“Breaking the Line” in the West Loop April 26th, 27th & 28th

Breaking The Line_web

An Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings by Keelan McMorrow

Chicago, Il – Elephant Room is excited to produce another off-site exhibition at R. Hanel Gallery located at 119 N Peoria St, #3A in the West Loop. “Breaking the Line” is an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Keelan McMorrow that will be on exhibition through the weekend of April 26th. The exhibition starts with an opening reception on Friday, April 26th from 6 to 10pm. Additional viewing hours will be on Saturday, April 27th from 11am to 5pm and Sunday, April 28th from 11am to 3pm. An artist talk with McMorrow will occur on Saturday, April 27th at 2pm.

R. Hanel Gallery is a spacious West Loop loft that is the ideal space for artistic expression. The opening reception of “Breaking the Line” will include a silent art auction of one of McMorrow’s newest works as well as music provided by DJs Benny Hernandez and Erick Jiminez. Light fare and drinks will be served along with the opportunity to meet the artist, view and purchase both larger scale paintings and unique, framed drawings by McMorrow.

At first glance, McMorrow’s paintings seem decidedly figurative. Well-rendered articulations of life and limb are at focus, altogether vibrant and encapsulated, and the artist knows his craft well enough to make you believe it. But these aren’t your average portraits, and the renderings stop once we’ve been led to believe in them. The overall effect is almost hieroglyphic in nature, as the spaces that weave themselves around such recognizable things as human flesh become liquid and rigid, pensive and bold. McMorrow is an innovative painter as he attempts to turn the mundane into archetype.

“Breaking the Line” is an exhibition of work that highlights these attempts. Some seem nearly architectural in nature, others burst like ruptured paint cans and a few even incorporate electrical light sources installed within the pieces themselves, experiemental but rooted in the Western tradition of craft and composed diligence. Keelan McMorrow is among a group of relevant artists today that are both experimental in their ideas and technically proficient in their craft. “Breaking the Line” should not be missed!

Website: elephantroomgallery.com

Perceptions of the Parallaxis

Perceptions Of The Parallaxis

Works by Jason Brammer, Jason Hawk, and Keelan McMorrow

Special Exhibit    Jackson Junge Gallery 

November 2nd, 2012– January 6th, 2013

Opening Reception:  Friday, November 2nd, 2012, 6pm-9pm

“Perceptions Of The Parallaxis”, a new exhibit at Jackson Junge Gallery, 1389 N. Milwaukee Ave in Chicago, unites the distinctive styles of artwork from three local artists, Jason Hawk (sculpture), Keelan McMorrow (painting), and Jason Brammer (painted assemblages).  These Chicago based artists’ work is characterized by their unique methods of tampering with reality to communicate perceptions of their worlds.  The artists adopt the conceptual idea of parallax (wherein an object appears differently depending on the direction or position from which it is viewed) by incorporating their different perspectives into one exhibit.  From their individual vantage points, they each present a body of work that finds unity in their dedication to technique, craft and innovation.

Brammer, Hawk and McMorrow were initially drawn together through their mutual respect for each other’s artwork.  They began to find inspiration in one another’s innovation and work ethic prompting each to continually re-invent their ideas and craft.

Jason Brammer is a visual artist, painter, and muralist. He is known for his mixed media hand-painted assemblages, distinctive airbrushed paintings, meticulously-detailed drawings, and site-specific installations. In his mixed media work, Jason creates a unique melding of painted imagery with 3-dimensional elements, such as real antique parts, reclaimed wood, and other salvaged items he happens upon in the alleys by his studio. The objects are seamlessly integrated, creating an illusion that draws the viewer in for a closer look to see what is real and what is painted.

Sculptor Jason Hawk incorporates wit and layers of hidden meaning in his works.  One finds sculpture within sculpture, fabrication within a would-be natural landscape, and narrative vs. commentary in his clever constructions.  Hawk’s perspective is one that steps away from the overly conceptual.  A story is visually presented, whether it is interpreted as that of the artist or one that the viewer finds him/herself.

McMorrow finds his voice in painting.  His traditional painting techniques meld with contemporary notions of expressionism to create a style that borders on abstract, but centers on realism. This transports the viewer between classic and contemporary realms of art. There is something raw that translates into his imagery, almost as though one were seeing a visceral representation of a thought or dream.  Whereas some elements stand out as solid and recognizable, these dissolve into a cloudy abstraction that seems to emulate the ways our memories or thoughts are never wholly pristine.

These three friends display their artwork together with a common objective that different perspectives can mould and change from their individual positions.  Their technique becomes the parallaxis of art.

The exhibit runs from November 2nd, 2012 thru January 6th, 2013.  An opening reception with the artists is scheduled for the evening of Friday, November 2nd from 6-9pm.  Reception and exhibit are free to the public.

Exhibit Highlights:

“Lunar Fragmentation”, Jason Brammer (Acrylic, paint chips, antique hardware, salvaged wood, recycled leather, velvet, chain, and masonite, 18” x 9 ½” x 3 ½”) – This painting within a sculpture embodies strength, innovation, protection, and even decomposition, yet an image of serenity emerges from the fragmented center reminding the viewer that beauty lies within.  One’s attention is drawn to the seascape reflecting the moon, but the very moon is made of industrial material, which then awakens the senses to the binding leather, the hanging lock and chain and the rusting antiquity of the sculpture surrounding it.

“Ascension II”, Jason Hawk (powder-coated steel, copper-coated steel, chrome-plated steel, patinated steel and leather, 29” x 18” x 21”) – In this story-telling sculpture of an automaton figure there are elements of irony and contrast between the natural, emotional and industrial world.  Gentleness and desire is described in the gesture made by the figure constructed of hard and angular steel.  This robotic character inspires sympathy from the viewer as he holds out a hand to the butterflies surrounding him in his artificially winged garb.

“Horses”, Keelan McMorrow (acrylic on panel with installed lights, 48” x 30”) – This diptych of two horses bounding through an abstract field exudes the feeling of strength and energy.  It impresses on the viewer the authenticity of the raw desire to create, such as was first seen in cave dwellings. It simultaneously recalls the classic technique of painting and incorporates the contemporary element of physical illumination from within.

The Jackson Junge Gallery features the work of Laura Lee Junge and other contemporary artists.  The Gallery is open every day of the week, free of charge. Hours are Monday thru Saturday: 11am – 8pm, Sunday: 12 Noon – 5pm.  For more information, visit www.J2Gallery.com.