OS Projects presents In High Regard, an exhibition featuring mixed media works by Chicago artist Brian Divis. The exhibition opens November 12, 2022 and continues through January 14, 2023. An artist reception will take place on Saturday, November 12, from 1 – 3 pm.
In High Regard explores issues surrounding domesticity, gender, reverence and material tradition. The works in the exhibit are constructed from fibrous textiles, such as yarn, coated with metal and graphite powders. The materials pay homage to the artist’s rural Midwestern background, situated between a loving mother skilled in the craft of sewing and a labor-driven father who worked at the local wire and steel mill.
By combining craft-associated and industrial materials and destabilizing their tactile perceptions, Divis creates surfaces worthy of reverence while complicating the relationship between sculpture, painting, gravity and light. Through a process of revealing and concealing, the cultural, spiritual and art historical status of the objects and their materials are brought into question, while their gendered histories are reimagined.
As he transforms the conventional associations and perceptions of his materials and objects, Divis creates new aesthetic frames of reference that foster awareness of the forces at play in the formation of absolutes and stereotypes--advocating for acceptance and empathy over judgement and animosity. The goal, the artist states, is for the objects to emerge with a thick presence that prompts viewers to reconsider their socially constructed beliefs about the things often held in high regard.