Federica Schiavo Gallery is pleased to announce a group exhibition organized by Chicago gallerist, Shane Campbell. The show will feature work by Matti Braun, Julia Fish, Michelle Grabner, Richard Hawkins, Margarete Jakschik, Jon Pestoni, Valerie Snobeck and Yui Yaegashi.
The exhibition begins with Rome in the work of Fish and Hawkins. Three gouache and flashe works on paper by Fish present the profiles of the various types of steps in the American Academy in Rome. As a visiting artist at the Academy in 2007, Julia Fish’s direct experience of the stairways and steps in the McKim, Mead, and White building, “became a primary reference and focus, and initiated questions about the next approach that might be taken in translating, and thus representing, transitional architectural space,” writes Fish. Her works are generated from observation and measurement of the steps thus intimately connecting them to their site in Rome. Richard Hawkins’ collages are from a group of work including small-scale ceramic sculptures of hermaphrodites initiated by his experience of seeing the small hermaphrodite sculpture in the Hall of the Doves in the Capitoline as well as the Sleeping Hermaphrodite at the Villa Borghese. These collages eventually led to his Urbis Paganus project that focused on Classical sculpture whose backside was as important as the front. All four of the collages feature an abstract overlay that refers to Hans Arp’s Dada collages and for Hawkins are refusals of representation. Hawkins’ abstract collages acknowledge and refute the role of “chance” in Arp’s arranged collages, thus they straddle the metaphysical and the material world much like Matti Braun’s silk paintings. Braun’s ongoing group of dyed silk paintings are located both in the physical world of “artsy” hand-dyed silk women’s clothing and the metaphysical realm of Finnish origin myths as the formless swirling colors suggest a world coming into being.
Grabner’s paper weavings and Yaegashi’s intimate paintings locate themselves in the world through the language of the grid and domestic abstraction. Michelle Grabner’s weavings are simple craft exercises of woven paper that resemble kitchen textiles, placemats, or other forms of domestic design. As individual works they exploit the endless permutations of pattern through color, line or pick weight, and the warp and the weft. As an installation, the works occupy the space of the floor, much like Carl Andre’s metal plains, seizing and activating the floor of the gallery as a woven paper quilt. Yui Yaegashi’s paintings are visually slow and frustrate viewing as she frequently obscures and cancels sections of each work. Formally rigorous, their small size belie a poetic abstraction, however each painting refers to Japanese textile patterns, sampled and recontextualized as unique, sensuous objects. Jon Pestoni’s work engages painting as an event within which to act. The visual compression of each painting prevents them from ever becoming pictures or non-objective abstractions and Pestoni further complicates viewing through the use of contradictory information that resists harmony to forward dissonance.
Jakschik and Snobeck contribute photographs albeit from different conceptual positions. Valerie Snobeck’s laminates are peeled plastic images from photographic prints. The work in the exhibition is a diptych that features the same images but in different stages of image transfer which reveals a continually degraded image with each subsequent transfer. The image itself is taken from Wikicommons and the gears reinforce the materiality of the work itself as plastic which is adhered directly to the wall by heat transfer, consequently fusing the image and the gallery. Margarete Jakschik’s photographs are conventional works in their printing and presentation and it is her sensitivity that underscores the poetics of the everyday.