January 15, 2011 · Print This Article
Ack, I meant to post this yesterday and totally forgot. Huge apologies, because this thing looks great – so many fantastic artists are involved in this show! But luckily there’s still time for you to catch the first of an ongoing “Winter Experiment” at Monique Meloche Gallery if you hop on by the space TODAY, Saturday, at 1pm to listen to the talk between Ebony G. Patterson & Tumelo Mosaka taking place in the gallery. They will have treats and hot drinks (provided by Letizia’s Natural Bakery), and Duncan will be on site recording this and all the other upcoming talks for Bad at Sports’ podcast, so stop by, hang out, and say hi to your friends! The full schedule of events follows….
Winter Experiment - Calendar of Events
Saturday January 15, 1pm: Ebony G. Patterson & Tumelo Mosaka
Patterson (Jamaican, born 1981, lives Lexington, KY/Kingston, Jamaica) will have a dynamic mixed-media installation that investigates Jamaican dance hall culture in the gallery’s window facing Division Street. Mosaka included Patterson in his 2007 exhibition Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art where he was formerly Associate Curator of Exhibitions. Recently, Mosaka has become the Contemporary Art Curator at the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois. Patterson’s installation Gully Godz in Conversation-Conversations Revised I, II and III will continue through March 26 as our fourth on the wall project.
Saturday January 22, 1pm: Dan Gunn & Michelle Grabner
Gunn’s (American, born 1980, lives Chicago) paintings, sculptures, and installations investigate the power and perception of pattern and light as well as the roles of spatial and cultural context to the assignment of meaning in contemporary art. Michelle Grabner, who is an artist, curator, writer and the founder of The Suburban in Oak Park, taught Gunn at the School of the Art Institute, where she is Chair of the Painting and Drawing Department and where Gunn received his MFA in 2007. After the conversation, follow us for the opening of Grabner’s solo exhibition Like a rare morel at Shane Campbell Gallery.
Saturday January 29, 1pm: Ben Fain & Shannon Stratton
Fain (American, born London 1980, lives Chicago), who is best known for his controversial public-performances and parades, recently taught the course The Parade Float as Guerrilla Art in Northwestern’s Department of Art Theory and Practice. Stratton, the founder and Executive Director of local non-profit Threewalls, is intimately familiar with Chesterhill, OH, the location of Fain’s most recent parade and the subject of his current project. Together they will discuss this project along with new contexts for art making and exhibiting.
Saturday February 5, 1pm: Anna Shteynshleyger & Andreas Waldburg-Wolfegg
Shteynshleyger’s (Russian-American, born Moscow 1977, lives Chicago) photographs—portraits, still-lifes, landscapes, and interiors—display a historic sensitivity that is at once personal and political. Arts patron Waldburg-Wolfegg is on the Advisory Committee of the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the International Committee of the Renaissance Society, where Shteynshleyger had solo exhibitions in 2004 and 2007 respectively. Shteynshleyger will be previewing some of her new work in progress.
2154 W. Division Chicago IL 60622
t: 773.252.0299, f: 773.252.0899
Ahoy again, me mateys! Thar be arts in them thar waters. Yarg! And for this week’s briny picks, we’ll be casting broad our ores…or something. Ok, enough of that. But really, we are a bit scattered about for this weekend’s picks. I’ll be driving my trusty Jeep round, dashing through the snow and such. Perhaps, I’ll see yo ass out there? And now…
The True and Trusty Top 5:
1. Matters at Golden
Golden Gallery has impressed me with their selection of work since they opened about a year and a half ago with my buddy Jill Frank’s work. This round looks like more of the same, in the good way. Opening this week is a solo show of Joseph Cassan. And really, anyone who can take Kleenex and a bloody Band Aid, put it together, and make me think of Caravaggio is worth a look in by book. Rock on, dear Golden Gallery.
Golden Gallery is located at 816 W. Newport. Opening reception is Friday from 6-9pm.
2. The Dog and the Wolf at Monique Meloche
I friggin’ love Laura Letinsky. ‘Nuff said. She’s having a solo show at Meloche’s joint. Go see the show.
Monique Meloche is located at 2154 W. Division St. Opening reception is Saturday from 4-7pm.
Carrie Schneider @ Monique Meloche; Lora Fosberg @ Linda Warren; Amy Mayfield @ threewalls
Artwork copyright the original artists; text and documentation copyright Paul Germanos.
Friday, October 17, 2008, Chicago:
Carrie Schneider @ Monique Meloche
“ognuno vede” — Niccolo Machiavelli:
As I ride east, the sky fades to red behind me.
And according to no particular rhythm, drops of rain infrequently appear on the visor of my helmet.
Bike parked, block walked, I cross the threshold of Monique Meloche Gallery and find the photography of Carrie Schneider.
Schneider’s prints are large — an easy meter on any given side — and in full color.
The subjects are human figures, and products of human artifice, as found in landscapes of great natural beauty.
Meloche’s exhibition program has seemed at once gutsy and cerebral, demonstrating a sustained interest not only in the sensual human experience of the world, but also favoring a cool, museum-like intellectual framing of contemporary issues.
And so I suppose there’s something here in addition to pretty scenery and clever portraits.
Clue: the consistently idiosyncratic aspect of Schneider’s photography is the focus upon some type of covering.
The human figure in the piece entitled We, and the canoe in Dazzle Camouflage, are draped with a Riley-like, black-and-white canvas.
But “dazzle” is a reference not to Op Art, rather a battlefield technique that disrupts an opponent’s perception through the use of striking, high-contrast patterns wholly unrelated to the object so treated.
Certain of that, conscious of the fact that Carrie Schneider’s work has, for several years, evidenced an artistic strategy concerned with ambiguity,
it seems likely that her first solo show is in large part an exploration of the tactics of camouflage.
