Work by Eric Cortez
Exhibition is located at Northeastern Illinois University Salme Harju Steinberg Fine Arts Center, 2nd Floor, Upper Gallery, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave. Reception Friday 6-9pm.
Curated by Hank Hank with work by Lespetites Morts, Adventure Monday, Christopher Gambino, Tannaz Motevalli, Hank Hank and Tannaz Motevalli.
Gallery 3F is located at 2013 W. Iowa St. #3F. Reception Friday 8-10pm.
Work by Jessica Hannah.
Loo is located at Slow Gallery, 2153 W. 21st St. Reception Saturday 6-9pm.
Work by Alma Allen, Darren Bader, Frank Benson, Chris Bradley, Nancy Brooks Brody, Joanne Greenbaum, George Herms, Alice Hutchins, Matt Johnson, Shio Kusaka, Jason Meadows, Miki Mochizuka, William J. O’Brien, Anthony Pearson, Puppies Puppies, Amanda Ross-Ho, Hayley Tompkins, Nick van Woert and Lisa Williamson.
Shane Campbell Gallery is located at 673 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception Saturday 6-8pm.
Work by Eric Doyle.
Firecat Projects is located at 2124 N. Damen Ave. Reception Friday 7-10pm.
Roots and Culture, 1034 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception Friday 6-9pm.
Curated by Nicholas Steindorf, with work by Tom Costa, EJ Hill, Betsy Odom, Industry of the Ordinary, Mary Mattingly, Rusty Shackleford, Joey Weiss and Darren Will.
Kunz,Vis,Projects, 2324 w. Montana, in the garage. Reception Friday 6-9pm.
Work by Jay Heikes.
Shane Campbell Gallery, 673 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception Saturday 6-8pm.
Work by Josef Aguilar, Michelle Anderson, Emilie Bennett-Kjenstad, Daniel Bertner, Alexandra Calhoun, Sarah Campbell, Edward Chong, Esther Chow, Tory Christopherson-Sommerfeldt, Francisco Cordero-Oceguera, Jessee Crane, Kristina Daignault, Theodore Darst, Sam Davis, John Deardourff, Stephanie Del Carpio, Claire Demos, Ben Dimock, Lara Dorsett, Kait Doyle, Jay Fernandez, Brandy Fisher, Charles Fogarty, Jasmine Grant, Christopher Grieshaber, Alison Groh, Yo Ahn Han, Zachary Harvey, Caitlin Hennessy, Danielle Jacklin, William Joyce, Ellie Younjeong Jung, Matthew Keable, Cindy Myung Jin Kim, Minkyung Kim, Elizabeth Kovach, Hyun Jee Kwon, Youjeong Kwon, Melissa Leandro, Christina Joorie Lee, Kang Hoon Lee, Kyusun Lee, Sulhwa Lee, Sarah Legow, Jiyeon Lim, Matthew Litwin, Elyse Mack, Elizabeth Mallery, Mark Mcwilliams, Caroline Moody, Alicia Moreno, Mara Mullen, Drew Noble, Eileen Oâ€™Donnell, Alp Oz, Mark Palmen, Jiha Park, Kaitlin Patterson, Heather Platen, Lou Regele, Thomas Roland, Camila Rosas, Nathan Scealf, Nicholas Schleicher, Jules Schmid, Noelle Sharp, Sam Sieger, Kollin Strand, Eric Tai, Geoffrey Thais, Claire Valdez, Sarah Welch, and Nayeon Yang.
Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute, 33 S. State St., 7th fl. Reception Friday 6-8pm.
Work by Daniel Danger.
Rotofugi Gallery, 2780 N. Lincoln Ave. Reception Friday 7-10pm.
Work by Matt Austin, Justyna Badach, Jeremy Bolen, Dan Bradica, Troy Flinn, Lenny Gilmore, Wm. Bradley Johnson, Nate Mathews, Bill O’Donnell, TJ Proechel, Charlie Simokaitis and Shane Welch.
Catherine Edelman Gallery is located at 300 W. Superior St. Reception is Friday from 5-8pm.
Work by Marius Aleksa, Theresa Ganz, Sara Garth, David Giordano, Jacqueline Hendrickson, Samantha Jones, Stacee Kalmanovsky, Melanie Kassel, Jessie Mott, Jasmine Neal, Elle Opitz, Hannah Pae, Valentina Solano, Cassandra Troyan, Jan Verwoert, Erik Wenzel and May Yeung.
DOVA Temporary Gallery is located at 5228 S. Harper Ave. Reception is Friday from 5-7:30pm.
Work by Petra Cortright, Thomson Dryjanski, Derek Frech and Bob Myaing, Aaron Graham, and Mac Katter.
HungryMan Gallery is located at 2135 N Rockwell St. Reception is Friday from 7-10pm.
Work by Roe Ethridge, Margarete Jakschik and Jonas Wood.
Shane Campbell Gallery (Chicago) is located at 673 N Milwaukee Ave. Reception is Saturday 6-8pm.
Work by Simon Ingram and Doug Melini.
