Newcity is Chicago's cultural publication of record. Founded in 1986 and still operated by its founders, Newcity publishes daily online and monthly in print. Elliot J. Reichert has contributed to Newcity since 2014 and been its Art Editor since 2015.
The Left Front: Radical Art in the “Red Decade,” 1929–1940 revisits a moment in American cultural history when visual artists joined forces to form a “left front” to make socially conscious art. In the wake of the 1929 Wall Street Crash and at the start of the Great Depression, artists and writers founded the John Reed Club (JRC), which spread to more than thirty chapters nationwide. Named after the journalist who witnessed the 1917 Russian Revolution, the JRC brought together such artists as Isabel Bishop, Stuart Davis, William Gropper, Rockwell Kent, and Chicagoan Morris Topchevsky—embraced the motto “art as a social weapon” and rejected the idea that “the artist can remain remote from the historic conflicts in which all men must take side.” They took their message to the streets—marching, boycotting, picketing, and teaching—while also organizing exhibitions and publishing their artworks.
Organized by the Block Museum and curated by Elliot J. Reichert, this is the first exhibition to compare the work of Steichen and Warhol side by side. Steichen ǀ Warhol is drawn primarily from the Block’s collection and highlights two major gifts to the Museum—49 vintage Steichen prints from Richard and Jackie Hollander donated in honor of Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and his wife Mimi Schapiro and more than 150 Warhol photographs from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.