A few snaps from recent visits to the Zhou B Art Center to see the new show "Hasbeens and Wannabes" about graffiti artists from the '80s and '90s, and then works by 4 artists currently exhibiting at Packer Schopf in the West Loop.
For the show at Zhou B:
Street art has been getting a lot of attention in art galleries and museums around the world, but somewhat overlooked within that category is graffiti. Has Beens & Wannabes is a group exhibition featuring artists who forged their urban style and imagery in the greater Chicago and Midwest area starting in the early '80s. Beginning as teenage subway graffiti artists and slowly gained notoriety in Chicago and abroad.
However, the early 90's were not friendly years to many of these artists who became exiled and unappreciated. Despite efforts to quiet their voices, these artists continued making their mark and maturing as visual artists, and today they are considered pioneers of the urban art movements of our time. Transforming art, design, music and fashion, these urban legends have risen again to advance themselves into the contemporary artistic landscape.
For the first time since 1986, The Zhou B Art Center in Chicago along with curator and graffiti legend Mario ZORE Gonzalez Jr. have gathered a selection of urban legends from the greater Midwest for this exhibition.
Zhou B Art Center
Through February 9
1029 W. 35th Street, Chicago, IL 60609
Ruben Aguirre at Zhou B
Styrofoam couch at Zhou B
Manufactured signs referencing tagging and graffiti at Zhou B Art Center
Chris Silva at Zhou B
Portraits at Zhou B
Packer Schopf Gallery is currently exhibiting work for 4 artists.
Deborah Baker's embroidered zodiac works at Packer Schopf. From the gallery website: Influenced by her grandfather, who was a tailor, and by her maternal grandmother, from whom she learned traditional needle arts, Chicago artist Deborah Baker remembers learning to sew before she could write her name. Originally from Detroit, Deborah earned a BFA at Detroit's Center for Creative Studies, and an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, specializing in ceramics. Following graduate school, Baker married, and soon found that the demands of family and motherhood left little time for making art. A lifelong ballet dancer, she instead focused her creative energies on teaching ballet. A couple of decades later, her children grown, she again found the time to explore visual art, and in 2006, she began making embroidered pictures. Her stitched pieces are drawings in cotton embroidery floss on natural linen, with no sketching done beforehand. All are stitched by hand, and are narrative and semi-autobiographical in content. She cites women's traditional needle arts, Mexican art, and folk art among her major influences.
Packer Schopf Gallery
942 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60607 • 312-226-8984
Jerry Bleem's flower garden made from plastic bags
Lauren Levato's latest series at Packer Schopf. I enjoyed these pieces before I actually knew what they were - there's a tendency to look through the reflection in the glass and into the center of Lauren's figures to see something in yourself...
From the gallery website: Wunderkammer, literally "wonder room" but what now is commonly called a cabinet of curiosities, arose in mid-sixteenth-century Europe as a way for naturalists, scientists, the rising merchant class, and aristocrats to show off their ever expanding collections. These collections contained drawings of foreign creatures, diagrams of impossible machines, and objects of the exotic, both real and artificial. The collections spanned and often defied categorization though were typically displayed together by likeness: art, zoology, spiritualism, medical anomalies, fable, myth, and monsters all made up a typical Wunderkammer. These rooms were repositories not only of objects, but also of memories.
Artist and writer Lauren Levato is a collector of exotic and unusual specimens with a focus on the entomological and anatomical. Levato's newest work comes from the intersection of wonder and memory and how the body itself becomes a Wunderkammer, amassing all manner of mysterious and confounding issues, dramas, revelations, and dilemmas that either touch us as a fleeting corporeal moment or take up permanent residence in the body's collection.
Andrea Stanislav, from Wilderness of Mirrors at Packer Schopf
Details from the gallery website:
Taking its title from a line in the T.S. Elliot poem, Gerontion, (1920), Andréa's work for this exhibition confronts the idea of non-places -- interchangeable nodes of hyper capitalism dedicated to consumption and transit. Each non-place is disturbingly similar, whether in London, Dubai or Tokyo -- airports -- duty free shops -- chain restaurants and similar interchangeable spaces devoid of ties to community or locale.
This concept was developed by the French anthropologist, Marc Agué in his seminal text, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity (1995). This exhibition continues the artist's endeavor of interrogating global political and cultural tensions through a lens of the abstract and the sublime.
Andrea Stanislav at Packer Schopf