Interspace

Stuart & Co. Gallery is pleased to announce interspace, an exhibition of new works by Samantha Fickel. Through large-scale kinetic installations and light manipulation, Fickel immerses the viewer with unexpected sensory experiences that invite us to consider the ways technology influences how we understand and occupy a place, and question where we begin and end in our environment. Recalling Robert Irwin’s coined phrase “Our reality is confined to our ideas about reality,” Fickel strives to set up situations that challenge our cognizance in order to expose links that exist between experience, consciousness, and perception.

The title interspace quite literally means a space between objects. Works such as The Bend in a Body focus on the physical body’s hyper-awareness as well as make tangible the “empty” space that surrounds us. Projected on a delicate piece of reflective Mylar is a simple contracting and expanding bar of light. The reflected light dances around the entire room and is caught mid-air by suspended pieces of sheer fabric that amplify and reflect the physical gestures of the viewer. In this way the installation acts as a large analog sensor, an extension of our senses, and the artwork is shaped by the nature of its viewer locking the two in a system of information.

The same is true of Split Screen, which alters the familiar experience of looking at a monitor into endless variations of imagery evolving with each shift of the viewer’s gaze. The piece consists of a curtain of polarizing filter strips flanked on either side by the televisions from which they were extricated. At first glance both screens appear to be blank, but when viewed through the curtain of polarizers, a skewed version of the animation playing on each screen becomes visible. Playing with polarized light, Split Screen reveals the depth of possibility hidden within the physical properties of a device to serve as mediums for crafting unfamiliar ways of seeing.

The experience of space and time is being shaped in new ways as digital habits leak into everyday life. One cannot help but think, act, and see the world through a mediated perspective. Fickel attempts to uncover these veiled boundaries where the physical realm meets the digital. Utilizing installations that live and breathe with the audience, Fickel’s works act as mere proxies for our senses, making the tangible virtual and the virtual tangible – simultaneously. interspace is a celebration of light, providing rare insights into the imperceptible and the complexity of absence.

Samantha Fickel grew up in Southern Ontario, Canada. She attended OCAD University in Toronto where she majored in Sculpture and Installation. There, she also obtained a minor in Integrated Media. It was here that she took her first electronics class and has been do-it-yourself hacking ever since.

Fickel moved to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received her MFA in Art and Technology Studies. It was during this period of study that Fickel combined her love of sculpture with her interests in electronics to create work that attempts to unravel her relationships with technology. She is engaged with the idea that it’s not just bits of data we send around a network, but we’re also sending ourselves. Fickel is currently working and creating out of her studio in Chicago.

Maintaining a contemporary vision, Stuart & Co. Gallery strives to represent emerging and mid-career artists at the forefront of expression. Since its inception in 2012, Stuart & Co. Gallery has been home to innovative, pioneering exhibitions across a multitude of media and genres. The gallery embraces multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and cross-genre art forms in addition to traditional practices.

Please join Stuart & Co. for the opening reception of interspace on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018, from 7-9pm.

For more information please contact Britney Lipton at (312) 487-1850 or via email at britney.lipton@stuartandco.com.

Stuart & Co. Gallery
2250 W. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60612
www.stuartandco.com

Images on File

Curated by Robin Dluzen
April 7, 2018 – May 19, 2018
Opening Reception:
Saturday, April 7, 7 – 9pm

Stuart & Co. Gallery is proud to present Images on File, a group show curated by Robin Dluzen that presents the work of five artists engaging with memory. Through a variety of media –painting, digital prints, video, installation and ceramic– memory is used as content and allegory, as a tool for art-making and a conceptual framework, and as a signifier of identity and collective consciousness. In different ways, Lynn Basa, Lou Carney, Tian Jiang, Shaina Lund and Bibiana Suárez prompt the viewer to consider how and why memories are created, recalled and evolved.

