Stacy Hand – mixed media,
Susan Sensemann – photography
Sally Havlis – painting
Jean-Marie Casbarian – video installation
Angela Altenhofen – mixed media
Karen Brow – drawing
Judy Koon – painting
Ellie Wallace – encaustic
The idea of the surrogate, an object representing replacement and potential fulfillment, has underscored my work for several years and has led to experimentation in tangibility and ephemerality, the touched and the untouchable. My consistent use of fibers is due to their natural metaphorical reference to living things and I habitually recall this quality in my sculpture, especially in terms of suggestive displacement. I ask, â€œDoes touching something make it existent or comprehensible? Is it proof? How do objects facilitate transformation of the self?â€
My current work is based on the idea of surrogate landscape: large, soft, and transportable objects that reference natural environments, not unlike the way a teddy bear caricatures and abstracts an actual grizzly.
Angela Altenhofen received a Masterâ€™s degree from SAIC and has since been exhibiting sculpture in solo and group shows in the US, Europe and the Near East.
To suddenly experience the solidly real world as contingent and entirely dependent on my sense perceptions of it, and ultimately, open and non-objectifiable, is completely unnerving. Nevertheless, I find myself squarely between two obviously true views of what is right there in front of me. The gap can be bridged by the idea and experience of the Genius Loci, the resident spirit of a place and the inspirations that may be derived from it. Always present, constantly changing; the perceived world endlessly unfolds. How utterly amazing.
Karen Brown was born and educated in Southern California. Brown came to the Midwest in 1999, and is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb IL. Her work addresses the processes of perception, and the construct of the self. Most recently Brownâ€™s work has been shown at The Pickled Art Center in Beijing, China; the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International, and the Maryland Federation of Art.
Jean Marie Casbarian
Double Blind: Fact or fiction is always an underlying current in my work. Such is the nature of perceptionâ€”one individualâ€™s truth is anotherâ€™s fabrication. Double Blind is based on the premise that it is not until the end of a pursuit that we discover its result. In this latest video installation, the audience visually tracks a ball of light to an unspecified end. As the light leads us through an ambiguous space, we are asked to draw our own conclusion as we try to identify its source.
Jean Marie Casbarian is an interdisciplinary installation artist who incorporates film and video projections, photography, sound, sculpture, and performance into her artworks. Along with a nomination for the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Jean Marie has received a number of awards and artist residencies. Currently, she teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
Cultured Materials: Stacy Hand constructs a series of landscapes that subtly shift between micro and macro space. In one line of works, objects and fluids in combination struggle to â€œrealizeâ€ the strange material presence that visualization techniques like electron microscopy lend their subjects. These works represent a non-objective translation of this imageryâ€™s material effects into a space accessible to human experience. Other works use landscape compositions to investigate the subtle synaesthetic language of consumable materials like skin cream, milk of magnesia, and shampoo. These works playfully engage the material history and kinesthetic mythology that tells us, for example, that yellow pearlescence feels like restorative conditioning.
Stacy Hand is both an artist and a career an art historian. She is currently finishing a Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Chicago. For 2003-2004 Stacy was awarded a Fulbright to Germany. In addition, she teaches as part-time faculty at both Columbia College and at Northwestern Universityâ€™s School of Continuing Studies.
Sally Havlisâ€™ works are painted on pairs of wood panels. These diptychs paintings combine geometry with the immediate irrational painted surface. The work explores the relationship between intention and immediate, object and surface, conscious and unconscious, rational and imaginative.
The purpose of the art, rather than informing the viewer, is to initiate a visual process of intimate scrutiny that blends the viewer’s mindfulness with the observed object.
Sally Havlis is a Chicago artist who received her MFA in painting in 1993 and a MA in drawing in 1989 from Northern Illinois University. She has been represented in Chicago by Gallery Stephanie and Erie Street Gallery and has exhibited widely in the area. Ms. Havlis has had one person shows at Holsom Roc Gallery and at Harper College.
My paintings derive from a fascination with being between. This territory of between-ness necessarily exists within an abstracted configuration of the things we see. I say â€œnecessarilyâ€ because it is through the pause of abstraction that our eagerness to name things can be momentarily diverted, and thus allow for an interval of uncertainty.
For me, the landscape, as subject, embodies these subtle contradictory possibilities of betweeness: it is potentially abstract, yet particular, and infinitely varied; being at once impersonal and intimate. Add to this, changing weather and light, these are the immediacies of indeterminate moments; conditions which are vague, yet familiar: inhabiting, the in beteween.
Judy Koon is a painter and an educator. A faculty member of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago since 1986, and The Evanston Art Center since 2003, she has taught and lectured in the midwest, Scotland, and Italy. Her work has been exhibited primarily in Chicago and in Italy where she frequently teaches and works. Most recently she was an artist-in-residence at Catwalk, in Catskill, NY.
My photographic montages are a depiction of autobiographical intent that is located in self-portraiture. For example, in the ‘Impersonation Series’ the subject of ‘self’ is overlaid with a variety of images of marble portrait busts which I have photographed in museums here and abroad. As the author of my own disguise, I become the man, the maiden, and the monster, an embodiment of vertiginous excess. Borrowing from the Gothic narrative structure with its hyperbolic story line and hyper-saturated color, this work elucidates a childhood preoccupation with the play and power of dress-up. The hybrid ‘self’ is evidence of an adult and unapologetic form of narcissism. This work is from a vanitas series: beauty, sadness, and the humor that accompanies despair.
Susan Sensemann is an artist, educator, and arts administrator who has lived and worked in Chicago since 1979. She is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and has lectured at institutions in Italy, Germany, and China among others in this country. Awards include a MUCIA grant to South Korea, a British Arts Council grant for Belfast, and Chicago Artists International Program grants to Prague and Turku, Finland.
Several years ago, I began painting ordinary household objects floating on sky-like fields of color. At first I was interested in how mundane objects take on their own idiosyncratic associations and meanings outside of their regular usage, roughly analogous to the development of written language with pictographs as a starting point.
I have become more concerned with how the images operate as formal elements, seeming to hover right over the line between abstraction and representation with the physical simplicity of the objects somehow balanced against the illusion of the painted image.
Ellie Wallace was born and raised in Downers Grove right in the middle of her family. She received her BFA from University of Illinois at Chicago in 1994 and joined Artemisia Gallery in 1996, serving as co-president in 1997-98 and remaining a member until the galleryâ€™s closing in 2003. Currently she lives in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago and supports herself and her cat, Eartha, by working for DePaul Universityâ€™s Department of Art and Art History as their studio manager.
Curated by: Vesna Rebernak