Artist Jennifer Cronin’s “Seen and Unseen” Reveals our Disappearing Landscapes Through Her Most Recent Work
Elephant Room Gallery is excited to be exhibiting artist Jennifer Cronin in a solo exhibition entitled “Seen and Unseen”. Cronin’s latest body of work includes paintings and screen prints created over the past 3 years based on her experience in Newtok, Alaska during a visit there in June of 2016.
Newtok is a small, remote Alaska Native village, which is currently threatened by the effects of climate change. Due to drastic erosion caused by a combination of thawing permafrost, low levels of sea ice, and strong storms, the land of Newtok is on the brink of environmental disaster. “Seen and Unseen” depicts a place that is in a state of environmental flux, quickly disappearing from existence. Meticulously painted landscapes unravel as they disappear into a wispy haze of white paint. Screen prints, which, at first glance, appear to be nothing more than blank pages, gently beckon the viewer as they slowly reveal the subtle details of a landscape at the edge of existence. All of this work points to the serene beauty of Newtok, while simultaneously bringing to light its extreme vulnerability.
“When considering how best to represent the crisis of Newtok, I keep coming back to a feeling that I had while I was there, which has lingered in my consciousness since. As I stood watching the land as though it was a slowly dying creature, crumbling away into the river before my eyes, I was overwhelmed by a sickening sense of irony. Newtok, so beautifully disconnected and remote, has one tragic tie with the rest of the world, which will eventually cause its demise. Seen and Unseen is my response to the simultaneous beauty and tragedy of this disappearing place.” – Cronin
“Seen and Unseen” will be on exhibition at Elephant Room Gallery June 1st through July 20th. The opening reception will be on Saturday, June 1st from 6pm to 9pm, with sounds for the first hour courtesy of Dusty Patches, the electronic music project of Chicago musician Patrick Mitchell. There will be an artist talk on Saturday, June 15th at 2pm. The gallery is located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in the South Loop Neighborhood of Chicago. Additional information on events and viewing appointments can be found on the gallery’s website: www.elephantroomgallery.com.
About Jennifer Cronin
Sometimes starkly real, and other times other-worldly, Jennifer Cronin’s style of captivating realism pulls the viewer into the world of her artwork. From exploring inner psychology to highlighting income inequality, Cronin is constantly exploring what it means to be a human living in this time. Cronin has exhibited widely in Chicago, as well as nationally and internationally. While working on her latest series, “Seen and Unseen,” Cronin was awarded a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and a fellowship from Vermont Studio Center. Cronin studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning her BFA in painting in 2009. She lives and works in Chicago, and is represented by Elephant Room Gallery.