For Basa, a murky, unsettling memory from her rural childhood serves as the basis for a series of large-scale, organic pods, installed both inside the gallery and hung from branches outdoors. Lund, too, mines her personal recollections with a selection of found items within custom memory boxes, and Lunar Cycle, a ceramic form composed of layered debris marking the output of her studio over the course of many months.

Jiang and Carney each manifest particular characteristics of memory in their works. Jiang’s looped video projection on clay is suggestive of the way repeated, daily visuals imprint themselves on our subconscious. Carney’s scenes are painted entirely from memory; with highly detailed figures on indistinct grounds, her works are directly reflective of our tendencies to remember only the most significant features, rendering the rest a haze.

In Suárez’s Aves Raras series, the memories depicted are shared ones. Here, vintage maps of Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico, Miami, El Paso and New York City, are overlaid with the flight patterns of native birds –a symbol for the movement of Latinos over time.

Suárez’s prints highlight collective experiences that span locations and generations. Maintaining a contemporary vision, Stuart & Co. Gallery strives to represent emerging and mid-career artists at the forefront of expression. Since its inception in 2012, Stuart & Co. Gallery has been home to innovative, pioneering exhibitions across a multitude of media and genres. The gallery embraces multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and crossgenre art forms in addition to traditional practices.

Robin Dluzen is a Chicago-based artist and art critic. The former editor-in-chief of Chicago Art magazine, Dluzen now writes regularly for Art Ltd Magazine, Visual Art Source and Art F City; her writing has also appeared in Newcity, The Reader, the New American Paintings blog, ArtNet, The Classical and The Outsider magazine. Dluzen received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Please join Stuart & Co. for the opening reception of Images on File on Saturday, April 7th, 2018, from 7 – 9pm. A complete list of participating artists can be found below.

For more information please contact Britney Lipton at (312) 487-1850 or via email at
britney.lipton@stuartandco.com.

Featured Artists:

Lynn Basa
Lou Carney
Tian Jiang
Shaina Lund
Bibiana Suárez

2250 W. Ohio St., Chicago, IL, 60612
312.487.1850 | info@stuartandco.com
www.stuartandco.com

if this is as good as it gets, then i guess i’m ok with that

Stuart & Co. Gallery is pleased to announce if this is as good as it gets, then i guess i’m ok with that, an exhibition of new works by Jeffrey Teuton and Megan Stroech in collaboration with ROCKELMANN&, Berlin. The exhibition spotlights flaw and dysfunction through a lens of humor and wit from two varying perspectives. Playful mocking of overarching systems of consumerism, patriarchy and class, coupled with codices spawned from personal struggle and tragedy, empowers viewers to unabashedly contemplate social and existential turmoil as well as question the nature of contentment itself. Employing kitsch, cliché, and popular culture as effortlessly as they do shape and color, Stroech and Teuton transform stories too fragile to be spoken into compositions filled with intrigue and gusto.

Jeffrey Teuton, influenced by his past architecture studies as well as Ellsworth Kelly’s minimalist works, stacks found objects and colorful shapes like notes composing a symphony or bricks defining a building. Teuton equates this process to memory formation. “I think that when you look at an experience or even your time with a person you have this pattern and these shapes that when put together, the space and arrangements are very telling. Often it is a combination of things that lead to a memory, so the stack is a natural way for that to be expressed,” he explains. The candid titles Teuton chooses often have an ironic contrast with the whimsy of his work, shifting the viewer’s perceptions until it becomes difficult to tell truth from fiction and comedy from tragedy.

Works such as Enjoy It While You Have It, Cause It Is Mostly Hard Work and Shitty illustrate this notion. While a massive pile of brick-colored shapes fill the chasm between two large, ominous objects, the arrangement of miniature stacks in the lower left of the composition jump out in stark contrast. Appearing almost as contemporary cairns, the small stacks of color seem to mark or memorialize some ceremony, path, or burial, perhaps even commemorating the structure constructed to span the gap.

