The Chicago Artist Coalition and the Merchandise Mart have created a space for artists. The Works on Paper Artist Residency is a fifteenth floor space where works in progress and ongoing exhibits coexist. The ongoing exhibit at Suite 1562, at the Merchandise Mart, features the works of the six artists in residence. Each approaches the idea of working on paper with a different approach. Inara Cedrins documents signature architecture in linoleum block printing. Lisa Goesling works in scratchboard inspired by the minute details of plant structures. Jamie Lynn Henderson explores commercial stereotypes and the fussy details of femininity with her mixed media works. Alexandra Lee works in handmade paper sculptures, exploring elements of cultural mysticism. Zach Morey works in graphite with intricate details and abstract patterns. Mark Moleski works in india ink and collage, exploring silhouettes and themes such as politics and perceptions of media. Through these varied points of view, the resident artists share their current work.
Inara Cedrins was born in Lithuania, and studied block printing in China. Her works in the show include two linoleum block prints. These works approach architecture from a point of view that sees both the grandness of the spaces and the integration of the human scale within them. In her work Café Quadri Vienna, this is evident in the arches of the windows, and the descriptive lines that draw out the forms of figures dining at the tables. With her attention to the façade, in her work Lyric Opera, she defines the drama of the building with her lines.
Lisa Goesling creates a realm of intimacy with the plants in her scratchboard. With a delicacy she handles the value of leaves and flowers through linear textures. The subtle hints of color and lines build luminous and lyrical compositions within the dark background of the scratchboard. She began her romance with flora years ago with paint. In addition to her fine art works, she is pursuing a licensing agreement with a home décor company to carry her work in fabric.
Jamie Lynn Henderson calls her work girly art. She comes from a religious family, and her work carries undertones of this aspect. She recently featured on the Bravo series Works of Art. In this exhibit, her work Procession of the Queen, displays the range of her media and mark making. She uses acrylic, gouache, ink and collage. The forms include deeply rendered and softly suggested figures and landscape.
Alexandra (Alex) Lee’s paper sculptures, that take the form of figures suspended against an abstract field or simplified landscape, deal with elements of Asian and Mexican spirituality. Her work in this show, A Love Story, radiates in tones of green, peach, and gold. She works in the touches of whimsy with her choices of color and how simply she represents the human figure.
Zach Mory delves into the realm of geometric abstraction and the fixity of line with his undulating graphite surfaces. Rendered with minute parallel lines, Mory’s Hive is a sibilant hum of contradiction. It buzzes with movement, yet the forms that reveal themselves, that detach themselves from the larger masses of form, are perfectly still up on the paper. There is a harmonious balance between the density of the rendered lines and the negative or white space. The asymmetrical balance draws the viewer into a shifting realm of seeming dimensions and visual illusion.
Mark Moleski was working in his portion of the studio-gallery when this author arrived. His works in the ongoing exhibit, a series inspired by the BP oil spill, ally themselves with the creatures of water and air that are most deeply impacted in the Gulf region. With such titles as Plankton and We Will Make This Right, the works incorporate Moleski’s signature style of collage and india ink, using the BP ads as collage material. Each represented form of animal or marine life utilizes the logo as an eye in the silhouette or the center of a cell in the form of the plankton. The darkness of the ink reproduces a sense of the oil laced waters. Each cut magazine page, with its text from BP stating their intentions to right the ills caused by the spill is the body of the creature. The forms are simplified but poignant with personality. Moleski makes this political statement at a timely juncture in a beautifully rendered way.
Each artist has now completed a six month period in the space. The tenure was recently extended another six months by the Merchandise Mart and the Chicago Artists Coalition, allowing these artists to continue to work in the space, to be influenced by the richness of the offerings in the Mart, and each other. The Mart, a multistoried hub of art, design and interior decorating resources, is uniquely positioned to house a gallery of this sort. The space is specified for works on paper due to limitations of outdoor light and ventilation. The artists selected are comfortable working with media that suit these limitations. A visit to the space reveals a tastefully accessorized gallery lobby space at the entrance, where artist’s works are paired with samples from nearby show rooms. In the rear of the suite, the six artists have their studio spaces.
The ongoing exhibit opened on October 1st, 2010, and opening receptions occurred the first two weekends of October to coincide with Chicago Artist’s Month. The current exhibit remains up through October 31st, 2010. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from nine a.m. to six p.m. To visit at an alternate time, please call for an appointment, 773.772.2385. The current residency period will continue until April 2011.
Chicago Artists Coalition : http://chicagoartistscoalition.org/
Chicago Artist’s Month: http://www.chicagoartistsmonth.org/
The Chicago Artists Coalition Residency Open House:
Merchandise Mart Coalition Gallery: http://chicagoartistscoalition.org/opportunities/exhibition-opportunities/artist-residency/
Alexandra Lee: http://atyl.daportfolio.com/
Jamie Lynn Henderson : http://www.jaimelynnhenderson.com/
Zach Mory : http://www.zachmory.com/
Lisa Goesling: http://www.ideasareflowing.com/
Mark Moleski: http://www.markmoleski.com/