Ari Norris: Just Dust

Opening: Friday, Apr 12, 2024 5 – 8 pm
Friday, Apr 12 – May 24, 2024

1709 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

View(s) on/about/viewing: 

Historically, sculpture has required if not requested a more Formal Approach. Layers of language on material that summate to what is the work doing and why is it doing it? Stilted and cold with marginal if not infinitesimal levels humor has been the norm. Anonymous comparisons for names have not nor will they be spoken because here there is no need. We all have been taught better via our institutions of higher learner, respectively. As a viewer doubt is allowed even encouraged however, only through discourse. One could even venture to say that contemporary sculpture requires a discourse. As the maker contradiction is fine, perfection is not necessary but allowed. These are not rules or suggestion just a Formal Approach. 

Ari has made what I would refer to as a successful body of work. How is this you may ask?! Location, location, location! Ari keeps a foot in Chicago while moving the other foot briskly about in other spaces thus avoiding our local crab barrel politics. I view this work as a successful experiment that allows room for discussion, humor, and growth. There’s more than a possible duality here. Yet, I certainly hope there’s no labels but for some a label is necessary. And in all fairness labels aren’t a bad thing. But a label could cause these works to possibly forfeit their diplomacy or better yet their neutrality. They (the works) are free, open and jokey. They’re not mired in the Boys Club Culture that can dominate sculpture with an all but admirable willful ignorance. The work will leave you feeling roused from suspended animation and ushered into a world of light and minimal color where there’s enthusiasm sans it’s reference to academia. To put it plainly, despite their attempt…the works remain digestible and serious. The only question is: can you see yourself in them? 

-Esau McGhee


Ari Norris (b. 1995, Muskegon, MI) is an artist primarily working in sculpture; utilizing a variety of processes and materials that generally result in the duplication of real-world objects that aim to explore the boundaries between the ordinary and the phenomenal. Norris received an MA from Northern Illinois University in 2021, and has exhibited solo shows in Chicago at David Salkin Creative, and the PLAN. Norris has been included in exhibitions West, Wester, Westest 4 at Left Field, guest curated by Ryan Travis Christian, Los Osos, CA, Introspective Dream Assembly, at Riverside Arts Center, guest curated by Esau McGhee, Riverside, IL, Shooting Pool with a Rope, at Baby Blue Gallery, Chicago, IL, the Midwest Sculpture Exhibition in Kokomo, IN, and other locations including Michigan, New York, Florida, Texas, and Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.

Exhibit Opens Friday, April 12, 5-8pm as part of Art After Hours during EXPO CHICAGO

Open hours are generally Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm, by appointment. Email or direct message @DavidSalkin on Instagram for more information. David Salkin Creative is a custom surface and textile-design studio that hosts a diverse exhibition program, located in the 1709 Gallery Building (with DOCUMENT, Western Exhibitions, Volume Gallery, Paris London Hong Kong and Rhona Hoffman Gallery) in West Town, Chicago.