Exhibition title: Post Industrious
Artists: WM FitzPatrick and Barry Phipps
Dates: 16 November 2013 through 21 December 2013
Venue: Manifold, 4426 N. Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, 60640
Hours: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 1 to 6 pm—or by appointment
Opening reception: Saturday, 16 November 2013, 7 to 10 pm
Opening Saturday, 16 November 2013, Manifold presents “Post Industrious” a two-man show featuring the works of Chicago-based artist and designer WM FitzPatrick and Iowa City-based photographer Barry Phipps. Organized by independent curator, Franck Mercurio, the exhibition addresses how current economic realities, environmental concerns, and an awareness of recent history influence design and art making in the post-industrial Midwest.
WM FitzPatrick’s pieces blur the line between sculpture and furniture. He eschews new materials and mass production in favor of one-offs fabricated from salvaged materials. Created from the detritus of the past, FitzPatrick’s pieces are new constructs, yet retain the history of the original objects from which they were made.
The photographs of Barry Phipps’ “Iowa Series” reflect the architectural and typographic forms of small town America. Rather than take pictures of Iowa, Phipps mines Iowa for material to make images. His rigorous compositions employ line, texture, and color to reveal underlying formal structures.
Together, FitzPatrick’s sculptures and Phipps’ photographs create a dialogue of thought-provoking dichotomies: urban/rural, object/image, and design/art. Their work reflects something of what it means to make art—to be “industrious”—in our contemporary, post-industrial moment.
Manifold will hold an opening reception—free to the public—on Saturday, 16 November 2013 from 7 to 10 pm.
WM FitzPatrick’s sculpture and furniture reflects his education at the Illinois Institute of Technology, whose design school is grounded in the Bauhaus principles of Mies van der Rohe and László Moholy-Nagy. Straddling the line between art and design, FitzPatrick describes his works as “performing a kind of balancing act: is it furniture or is it sculpture?” His pieces are unique one-offs made from salvaged materials that are often left “as is” to better retain the history of the original artifact.
Barry Phipps studied photography, video, and painting at the Kansas City Art Institute, from which he graduated with a B.F.A. in 1990. “The images I present are rare moments when the past, the present, man-made landscapes, and natural elements collide into a cohesive, simplified, and mostly minimal composition…I’m always ready to frame-in what’s important and filter-out the rest to create something new and engaging from a momentary experience.”
Franck Mercurio is an independent exhibition consultant, curator, writer, and editor based in Chicago with degrees from the University of Cincinnati in architecture and Northwestern University in art history. Mercurio worked for eight years in the Exhibitions Department of the Field Museum before starting his own consulting business, Mercurio-Exhibits. He is a frequent contributor to Time Out Chicago and has served as a guest editor for the magazine’s Art & Design section.
Manifold was conceived by Ross and Elizabeth Fiersten to engage in the ongoing conversation occurring in Chicago between art and design, makers and manufacturers.
Located at 4426 N Ravenswood Ave in Chicago, Manifold houses a storefront gallery and a manufacturing workshop. The direct connection between the gallery and the workshop reinforces Manifold’s guiding mission: to overtly preserve the link from the object presented to the process of its crafting.
In addition to producing furniture and accessories on-site, Manifold features gallery exhibitions and events highlighting issues pertinent to contemporary artists and designers.