The Suburban is located at 125 N. Harvey Ave. Reception is Sunday from 2-4pm.
Fri 4/8 –
Work by Ian Pedigo.
65Grand is located at 1369 W. Grand Ave. Reception is from 7-10pm.
Work by Heidi Norton.
EBERSMOORE is located at 213 N Morgan, #3C. Reception is from 6-9pm.
Work by Adam Pendleton.
Shane Campbell Gallery is located at 673 N. Milwaukee Ave. Reception is from 6-8pm.
Work by Michelle Blade and Jose Lerma, respectively.
Western Exhibitions is located at 119 N. Peoria St., 2A. Reception is from 5-8pm.
Sun 4/10 –
Work by Mark Booth.
Adds Donna is located at 4223 W Lake St. #422. Reception is from 3-7pm.
Guest Post by Dan Gunn
Chris Bradley is an MFA grad from SAIC in sculpture. He’s recently exhibited at Swimming Pool Projects, Raid Projects in LA, Dorsch Gallery in Miami to name a few. I sat down with him to talk following the opening of his new show at Shane Campbell Gallery titled Quiet Company.Â The show is up until April 2nd.
DG: Your references seem to be clearly of a certain kind from the basketball, to the potato chip and now the pretzel rod. Of what â€˜kindâ€™ are they? How do you choose what referents get into your work?
CB: I think it might just be happenstance, something just clicks, a revelation for lack of a better word. Recognizing that â€œOh yeah, thereâ€™s an idea here.â€ Then itâ€™s just a process of trying to figure out what Iâ€™m interested in. I end up pulling in these things that have been important for a while or that Iâ€™ve noticed in a different way. Then I play with them in the studio and after Iâ€™ve worked with them for a long time they become part of my vocabulary.
DG: For instance your show at Shane Campbell Gallery, Quiet Company, seems to be more associated with leisure. And I think that has to do with the palm trees. For me palm trees = leisure.
CB: For the show Iâ€™ve made targets set up in a precarious manner ready to be shot at. Or else theyâ€™ve been shot at and someone is a terrible shot. You can read that either way.
CB: The leisure aspect is definitely a component, but Iâ€™m not trying to celebrate a tropical place or a vacation, I think itâ€™s more about the lack of the possibility to vacate. Itâ€™s fabricating an exit that someone doesnâ€™t have an actual possibility of achieving.
DG: How do you indicate that lack of possibility?
CB: With this particular body of work its the ordinariness of the subject matter. You know Iâ€™m working with junk food, beer and paint rollers. I feel like these are materials that are really available for a lot of people. For some, alcohol is a means of exit. I feel like the artifice of using the beer can as the home of the potted palm dumbs it down to a level of patheticness.
DG: Would it be wrong to look at your work as working with completely masculine stereotypes? I have a hard time looking at Quiet Company, especially, and not imagining a watching a Packers game with a beer and some potato chips.
CB: I think a lot of people look at it that way. I think itâ€™s totally fine. Itâ€™s bro-culture totally. I live with a gay male artist whoâ€™s doing projects on effeminacy within gay culture and then thereâ€™s me whoâ€™s doing commentary on masculinity within Middle America. But I donâ€™t necessarily read it that way, though Iâ€™m OK with it. Being around a lot of different people I realize that I feel like I am just a dude. Iâ€™m happy to be a dude and to own that. Iâ€™ve been interested in working with motors, steel and things that move that have been commonly associated with the masculine. So Iâ€™m OK with the association but I wouldnâ€™t say that itâ€™s what Iâ€™m after. I think it might be inherent in how I think and what Iâ€™m in contact with. Often what stereotypically comes with masculinity is seen as insensitive and cold and I donâ€™t feel that way about my work whatsoever. So I think that works to negate some of the narrower ideas of masculinity.
DG: How do you think about materials? What kind of criteria do you have for how they go together as sculpture?
CB: Iâ€™ve had some of the potatoes and avocados for a long time actually. I cast them and I didnâ€™t really know what to do with them. I found some other resolution to the project that I was working on at the time. So I started playing with them again when I was in between projects and just made this target. Made a really strange pedestal and put them on top of it. I went â€œOh thatâ€™s doing something, let me see where this goes.â€
That was the impetus for the target series.
I started thinking about the potato chip as a subject. You know Iâ€™m very much a builder, I used to be more into image and 2D stuff,Â and I still am but I donâ€™t really trust myself to do anything intelligent there. So I looked at the potato chip as a building block, but couldnâ€™t come up with something interesting.Â While I was at the liquor store I saw some pretzel rods and I thought that there might be something there. So I bought some real pretzel rods and built a target with them and I was into it, seeing if I could build other ways with them and ended up making the giraffe with it.
There is something really approachable to the temporary, to the clips, to something bound vs. something welded or fabricated in a more permanent way. Because someone could go and just take it apart. I think understanding the way that something is built provides a direct way of accessing it. If someone knows how to use a ratchet strap they could take that thing apart.
