A Sag, Harbored


Friday, Jul 14 - Aug 19, 2017

  • Exhibitions
  • Location
    Western Exhibitions
    West Side
    1709 W. Chicago Ave
    Chicago, IL 60622
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    Tanya Aguiñiga, Elizabeth M. Claffey, Amber Cobb, Nicholas Frank, Michelle Grabner, Kate McQuillen, Rachel Niffenegger, Holt Quentel, Preetika Rajgariah, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Gyan Shrosbree, Jordan Tate + Rick Silva, Loring Taoka

    The work in this show utilizes, for lack of a better description, the image of fabric/textile sagging in the middle between two upraised points. The artists included use this specific formal gesture to reach different conceptual goals. This premise arose from seeing images of Michelle Grabner’s recent sculptures, bronze casts of hand-crocheted and knitted blankets, many of which were used as templates for her abstract paintings. Her draping forms of reconstituted textile are reminiscent of gallery artist Rachel Niffenegger‘s fabric shrouds, painting/sculpture hybrids that function as clothing, skins and spirits, all referencing the residual imprint of the body.

    A Sag, Harbored is a celebration of this form as well as a subtle subversion of the art world “who wore it better” and “who’s____who” memes, websites and social media feeds that try to highlight artists whom have seemingly almost-identical works. “I think the idea of highlighting/celebrating these similarities is fairly fresh since the instinct, especially from a gallery and sometimes artist’s point of view is to pretend like they don’t exist,” said Niffenegger about the possibility for this exhibition. Along this vein, the show will include a Nicholas Frank biography piece that references the snarky website “Who wore it better,” comparing a possibly-fictional performance staged by Frank to Beyoncé’s video for her song “Ghost.” Also featured is a wall hanging by the fiber artist and designer Tanya Aguiñiga; Elizabeth M. Claffey‘s ethereal photograph of an under garment augmented by hand stitching; Amber Cobb’s bathmat encased in silicon; a distressed canvas by Holt Quentel; a monoprint by Kate McQuillen made by running her clothing through a printing press; a layered painted fabric installation that riffs on traditional Indian textiles by Preetika Rajgariah; Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s fragmented photographs of male bodies hidden and revealed by heavy draping; a kimono by Rick Silva and Jordan Tate that features a satellite image of the Bering Strait appropriated from the Russian SRC Planeta webserver; paintings by Gyan Shrosbree, and maybe more.

    A Sag, Harbored opens at Western Exhibitions’ new gallery space in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village on Friday, July 14 with a reception, free and open to the public, from 5 to 8pm. The show will run through August 19.