Lauren Wy: The Runner

Opening: Friday, Sep 8, 2023 5 – 8 pm
Friday, Sep 8 – Oct 28, 2023

1709 W. Chicago Ave
2nd. Floor
Chicago, IL 60622

The Runner, a new animated film and project series by Lauren Wy, foregrounds her second solo show at Western Exhibitions. Taking a cue from late 60’s and early 70’s films, especially Le Weekend by Jean-Luc Godard, the animation and its attendant sculptural edition distill the spirit of fantasy escapism, of running away into a dream. The show opens on Friday, September 8, with a free public reception at our Chicago location from 5 to 8 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm.

Wy’s animated film is a surrealist collage experiment utilizing analog processes with digital tools and altered frame rates to create a time-based pseudo-narrative drawing that embraces a raw provisionality. The short film is presented alongside a series of large-scale drawings and paintings on thin, mechanically flat synthetic surfaces. Inspired by American New Wave cinema and Science Fiction literature, Wy weaves her personal narrative into the collage as a further exploration of the Auto-theory elements present in her recent Autodesire series. The Runneranimates saturated dancing color scenes of vintage cars speeding through dream landscapes. A woman character is an archetype, a titan, a goddess, a replicant, a Chimera, shapeshifting from human to animal to machine; from human skin to cheetah running, from feathered bird to Mercedes Benz; always pitched forward in the perpetual forward motion of running. 

The Runner is a forgotten tarot card, found only in very special edition card decks blessed by an infinite alien intelligence. The Runner is a political riot, outsider angel, animal hybrid, telekinetic. The Runner rides the hard metal body of a car to and through desire. Long desert roads like the surface of Mars; forests darker than hell. The Runner is always a seeker; they are about seeking. Seeking Tanis, Runner Available. *

Lauren Wy (USA, b. 1987) focuses on desire, the body, and the psyche, producing artworks that materialize in a fragmentary narrative, a residue of process and color. Western Exhibitions presented her first solo show post-grad school in 2021, debuting the first five Chapters of her multi-chapter project AUTODESIRE, individual drawings from a massive graphic novel — each presented on two small handmade wood panels, hinged, as to function simultaneously as drawing/sculpture/artist book — depicting an abstracted story of a heroine who is making a journey through a bacchanalian road trip. Chapter 9: Grift X of AUTODESIRE was recently acquired by Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, in Turin, Italy. Elements of the AUTODESIRE series have been presented at Castello di Rivoli, Biblioteca Reale in Turin, Western Exhibitions in Chicago and at the art fairs ArtVerona, Artissima and NADA Miami. Wy has been included in the 6th Athens Biennial in Greece and shown at Societe Interludio in Turin, Over the Influence in Los Angeles, Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich and Apparatus Projects in Chicago. Wy received her MFA from Northwestern University in 2020 and currently lives and works nomadically. Her Italy-based work is represented by Peola Simondi Gallery.

*Seeking Tanis, Runner Available is a reference to the Tanis Podcast by Terry Miles. The Runner is not affiliated with or represents this podcast.