Continuing to view the work, continuing to think about camouflage, the self-portrait beneath a mask of juniper boughs in Queen of This Island seems not unlike a ghillie suit:
that covering of organic materials drawn from the environment into which one desires to blend,
most familiar in the form of a rude crown of grass and twigs ringing the helmet of military snipers.
The application of such substances to the human figure is a familiar process in Chicago:
A photograph of one of Nick Cave’s “suits” hung on the same gallery wall a few short months ago;
and while not “wearable,” and more distant (ten to twenty years prior) historically, there is also the example of Tom Czarnopys’ cast figures encased in bark.
Maybe most notable in their exploitation of camouflage have been local artists Tom Burtonwood & Holly Holmes.
In their piece Price War!, as see at the Consuming War exhibition, B & H applied a non-threatening commercial pattern to threatening, military shapes.
Later reversing that figure/ground relationship at artXposium 2.0, B & H applied a threatening military pattern to a non-threatening commercial shape in their piece Urban Camo Santa.
That Burtonwood and Holmes examine the relationship between commerce and war is writ large for all to read.
Coyly, Schneider looks out from her work: young, beautiful and self-satisfied.
She’s not really hiding.
What is Schneider’s interest in camouflage?
In both her projected and also in her printed films, the message, the revelation, is delivered by means of the obscurement.
What is she attempting to communicate?
Lora Fosberg @ Linda Warren
There are times when the clarity and simplicity of an artist’s message, amplified by the means of delivery,
overwhelm and even stupify the viewer.
In the past, Barbara Kruger’s bold font has seemed to shout at me;
Jenny Holzer’s animation and projections have quite literally circled menacingly, and towered ominously above me.
I’ve been told that this confrontational mode of delivery was carefully chosen for the purpose of forcing certain issues into the public consciousness.
But, fighting — and the work of Kruger and Holzer alluded to above is combative — with the weapons and armor
of the enemy, they, at times, appear to belong to his camp…to be propagandists.
Exposed to loud noise, I cover my ears; in the presence of a bright light, I shield my eyes.
But when someone whispers, I draw near and listen.
And seeing something delicate and small, I’m inclined to study it with care.
And so it is at 1052 W. Fulton Market: I find myself drawn into Lora Fosberg‘s text-ladden pieces at Linda Warren Gallery.
And I attribute my reaction to her subtle treatment of the material.
Admittedly, I’ve tended to recoil when confronted by large amounts of text in what is nominally visual art.
But Fosberg’s words and phrases are well-integrated with the purely aesthetic elements of her design.
Fosberg shows a deft hand when practicing the craft of draftsmanship.
Clean, sure strokes of brush and pen define figures with what appears to be little effort.
I’m caught unaware by the content, having been more-or-less lulled into a receptive state by the combined effect of the subtle tones of her palette, the easy grace of her execution, and the modest scale of the pieces on display.
Fosberg’s made visible dialogues, dialogues that, in her own words,
“suggest the familiar while maintaining ambiguity.”
As in Schneider’s show, here there are figures active in a landscape.
But Fosberg’s models aren’t literal representations of herself;
and they aren’t looking out of the frame at me — seeking my attention and approval.
No, the subjects of Fosberg’s ink and gouache caricatures are busily about their given work.
Amy Mayfield @ threewalls
Up the stairs, down the hall, to threewalls I go.
It’s the crazy aunt’s attic in which I’ve found voodoo dolls, horror films, and even whole trees.
Tonight a heavily embroidered curtain hangs between the body of Amy Mayfield‘s installation and the external world of the gallery’s front room.
Passing through that membrane I entered a hot vermillion space.
fornus, fornax, fornix
Mayfield has wholly invested herself in the process of transforming the back room of the gallery:
choosing to place some found objects, fabricate other pieces, and treat the environment as well.
The surfaces — from the tiles beneath my feet to the walls on which framed items are hung –
are well-painted, sometimes thickly, sometimes possessing a glossy sheen.
Rising up from the floor are foam concretions that resemble stalagmites,
the floor having been re-tiled with brightly colored geometric units of her own creation.
It’s the contrast between the line quality of those two things that really strikes me.
There’s a wild, almost schizophrenic, swing from style-to-style, piece-to-piece;
the unifying compositional element being the vivid color that she favors.
Mayfield, like Schneider and Fosberg, I think, is involved in a process that is somewhat autobiographical.
Schneider, as a model, quite literally appears in her own work.
Fosberg presents artifacts of thought processes.
Mayfield manifests externally some internal space, viscerally fusing the physical and psychological.
+ + +
It says something good about the scene in Chicago that it’s now possible
to experience, back-to-back, strong shows by three women at different
points in their lives and careers. Go and compare:
Amy Mayfield @ threewalls through Nov 15, 2008
Lora Fosberg @ Linda Warren through Nov 29, 2008
Carrie Schneider @ Monique Meloche through Dec 6, 2008
 See: The “dazzle” cars of Patricia van Lubeck, circa the early 90′s.
 See: Comments on Schneider’s Derelict Self series, 2006-2007, made by
Aura Seikkula, curator of the Finnish Museum of Photography.
 See: False Colors: Art, Design and Modern Camouflage by
Roy R. Behrens,
Professor, Art and Design, University of Northern Iowa (noting especially the text’s cover art) for more on the relationship between art and camouflage.
 See: Camouflage at London Imperial War Museum, 2007;
“The first major exhibition to explore the impact of camouflage on modern warfare and its adoption into popular culture.”
 See: Jenny Holzer: Protect Protect @ MCA through February 1, 2009.
Written by Paul Germanos