From the Ground Up

Friday, Mar 16 – May 5, 2018 4 – 5 pm

835 W. Washington Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60607

Opening: March 16, 2018 from 5 to 8PM

Participating artists:
Woody De Othello (San Francisco)
Josh Dihle (Chicago)
J. Michael Ford (Chicago)
Claire Larkin Pope (Charlotte)
Jake Ziemann (Los Angeles)
 
The origins of human mark making as an art form, called "cupules", were made by repeatedly striking a stone tool on a stone surface creating a cup-like shape. The earliest know examples date back hundreds of thousands of years and can be found on 5 continents. As such, human beings have been utilizing materials from the ground as a form of cultural and personal expression for an almost inconceivable amount of time in order to communicate ideas and observations.
 
From the Ground Up explores the sequence in which natural objects - clay, metal, natural/organic matter, wood and stone - have been directly sourced from the earth and altered by the artist's hand. All the objects on view primarily take on the media-specific qualities of three-dimensional sculpture, but are altered from their original form by only a few degrees of separation. Cumulatively, each artist's approach to their respective material, and hence their aesthetic concepts, lays bare an overall essential reverence to our surroundings with a sense of poetic immediacy.
 
In From the Ground Up, how the artist's hand is made visible is paramount to the foundational materials used. By shaping, building, cutting and bending with those hands, the manipulation of these materials reveal forms developed from traditional methodologies but also pushing conceptual boundaries. Notions of entropy, adornment, humor and intimacy arise; contextualizing the objects in a manner that suggests the relationship to our natural surroundings is paramount to our essential beings. As these artworks protrude from the gallery walls, hang from the wooden ceiling and lade on the concrete floor; the amount of removal that can be coaxed from their earthly origins are defined by the function of the artist's ideas and crystallized in their, albeit, impermanence. Up from the ground, through the artist studio, into the gallery and ultimately, still, these are communicable ideas and observations about the world around us.

[Image: The Megalithic Portal, Mas-Saint-Chély, Lozère, France. Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0]