Similarly, Sunset Over Gas Station, Exit 36, I’m Still Alive, I Am Still Alive interjects the viewer into a world of unforeseen extremes. With interlinking broad strokes of color consuming the majority of the composition, a slight glimpse of street lights peak through to hint at the storyline encoded in the title. We are left to wonder at the events that took place and whether to be appreciative of what appears to be a peaceful sunset or terrified by a near-death experience.

Teuton was born and raised in Indiana. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2004. He currently lives and works in Indianapolis.

Megan Stroech addresses the relationship of objects to desire, function, and identity, often incorporating mass produced merchandise and faux materials to comment on the role that consumerism plays in society. Fascination with slang, puns, clichés, and malfunction translate effectively into her work through exploring tension between 2D and 3D attributes. “I am particularly interested in the different aspects of failure that occur within the work, whether it be through dysfunction…or failure of representation through gesture in mark-making or construction. The faux versions of luxury items utilized in my work also fail in their imitation of the objects they propose to be. There is often a perceived humor in the failure of these objects, and this humor can be used as an access point,” she states.

One such example, Throw Shade, loosely reconstructs the form of a window shade and yet, denies it of its function. The brightly colored canvas and sunflower-patterned vinyl is synched with short strings hopelessly out of reach and covering nothing more than the wall. In this manner the object becomes a gimmick and the irony of the title’s slang wordplay, set to publicly denounce someone for wronging you, seems to poke fun at the conventions of the art world.

Similarly, Stroech alludes to the barrage of imagery and trending stories that we are exposed to on a daily basis and how they affect notions of self. In the work Ought Knot a tablecloth with a repetitive fruit print cut into an oversized bow simultaneously provides a nod to the resurgence of 90’s fashion trends implying a longing for times past while also acting as a strong feminine object, relevant most especially to the current political landscape.

Stroech was born in 1986 in Corpus Christi, TX. She received her BFA from the University of Texas at Austin and her MFA in Printmaking from Illinois State University in 2012. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Maintaining a contemporary vision, Stuart & Co. Gallery strives to represent emerging and mid-career artists at the forefront of expression. Since its inception in 2012, Stuart & Co. Gallery has been home to innovative, pioneering exhibitions across a multitude of media and genres. The gallery embraces multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and cross-genre art forms in addition to traditional practices.

Please join Stuart & Co. Gallery for the opening reception of if this is as good as it gets, then i guess i’m ok with that on Saturday, September 16th, from 7-9pm.

For more information please contact Britney Lipton at (312) 487-1850 or via
email at britney.lipton@stuartandco.com.

Stuart & Co. Gallery
2250 W. Ohio St., Chicago, IL, 60612
312.487.1850 | info@stuartandco.com
www.stuartandco.com

At a Place Where the Trees Were Still All Green

Stuart & Co. Gallery is pleased to announce At a Place Where the Trees Were Still All Green, an exhibition of new works by Kristian Bruce. Through recollected moments of vulnerability, playfulness, blooming sensuality, and absurdity, Bruce presents the viewer with empathetic responses to past subjects and reconstructed spaces. Many works represent an aggregation of events that may span years but seem to compress into a single image in order to depict “a world of merging habitual and imaginative incidents.” Likewise, the body of work presents us with a transient discovery of “self,” a form of record keeping and a commingling of remembered, and misremembered, familiarities.

The title of the show refers to “the happy days of unquestioning youth” and the tendency to apply significance to memory in an arbitrary or necessary way. Works such as Bruce’s title image embody this relationship between objects and the contextual meaning of those objects enigmatically felt in the same moment. Set against a backdrop of grass and mountaintops, a non-descript figure is seated on an inanimate horse that appears to gallop and whinny with more life than the figure itself. The disproportionate limbs and gestural bust leave the viewer suspended in time, contemplating whether the figure is a toddler dreaming of the future or an adult reminiscing on the past. Details are reduced to essences, and the palette is at once elementary and psychologically rich.

