Tender to the Bone

Opening: Sunday, Sep 12, 2021 12 – 4 pm
Sunday, Sep 12 – 30, 2021

319 N. Albany
Chicago, Il 60612

"Tender to the Bone" opens Sunday September 12th from 12-4pm

Featuring works by Saffronia Downing, Jory Drew, Dove Drury, Em Kettner, Minami Kobayashi, Laura Letinsky, SaraNoa Mark, Liz McCarthy, and Elissa Osterland.

Clay bodies, like living bodies (animal, environmental, etc.) are porous, vulnerable, and penetrable: microcosms of living and dying processes. Through a range of ceramic forms, the nine artists in “Tender to the Bone” expose relationships between malleability and calcification—the ossifying, changing, breaking, and “resoftening” parts of life. Here, material relationships between hard and soft/surface and interior/flesh and bone lead to deeper inquiries into the natures of desire, exhaustion, grief, and openness to change.

In her book “Keat’s Odes: A Lover’s Discourse,” writer Anahid Nersessian refers to the Latin term “remocellit,” used in Ovid’s telling of Pygmalion and his sculpture brought to life from stone. Though frequently translated to mean “softening,” the term more accurately means “resoftening” indicating something cyclical—phases of material change in relation to life and bodies or bodily forms. The sculpture thaws as it comes to life, as though alive before: “Softens then hardens, then softens again, reciprocal like living flesh,” Nersessian writes. Likewise, the works in Tender to the Bone explore how things that appear lost, buried, or solidified can reconstitute themselves as something else, from fragments of earth and forms mimicking natural landscapes to urns and vessels glazed with bone ash.