AN IDEA OF ONE’S OWN: Postconceptual Women Artists
(September 25 – October 31, 2018)
in our Chicago Studio and at ExpoChicago, September 27-30, on Navy Pier.
This exhibition presents recent work by seven contemporary women artists, each working in various media, and it extends from our Gold Coast studio into our booth at Expo Chicago.
For us, art that is postconceptual, as opposed to the classically conceptual work of the 1960s and 1970s which was defined in the writings of artists like Sol LeWitt and Joseph Kosuth, is art that departs from the purely formalist ontological tradition of literary aesthetics. That art, innovative and original at the time and controversial even today, was based on the proposition that art did not need to be fabricated in order to exist. The postconceptual works in An Idea of One’s Own each have a message, but it is a message that the artist has chosen to deliver through the presence of a physical object, and is thus capable of transcending the immediate present.
Click here to see a pdf of the essay and brochure accompanying this exhibition.
13 ÷ 14 is a visual interpretation of the poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking At A Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens using the mathematical puzzle known as the Loculus of Archimedes as a starting point. This work fits squarely into the formalist tradition of Conceptual Art.
Drawn in Smoke is part of a project created by conceptual artist Harriet Bart to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. Historically important for the changes in labor practices it galvanized, this tragedy claimed the lives of at least 146 victims, most of them young immigrant women and girls. Bart used smoke to create an abstract “portrait” for each of the victims.
Ghost Maps is part of a site-specific project by artist Harriet Bart created while a resident artist at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. During her tenure she began to view the paint-splattered floor of her studio as a palimpsest containing memories of the forty-six artists who had been there before her. Invisible Cities is an additional suite of loose prints which takes its name from the title of the Italo Calvino book that provided inspiration to the artist during this project.
Bart, Harriet. SILHOUETTE II & SILHOUETTE III, pieces of black Arches paper sewn onto Fabriano Artistico paper, thread, 2016, and PATTERNS. Minneapolis: Mnemonic Press. 2016. [ with C.P. Cavafy, Clothes. ]
The book Patterns is part of a body of work developed by conceptual artist Harriet Bart that is based on portions of sewing patterns. The work here examines the contrast between pattern forms which are evocative of the feminine and industrial materials which are usually associated with the masculine. The book is accompanied by framed works consisting of a black pattern silhouette cut from Arches paper and sewn onto Fabriano Artistico paper with black thread.
The works of conceptual artist Ann Hamilton often reflect her interest in language and the acts of reading, speaking, and listening. With this project she has obscured the text of an older book with polished pebbles thus rendering it unreadable.
One of Yoko Ono’s most famous works of any medium, Grapefruit is an influential early example of conceptual art. Like many of her artworks, this book is interactive in nature and contains a collection of text-based conceptual artworks, or instruction pieces. This copy of the scarce first edition features a handwritten inscription by the artist in English and Japanese.
Aokigahara is the name of a forest at the base of Mt. Fuji and, after the Golden Gate Bridge, is the world’s second most popular place to commit suicide. This eponymous book by artist Veronika Schäpers uses a complex stencil process rather than regular printing to create ghostly images and uses staggered pages to create the impression of a person fading into the forest.
Tetenbaum, Barbara. EMPTINESS IS NOT NOTHING. DIE LEERE IST NICHT NICHTS. Leipzig: Triangular Press. 2009.
A visual representation of Heidegger’s 1969 seminal essay on sculpture Art and Space, this hand-painted screenprint addresses the abstruse and difficult meaning of Heidegger’s aesthetic theories.
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