Morpho Gallery Presents ‘Tell Me When You Feel Something’

Above: “Solitary” by Frederick Nitsch

Exhibit Runs: September 28th – 29th 
Opening Artist Reception: September 29th 6pm –10pm

Featuring Frederick Nitsch 

Frederick Walter Nitsch combines photos with abstract painting to create work that is emotionally and intellectually evocative. This is his first solo show.

About the Artist

For most of my artistic career, I painted colorful abstractions and was inspired by the psychological concept of pareidolia, which refers to the human brain’s tendency to attribute pattern and meaning onto random or chaotic visual stimuli. But during that time, I was also consciously avoiding watching the news and thinking about social issues that made me uncomfortable. Since leaving graduate school (philosophy) years ago, I realized that I felt less, not more, qualified to make educated statements about issues like gender, poverty, war, and race. I had far more questions than answers, and felt a much greater urge to problematize than to prescribe – as the latter always seems to end in oversimplifications.

Reproaching these issues, then, by making art instead of writing papers has seemed like a way to open discussions without being pedantic. I believe that any photograph, if one stares at it long enough, will elicit a feeling of uncanniness as the static image is imbued with history and possibility. Despite this, we are so used to looking at pictures nowadays that the mystery can be lost. My photo-paintings are an attempt to tell stories, raise questions, and return the element of uncanniness to the cultural artifacts that we find all around us.

5216 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625

7th Annual Encaustic Exhibit

7th Annual Encaustic Show
Show dates: August 24th – September 22nd, 2018
Opening Reception: August 24th, 2018- 6pm – 10pm

The 7th Annual Encaustic Exhibition is a juried exhibition featuring work by encaustic artists from around the country, including California, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Quebec, Ohio, Tennessee, Colorado, New Jersey, Washington State and Illinois.

“Encaustic painting involves a beautiful combination of beeswax, pigment, and heat. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. Unique because of its technical process, yet unifying because of its painterly and sculptural qualities, encaustic painting is being explored by artists today as a re-visitation to a traditional medium.”

Artists within the show offer a wide variety of styles of encaustic including portraiture, abstraction, landscapes, nature, sculptures, collages, and a wide variety of techniques including hand-drawn image transfers, spray paint, pastel, embellishments, and oil, encaustics on wood, panels, paper, arches, and birch (to name a few!).

Featured Artists:

Amelia Currier, Barry Katz, Cat Crotchett, Dianna Woolley, Elizabeth Schowachert, Jim Nulty, JuliAnne Jonker, Kathy Blankely Roman, Linda Foley, Lynda Ray, Megan Klim, Nancy Cusack, Rinat Goren, Sher Fick, Dan Addington, Ann Ino, Carol Myers, Clare Jorgensen, Elizabeth Harris, Gina Louthian-Stanley, Jody Paulson, Kari Hall, Laura LaRue, Linda Mayer, Mara Manning, Michael Teters, Patricia Lagger, Ritch Hanna,and Tracy Casagrande Clancy

About the Jurors/Curators:

Kathy Blankley Roman is an award winning artist, whose expressive paintings have appeared in shows nationally, online and in numerous private collections since 2011. Using acrylics, encaustic or oil & cold wax, she is a process painter. Roman prefers a limited palette and works in layers, employing contrasts of texture, opacity and gesture to create tension and a sense of depth and history. Mostly small to medium in scale, her works have been described as “large paintings in a small space”. They suggest an intimacy which invites viewers to come close, to explore and experience them through their own personal filters.

Dan Addington is an artist and gallery owner who has been working with wax since 1989 and exhibiting encaustic work professionally since 1992. His work has been featured in-group and solo shows across the US, and is in numerous public and private collections. Dan is owner and director of Addington Gallery, located in Chicago’s historic River North art district, and has included encaustic painters in exhibitions there since organizing their first national encaustic exhibition there in 1996. Addington’s own figurative work incorporates materials such as fabric, oil, wax, tar, gold leaf and various printed matter. The accumulation and layering of these materials echoes his interest in history and the relationships between the stratification of cultures and the layering of memory. In these constructed, overtly physical pieces, Addington seeks to engage the viewer through their own process of physical and spiritual excavation.

Morpho Gallery
5216 North Damen Ave
Chicago Ill 60625

Interdisciplinary Art By Michelle Graves

“Time Influential”
Opening Receptions
Friday August 17th 6-10pm
Saturday August 18th 6-10pm

Michelle Graves Artist Statement

I thoroughly enjoy interweaving scientific research like physics and physiology with existential, stream-of-conscious thoughts. Some of my artwork is heavily text-based and some is representative of the process, but all of my work is derived from my obsession to figure out why things happen. When I dwell on a subject like anxiety, breathing, communication or a failed relationship, I compare these qualities to similar scientific phenomena. For example, the coefficient of restitution is the transfer of energy when two particles collide – in an elastic collision, no energy is transferred. I think of those colliding particles like the intensity of human beings meeting and forming a relationship, or NOT.

In organizing my research I construct formulas or techniques with which I apply material parameters for making bodies of artwork. The analyzation of the research is where I find my process. Some of these formulas include but are not limited to stream-of-conscious writing, graphical or gestural text paintings and drawings, abstract equations, short videos, zines, mixed media sculptural pieces and installations. The bodies of work range from densely layered to lighthearted, playful concepts.

About Michelle

Michelle Graves is an interdisciplinary artist residing in Chicago. She is the Chair of Agitator Co-operative gallery located in West Town, Chicago. She is also Head Curator and co-owner of the art subscription/consulting company, State of the Art.

