Sarah Leuchtner: Sequential Escapes

Opening: Sunday, Mar 5, 2023 2 – 5 pm
Sunday, Mar 5 – Apr 15, 2023

319 N. Albany
Chicago, Il 60612

In the East Wing, we are excited to present Sequential Escapes, an installation of sculptural drawings by by Chicago-based artist Sarah Leuchtner.

Using painting, dye, and collage, Leuchtner's work explores memory, nostalgia, loneliness, and the visual influence of signage and symbols through a painterly lens. "My interest in the  symbolic languages of culture such as the emoji lead me to create my own alphabet of imagined shapes," the artist explains. "Each work begins with the development of a metaphorical and physical stencil which is then used across various mediums. These imagined configurations blend objects from my surroundings with historical or present day symbols, creating a geometric and symbolic vocabulary whose repetitive application explores expressions of contemporary social consumption."

Woven with with hand-dyed plastic zip ties, the three pieces comprising Sequential Escapes investigate sky and landscape, forms in motion, and the grid as a structural underpinning. Notes Leuchtner, "the contemplative process of fastening each zip tie to the chicken wire aids in self reflection and is a meditative process. The colors utilized are sourced from my surroundings; whether it be a mark on my studio floor, a color from another artwork or media source, or a sign that I pass by daily." Likening the works to lucid dreams or mirages, Leuchtner sees these three pieces as snapshots in time whose compositions play off one another, harboring shapes, themes and emotions carried over one to the next. "I wanted to create a sense of motion, perspective, balance and depth within each composition and plane. Viewing the pieces on the verso delivers a moment of clarity, a snap moment of understanding when things come out of soft focus, [which is] a feeling I experience daily."

Image: Sarah Leuchtner, drawing 7, 2023, (front and verso), hand-dyed plastic, wire fencing and copper pipes, 22 x 30 inches (55.9 x 76.2 cm).