE NIGHT ONLY  wandering Performance by the Organic Art Factory at the Fine Arts Building.

The Organic Art Factory supports The Cover Artists – a research-based performance entity that recreates pioneering performance artworks from the last half of the 20th century. These works are carefully selected based on aesthetic appeal and conceptual integrity, as well as their ongoing influence on contemporary art. We will be performing Marina Abromovic & Ulay’s piece “Rest Energy” from 1980.


November 2009

11:33 pm on October 5th, 2009

Barbara Kasten: Through a Glass Darkly


Friday, October 9- Friday, November 13 2009

For more information about the artist please visit:






Interview with Barbara Kasten by Candida Alvarez.

October 19, 2009

CA: Can you speak on your relationship to formalism? How has your definition changed since you began working in the 70’s??

BK: I am skirting the edges of formalism…a purposeful direction.

Early on I relied on it in the 70’s. Now I use it, but I break it down and use it in a different way. There is formalism in the placement of forms in this installation, however, the video itself is a ‘close-up’ of the plastic I photograph and the stills pulled from the video are a result of examination of the material. The emphasis is on materiality combined with the illusion of form. I see it as a purposeful direction to deconstruct the formal aspect of my work.

I’m using this piece to explore some of my thoughts about the combination of formalism and content. The use of the rectangular dimension of the projection changes into an irregular shape as the moving image is projected on an angle and into a corner. The moving line flattens the corner momentarily as it moves across and then moves on to deposit itself in the photograph on the facing wall. The source of the movement in line and light happens when light reveals the markings of the plastic material. The materiality can only be observed with the projection of light. The deconstruction of the space is also only perceived by the use of the passing light as it rotates from the video. The piece could not exist without the phenomena of light.

I have been changing the piece as I study it. It is an open studio experience and some versions are better than others. At the moment I’m pretty happy with it….it may stay this way a little longer than the last one but I still envision a different ending piece. We may need to keep this up for another week so I can do it.

CA: Can you talk more about your relationship to perception?

BK: My perceptions are a conglomerate of experiences from a variety of interests, media and influences. I have a history as a photographer…. a bootstrap one since I never studied photography. I never think of myself as just a photographer….my background in painting and sculpture influences my choices of mediums and the possible hybrids I can come up with. Magdalena Abakanowicz was my mentor when I was a Fulbright student in Poland. This was the early 70’s. At the time artists were working with non-traditional materials to create sculptural forms in the craft mediums such as weaving. My fiber sculpture experiments lead to photograms, the first form of photography I tried.

It was intriguing to me to see how I could transform the influences of painters and sculptors I was aware of into my own diverse practice. Agnes Martin, Nolan, Stella, Franz Kline are just a few. My time in California in the 70’s connected me to the ‘light’ works of Irwin, Turrell, Bell, Valentine and others whose work reflected the environment of process, illusion and materiality prevalent in the art of the time. In my early photographic work I used geometry as the basis of imagery done in Polaroid, cyanotype or mixed media. I was interested in sculpture, painting, folding screens and lighting. I admired the multiple directions of the Bauhaus pedagogy and the artists like Moholy Nagy whose art reflected those approaches.

CA: Is this your first video piece?

BK: Yes. I started with Polaroid 8×10 to photograph fabrications for the camera. In my recent work I am stepping back into the constructions that began in the 70’s. I have always been driven by the phenomena of light, so photographs were a perfect medium for me. Taking it into video also seems like a good fit for my concerns. Video allows me to activate the geometry I like. But it is not just the movement; the original subject of the video is transformed into a variety of abstract marks like lines. A simple examination of material can perform in an entirely different role as form. And none of it is visible without the use of light.

In this project, ‘Looking through a Glass Darkly’, I am trying to push even further towards the essence of what I’ve been working with for 30 years. The meaning of this title phrase – an imperfect or obscure vision of reality – comes from the Apostle Paul. His writings explain that we do not now see clearly, but at the end of time, we will do so. I liked the mystery and faith of that and since the installation is viewed through a glass window in a door, it seemed appropriate.


3:08 pm on May 10th, 2009

Joyce Pensato

Donald in the Closet


For more than three decades, this Brooklyn artist has made demonic  black- and- white (or black -and -silver) enamel paintings of cartoon characters. In her Easter Island-meets-Disney-de Kooning-and-Warhol portraits of Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and others, Pensato combines the gesturalism of action painting, the painterliness of Abstract Expressionism, the blatancy of Pop and the wild style of graffiti.

-Jerry Saltz, 2008

For more info on the artist, please visit




Dark Art Fair

9:01 am on April 28th, 2009


SubCity Projects at the Dark Art Fair

psychic Cherry Daiqueri aka Kim Mitseff with paintings by Lava Caramel aka Candida Alvarez

In German, the word Hellsehen is composed of two words. The first word “hell” means clear, bright light. The second word “sehen” which means to see, as in “seeing the light.”  It refers to seeing things that others might not see, like a clairvoyant. This insight was clearly expressed by my longtime friend and artist Ingrid Roscheck at the opening night.

Performing live inside the booth was the liquid alter ego/5 star psychic Cherry “its not my real name” Daiquiri aka Kim Mitseff who was available for private readings. Booth design and paintings were the work of alter ego Lava Caramel aka Candida Alvarez with a special edition art comic book created by alter ego Nar Duell aka Lynne Heller. This was the inaugural launching of a webscape project conceived and directed by artist, Kim Mitseff (current Ringleader of TrackHouse Land Share, Marble Colorado) in collaboration with web designer/artist Lynne Heller (Toronto, Canada).

This is the first international venue for SubCity Projects, an independent artist project space conceptualized by artist Candida Alvarez. It currently lives inside her studio within an adjacent small room and is only viewable through the window of room 1036 at The Fine Arts Building, 410 S Michigan Avenue. It is open daily 7am-10pm, Sat 9am-9pm and Sun 10am-4pm. Please send all inquiries to


Kim Mitseff aka Cherry Daiquiri, the psychic




Melting pot
Table talk
Floating speech
Brain speed
Invisible vision
Brain transformer
Fluently influenced
Un-nervous breakdown
Crushing synapses
Hysterical patience

I would like to thank my dear friend and fellow artist Rainer Barzen of Cologne for indulging my request at the Dark Fair for a list of words that spoke about his engagement with our project when my brain only saw white light.