For her exhibition at The Arts Club of Chicago, artist Amy Sillman elaborates a trajectory of free-hanging, two-sided works on paper that play upon the physical and emotional demands of mark-making. With intermittently recognizable figural motifs on one side, Sillman layers pungent colors and fields of interest in restless proposals of form on the other. The serial images are installed like a rebus that treats the gallery as a unified entity. Responding in part to the intractability of our societal moment, Sillman’s figures seem to drag themselves through space–they age, succumb to gravity, leak fluids, and yet rebound in still one more frame ready to continue their enormous efforts. This weighted sense of time matches the durational aspect of Sillman’s painting practice, which relies upon repeated transformations, obliterations, and excavations.
Amy Sillman (born in 1955 in Detroit, MI) lives and works in New York City. Primarily a painter, but actively engaging with various side interests (such as animation, language, and printmaking), Sillman weaves together a formal and discursive language, one that both honors and questions painting’s history and language. Ultimately what interests her the most is transformation and change. With a slow process of building and destroying, and with humor, defiance, and an archeological sensibility, she digs toward formal transformation and the not-[quite]-known. Her work has been widely shown and collected at private and public institutions in the US and Europe, including MoMA, The Whitney Museum, The Drawing Center, The Brooklyn Museum, LA MoCA, Portikus in Frankfurt, Lenbachhaus and the Brandhorst Museum in Munich, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and The Tate Modern, London. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2001 and, most recently a 2014 residency fellowship at The American Academy in Rome. Sillman’s traveling mid-career survey show and monograph one lump or two opened at the ICA Boston in 2013, curated by Helen Molesworth. Sillman’s most recent solo show, “Landline,” is on view at Camden Arts Centre in London until January 6, 2019. A group show organized by Hayward Touring, called “Hand Drawn Action Packed,” will also continue into 2019. A monograph is also planned for 2019, published by Lund Humphries Publishers, London, with a text by author/curator Valerie Smith. Sillman received a BFA from School of Visual Art, NY, in 1979 and an MFA from Bard College in 1995. She is represented in New York by Gladstone Gallery, and currently holds a Professorship at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt, Germany.