OS Projects is pleased to present Thresholds, featuring sculptures and mixed media works by Chicago artists Christine Forni and Jennifer Mannebach. Mannebach has also created a site- specific window installation for the exhibit. Thresholds opens November 11, 2023 and continues through January 13, 2024.
A reception for the artists will take place on Saturday, November 11 from 1 – 3 pm.
Christine Forni and Jennifer Mannebach both address the fragmented and shifting terrain of nature and memory in their expansive bodies of work. The artists methodically deconstruct and reinterpret the relationship between past and present, spotlighting areas and remnants that are typically hidden or overlooked.
Forni captures fleeting glimpses of terrain using light in interaction with glass, porcelain, reclaimed minerals and paint skins. By layering these elements in a complex deconstruction/reconstruction process and employing chromatic shifts that stray from a source’s original color, the artist allows her landscapes to become mentally stratified from personal memories. Forni’s experience growing up in the Rust Belt—where industry and nature are often starkly juxtaposed—informs her studio practice. The glass layers in her sculptures invite close observation and reveal unexpected margins as well as the tenacity of nature through time.
Mannebach is interested in boundaries, remnants and where things collect. Her mixed media pieces of fractal disruptions, based on hundreds of photos Mannebach took of the cracked earth of a summer playa in Oregon, address shifting ground in natural landscapes. Her related sculptures derive from a short video of a young child balancing on a backyard slide. Mannebach has cast and recreated parts of the slide, highlighting the presence of touch as well as the fragmented nature of memory and the complexity of our interior landscapes—a different kind of shifting ground. The sculptures also allude to found objects, like rocks or seashells, which are often played with to the point where they become part of the emotional landscape of the moment.
In both Forni’s and Mannebach’s bodies of work, the experience has passed, but the objects remain, remade and reimagined. Nature and memory are not stable, the artists emphasize, but rather always on the threshold of a shift.
About the Artists
Christine Forni is a painter and sculptor examining links between human behavior and the natural world. Forni has exhibited at Ueno Royal Japanese Art Museum and Awagami Paper Museum (Japan); deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (MA); Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago); Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (Chicago); Museo Franz Mayer (Mexico City); and Museo Internazionale Italia Arte (Turin) among other institutions. She created the “Drawing You Outside” project and routinely collaborates with poets, environmentalists, botanists, historians, physicists, writers, performance and sound artists. In 2017, Forni was invited to speak about design and evolution in nature at the Academia Romania in Bucharest, where she also exhibited her work. This autumn, she was a guest speaker at the 12th Constructal Law Conference in Turin, Italy. Forni has participated in numerous artist residencies, including Oregon Caves National Monument, Vermont Studio Center and École du Breuil d’Horticulture (Paris).
Jennifer Mannebach is a Chicago-based artist, curator and gallery director. She has exhibited at the Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), Flatfile Gallery (Chicago), Jack Olson Gallery (Northern Illinois University) and other venues, nationally and internationally. In 2006, she was a visiting artist at The American Academy in Rome. Mannebach received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she subsequently taught for six years. She is an adjunct professor at Concordia University Chicago, an Artist/Researcher with CAPE, and the Director of O’Connor Gallery at Dominican University. Awards include the Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, CAAP grants, IAC grants and the Governor’s International Arts Exchange Grant. Recent exhibits include Wanting It Both Ways, a group exhibition at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (Chicago); No Place Like Home at the Schingoethe Center (Aurora, IL); and Fissures, a two-person exhibition at Boundary (Chicago.)