Loving Repeating: New Work by Miller and Shellabarger

Sunday, Apr 10 – Sep 3, 2022

5020 S. Cornell
Chicago, IL 60615

Hyde Park Art Center, the renowned non-profit hub for contemporary art located on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, announces the new major exhibition, Loving Repeating: New Work by Miller and Shellabarger by married artists and longtime collaborators Dutes Miller & Stan Shellabarger, who will premiere their largest multimedia installation to date, April 10 - September 3, 2022. Loving Repeating addresses the presence and absence of human touch experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an immersive installation incorporating the artists’ signature style featuring silhouettes of each other’s bodies.

Since 1993, the two Chicago-based artists have been creating works on paper, performances, and installations that draw attention to the human condition experienced through the queer perspective. Their artworks focus on the underlying concept of the infinite feeling of connection, loneliness and loss felt throughout long-term relationships over time. Loving Repeating will include three new major works created in response to the Art Center’s gallery space: a twenty foot tall by an eighty-foot wide hand-painted mural, a multi-channel video projection made in collaboration with Steve Reinke, and an eighty-foot long cut-paper garland. This is the first time for the artists to create a painted mural, which will occupy the entire large wall of the gallery. The artists will also present a participatory performance for the first time: As art imitates life, the end of the exhibition will be celebrated with a bonfire to burn the paper artwork. The ashes will be placed and sealed in a pine box and added to the artists’ series of work titled burnt, which will also be on display.

According to Miller & Shellabarger, “Speaking both to common experiences of intimacy as well as the specifics of queer identities, we attempt to document the rhythms of relationships. The title of the exhibition comes from Gertrude Stein’s novel The Making of the Americans. Stein’s discussion of the way in which life, history, and time is formed and understood is emblematic of our own relationship: Life is made of small, repeated gestures, and each repetition accumulating over time equals history. Our work tries to document the intimacy of these small and repetitive moments in a variety of ways.”

Miller & Shellabarger explore physicality, duality, time, and romantic ideal in their multidisciplinary work, ranging from performance, photography, and artists books to sculpture and cut paper silhouettes. Their performances, always enacted together, in public, push simple materials and actions to almost Sisyphean extremes. Their gestures shift between moments of togetherness and separation, private and public, protection and pain, and visibility and invisibility. Their work is both autobiographical and metaphorical, speaking to common human interaction and queer relationships. Silhouettes of each other, their iconic beards, and their bodies appear regularly in their work. In their signature ongoing performance, Untitled (Pink Tube), a non-theatrical, durational piece, they simultaneously crochet at opposite ends of a long tube of pink acrylic yarn, a metaphorically-loaded object that both unites and separates them.


Together, Miller & Shellabarger have had solo shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Chicago Cultural Center, INOVA in Milwaukee, the University Galleries at Illinois State University and Gallery Diet in Miami and have performed and exhibited in group shows across North America. Miller & Shellabarger are a 2008 recipient of an Artadia Chicago award and a 2007 recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award. Their work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Newark Public Library, Indiana University Art Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada. They are represented by Western Exhibitions gallery in Chicago. For more information on the exhibition and related public programs, please visit www.hydeparkart.org.


COVID-19-related safety protocols

Hyde Park Art Center views its community's safety as the number one priority and is utilizing the guidance from the City and State to inform its reopening procedures including the requiring of vaccination proof and masks; instituting extra cleaning and disinfecting procedures; wide availability of hand sanitizer throughout the building; and the careful configuring of exhibition hours so as to help regulate the number of people and maintain proper social distance in the Art Center at one time.


Admission and hours

Exhibition admission is free and allows walk-ins. Masks and proof of vaccination are required to enter the building. For latest exhibition hours, visit www.hydeparkart.org.


About the Hyde Park Art Center

Hyde Park Art Center, at 5020 South Cornell Avenue on Chicago’s vibrant South Side, is a hub for contemporary arts in Chicago, serving as a gathering and production space for artists and the broader community to cultivate ideas, impact social change, and connect with new networks. Since its inception in 1939, Hyde Park Art Center has grown from a small collective of quirky artists to establishing a strong legacy of innovative development and emerging as a unique Chicago arts institution with social impact. The Art Center functions as an amplifier for today and tomorrow’s creative voices, providing the space to cultivate and create new work and connections.

For more information, please visit www.hydeparkart.org.