The same is true of The Last Time and A Fern Which I Had Never Found Among the Woods. In the former, a void profile steers a pay-to-ride racecar, similar to one that would be found in front of a supermarket, with a plug as the only indicator that it is not a real automobile. In the latter, a similar unadorned figure emerges from a camping tent while an oversized fire blazes nearby illuminating the forested setting. The outline of a mysterious hand can be seen reaching out from among the trees as if it were an extension of the branches or some other-worldly spirit. Largely pulling inspiration from Egyptian vase painting, an interest in empathetic identity can again be gleaned from the ambiguous, stylistic approach to figure painting.

A Place in Which They Might Be Found further illustrates this notion. Outlines of hands and feet materialize from a heavily-forested landscape, some pointing, some stretching, and others grasping. The transparency of the limbs leaves us to question their origin and intention while appreciating the mystery of their pseudo-absence. The composition brings to mind playful storybooks of youth, but with a tinge of menace. The mask-like faces of the characters in The Sun Made Me Sick with Impatience contribute to a similar psychological dissonance. The whimsical imagery of two young boys atop a tricycle is interrupted by their yellowed, chiseled features suggesting heat and nausea and alluding to golden death masks of antiquity.

Eliminating many of the signifiers of traditional figure painting, and instead embracing absences and outlines as referential to stages that can be traced backward and forward in time, Bruce creates works that collect up and give back a sense of fulfillment or possibility. Steeped in simplistic profundity, figures become vessels for contemplations of memory, desire, identity, and transition, and Bruce’s narratives lead us down a winding path of self-discovery. Just as James Joyce “foregrounded the process of thinking” with his novel Ulysses by making use of stream-of-consciousness, experimental prose full of puns, parodies, and allusions, rich characterization and broad humor, Kristian Bruce’s At a Place Where the Trees Were Still All Green foregrounds the process of remembering.

Bruce was born in 1994 in Bozeman, MT. He currently lives and works in Chicago. Bruce has been recently featured in Stuart & Co. Gallery’s group exhibition, Passage, and Kruger Gallery’s In the Company of Flowers.

Maintaining a contemporary vision, Stuart & Co. Gallery strives to represent emerging and mid-career artists at the forefront of expression. Since its inception in 2012, Stuart & Co. Gallery has been home to innovative, pioneering exhibitions across a multitude of media and genres. The gallery embraces multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and cross genre art forms in addition to traditional practices.

Please join Stuart & Co. for the opening reception of At a Place Where the Trees Were Still All Green on Saturday, April 22nd, 2017, from 7-9pm.

For more information please contact Britney Lipton at (312) 487-1850 or via email at britney.lipton@stuartandco.com.

Stuart & Co. Gallery
2250 W. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60612
www.stuartandco.com

Animal Rites at Stuart & Co. Gallery

Stuart & Co. Gallery is pleased to announce Animal Rites, an exhibition of new works by Tommy Mishima. Through exploration of the symbolic use of animals throughout art history and their relevance in Posthumanist literature as the “Other,” Mishima uncovers how these two approaches play a vital role in ritualistic channels for self-identification. Paying homage to movements such as New Objectivism, Magical Realism, and Symbolism, Mishima touches on themes of technology, popular culture, social media, and the occult thereby allowing him “to imbue the work with overlapping characteristics, even when dealing with seemingly disparate narratives.” Likewise, Mishima’s contemporary take on genre painting exposes the subliminal hidden within rituals of relative normalcy where characters appear to be sure of themselves but are shrouded in a sense of unsettlement.

Please join Stuart & Co. Gallery for the opening reception of Animal Rites on Saturday, February 11th, from 7-9pm.

For more information please contact Britney Lipton at (312) 487-1850 or via email at britney.lipton@stuartandco.com.

Stuart & Co. Gallery
2250 W. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60612
www.stuartandco.com