If itâ€™s anything worthwhile people connect to it more because itâ€™s part of their world. A lot of people donâ€™t weld so thatâ€™s not as accessible. I think thatâ€™s more about believability and play on the precariousness of the palm tree and making a really stupid act that anyone could do. It has a certain way of communication.
Also with the targets the clips make sense because you can shoot it and then clip another one to it. There is a certain trickery that I want to maintain. Even in the trompe oâ€™ leil in something like the potato chip.
DG: The pretzel is kind of like an edible Lincoln log… Earlier you mentioned motors and motion, how does motion play into your work? Iâ€™m thinking specifically of the Cinnamon Spice Machine and its involuntary motion.
CB: I find it challenging to use kinetics in a sculpture in an effective way. For the sake of movement itâ€™s easy to do, but to make an artwork that couldnâ€™t be done without that movement is more rewarding. There is a balance in my practice where Iâ€™ll be really into kinetics for a bit. Itâ€™s a different thought process, but I get exhausted by it and move on to something else. Iâ€™ve been doing anything but kinetics recently and Iâ€™m starting to get interested in it again.
DG: If this kinetics focused side is one part of your practice, how would you characterize the side that produced Quiet Company?
CB: It was my approach to figure out where I stand within a bigger discipline. I take that body of work as something painterly. I think itâ€™s about being in the studio and spending half an hour mixing paint, trying to get the color right. Iâ€™ve been relating with painters more, to try and understand what they do and what I do. Iâ€™m getting over the separation between the disciplines and trying to figure out where I stand with that. I was really excited to find a resolution for the wall because that was the last thing that resolved for the show.
DG: Can you describe those pieces?
CB: They are the pretzel rod prisms. I take them as outlines of paintings, and consider them sketches because they are so loosely put together. There is also â€œHorizonâ€ which is kind of a squiggly line of pretzels.
DG: I read â€œHorizonâ€ as a backdrop to your tropical paradise that goes to your notion of a limited escape through objects. A dreaming through objects. If you can imagine a line of pretzels on a wall as a horizon then you have a pretty active imagination or longing for something else.
CB: Thatâ€™s putting a lot on pretzels! I think thatâ€™s often what painting is about. Itâ€™s about illusion and trickery. If you can stand in a room and point past a line of pretzel rods I think thatâ€™s pretty effective. But I donâ€™t know if anyoneâ€™s doing that…
DG: How does humor function in your work?
CB: Iâ€™ll take it as funny, if someone wants to take it that way. I hesitate to call my work humorous because of a weird insecurity about calling yourself something that most people want to be. To be funny is a nice thing, to self proclaim something like that is odd to me. Itâ€™s also like being an artist, I mean anyone can technically be an artist I guess, but thereâ€™s a different level to it when someone else comes to take you in and say â€œThis person is really doing something valuableâ€. You have to wait for those things.
DG: I wouldnâ€™t say your work is purely funny because there is also a kind of fatalism in certain pieces. Iâ€™m thinking specifically about a work like Potato, where an actual potato travels on an oval track around a wall. I get a kind of perverse pleasure thinking about it in relation to De Scott Evans trompe oâ€™ leil painting â€œThe Irish Questionâ€ in the Art Institute, though I doubt you were thinking about the Potato famine… Still there is something about the bland taste of a potato traveling a circuit repeatedly that is both funny and fatalistic.
CB:Â I think the potato is a very loaded icon. I first approached it with those notions in mind with a very loose hand. I wasnâ€™t very conscious about what I was getting into. The first instance was a flying potato in Ireland.
DG: So it was Irish!
CB: It was a very performative gesture throwing a potato in the air, taking a photograph of it and hoping for the best. I think the fatalism that you speak of comes because the potato doesnâ€™t progress. It doesnâ€™t learn anything. Maybe we have it fantastic, because we donâ€™t just walk in circles? Or maybe we do. The potato is kind of monotonous,Â Sisyphean, pathetic and strangely frightening. Thatâ€™s how I see it.
DG: So if that’s the iconology of the potato, what about the avocado?
CB: Itâ€™s just another piece of produce…
DG: See, because I read it as the analog to the potato chip, as the thing which will eventually go on the potato chip.
CB: Sure! You can definitely read it that way. Avocado, guacamole.
DG: It was a culinary read…
CB: Other people brought that up as well. I see it as some kind of parallel to something tropical. The more I worked with it I thought that it was kind of a romantic fruit with a big seed inside, and kind of lush. But in the end itâ€™s just produce.
DG: But what about your beer choice?
CB: Iâ€™m a Budweiser drinker. Nowadays Iâ€™m more of a light beer drinker and I would say that Modelo especial is kind of light. To work with beer cans you need to be conscious of who else works with beer cans, itâ€™s available and itâ€™s being used. So I went with a 24oz can to be specific with my choice and I ended up drinking a lot of cans. I started playing with these cans and I began to think about what it meant to be a Budweiser drinker.
The Modelo cans seemed to go really well with the idea of putting palm trees in them. It was a really conscious choice, a comparison between two different places. There is this longing for the other, for the unknown.
DG: A world inside of a beer can.
Dan Gunn is an artist, writer and educator living in Chicago.