Morpho Gallery
5216 North Damen Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625

Connection: The Many Forms of Communication

Above: Julia Briggs, Gray Shirt

June 15th – July 18th Exhibition
Opening Artist Reception June 15th 6pm-10pm

June 2018 (Chicago) Ellen Sauter will be curating at Morpho Gallery and presenting selective pieces from John Bergin, Julia Briggs, Arlo Chapple, Lydia House, and Judy Weinstein.

A broad theme, communication and human connection, allows these five artists’ to let their own perspectives’ take control of the show. Ellen Sauter is an employment specialist for a scattered site-housing program on Chicago’s Southwest side, and she found through her direct service that communication in all its forms has become central to her life. From the smallest most obscure creatures in nature to human beings, we utilize language, verbal, written, visual, or non-verbal forms to communicate and connect with others.

It has become more apparent in my work as a social worker that nonverbal communication is the most telling; hidden in pauses and facial expressions one can understand what the other is saying without ever speaking. At its most basic form, communication can be seen in nature in the way that trees stay connected by creating an intimate network that shares nutrients and information. And in a broader sense, how our society depends on communication and connections with each other.

Each artist chosen to exhibit in this show expresses the ways communication affects their lives through their chosen medium. Some artists’ grapple with the role communication has in forming relationships, creating anxieties, and discomforts with others. Or how we communicate messages to the public through signs and physical actions both in Chicago and other area. Others contemplate our sense of community, and how we communicate with ourselves internally and in understanding how to establish their identity. And finally some are inspired by their heritage and communicate it through certain artistic styles and mediums.

About the Artists 

John Bergin 
I am a nonbinary artist/creative currently based in Chicago, IL. My pronouns are they/them & if you want to address me formally, you can use the honorific “Mx”. I work with several different artistic mediums to fill my quiet spaces. All of these photos were taken in the past year, a year where I grew up out of myself while simultaneously growing down into myself. Each of these photos unpacks a piece of the year with the stories they tell. There is silence and reflection – alone with yourself, standing still. The deepest communication, the strongest connection, a relationship built on lasting foundation: these come from being quiet. Even in the noisiest photos, with clamor and color and love exploding, there is a silence: an opening of a door, for you to choose to peek your head in, to see what is there. I arranged these photos as a way to follow this quiet through each of its costume changes.

Julia Briggs 
My work illustrates a gawky skepticism towards relationships. The characters in my paintings and sculptures want what they are afraid of and fear what they desire. This contention revolves around companionship. The forced proximity of a community demands they be comfortable, but the characters are hesitant to settle in. They are puzzled together, creating an illusion of limited air, with shared and tangled limbs that emphasize their apprehension. This awkward mix actualizes the figures’ dilemmas: reluctance to be vulnerable, hence preventing them to be comfortable with one another.

The simultaneous fear and obsession for intimacy derives from my own experiences growing up in a household among relatives I did not relate well with. Forced together, we awkwardly tried to connect our differences. The illusion of limited space in the paintings and sculptures is a construct of the pressure I felt to be comfortable, but failing; and uncomfortable with the desire to belong. By gripping and holding one-another, the figures in my paintings and sculptures reveal a heightened urge for codependency.

My paintings are composed using saturated flesh tones of purple, rose, and blue hues to emphasize the somber nature of the content and the depth of the form. I use a quick hand while carving and painting, exercising the fear of violence that relationships may cause. My work is very “touchy”; hands and feet overlap in the unsure environment, questioning their own touch. The people are often anonymous in both mediums to relate with the vulnerability of being part of a crowd.

Judy Weinstein 
These images portray expressions of protection in the Texas hill country. Each has its own stereotypical, reductive reputation preceding– Texas’ affinity for firearms & Chicago’s propensity toward gun violence. This collection is not meant to serve as commentary, simply representative of my observations at the beginning of a deeper exploration of the two places in which I have lived long-term. Rather than accepting sensationalized coverage, my aim is to provide the viewer my experience, simultaneously local and transplant boots on the ground.

Arlo Chapple 
My artwork is heavily influenced by illustrations and drawings of the past while using modern media to create new, sometimes-strange forms. I draw inspiration from woodblocks from 18th century Japan, American cartoons of the 1980s and counterculture comics. In my work I create creatures and chimeras that are intended to resonate with the viewer by showing how the strange beings that live inside us all (whether they be microorganisms or micro-personalities and tendencies that operate within us) are actually all rather friendly, weird as they may be. I tend to work in media that allow for movement through time, such as animation, or media that can be rearranged and interacted with, like tabletop games. In all media I work in, I try to give access to a strange other world in hopes of helping the viewer look afresh at their own. I think of my tile creatures as a form of language or visual code, meant to be mixed up just like fridge magnets because the way we organize our language fundamentally changes its meaning.

Lydia House 
Lydia House is self-taught artist, following in the long tradition of global folk artists. She draws inspiration from her Russian heritage and time spent living in Virginia. She has grown up surrounded by folk art, where it be the stories her mother told her, the art around her home, or living in Colonial Williamsburg. You can see her work at the Andersonville Midsommarfest, the Bloomington Arts Fair on the Square or on Instagram: @lydia_inthehouse.

Morpho Gallery
Address: 5216 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60625, USA
Phone: +1 773-878-4255

Expressionist Treasure

Morpho Gallery Presents
“Expressionist Treasure”
May 18th- June 13th Exhibition
Curated by Sarah Braden

Opening Artist Reception May 18th 6pm-10pm

Featuring:Sarah Braden, Amy Rodriguez, Jesy Grose, Zac Franzoni and Kerry Lange

Morpho Gallery is pleased to announce its “guest curator” program continuance, with “Expressionist Treasure” Exhibition. We are exhibiting 5 local creative artists, each with their own style yet all very compatible. Sarah Braden will be guest curating at Morpho Gallery and presenting selective pieces from Amy Rodriquez, Jesy Grose, Zac Franzoni, Kerry Lange, and herself.