The Storytellers

Opening: Saturday, Jun 29, 2019 5 – 8 pm
Saturday, Jun 29 – Aug 17, 2019

New address coming 2023
Temp. office:
1732 W. Hubbard, Ste. 1A
Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 29, 5:00 - 8:00PM

Sarah Bastress

Cecilia Beaven

Cathy Hsiao

James Kao

Ryan Nault

Alex Stark

Carrie Secrist Gallery is pleased to present our summer group exhibition The Storytellers. This exhibit brings together six Chicago-based artists whose practice involves narrative as a visual means to investigate approaches in storytelling. 

Storytelling is in many ways a universal, implicit standard of life by which we learn, are entertained, question and understand. The role of a storyteller is to depict a narrative that compels emotive components through plot, characters and settings in a manner traditionally beholden to a beginning, middle and end. Within this structure are devices that compel meaning through theme, structure, genre, and tense. The nuances that occupy each told story are what make them unique, giving the reader personalized access and room to emotionally respond.

Within the confines of visual art, the framework of a single static image may or may not travel the entire distance of a story arc. In some cases the story jumps from artwork to artwork, and in others, the non-sequential narrative is built into a single image. What lies outside that framework, or the untold, is a reminder that the human condition is complex and unconditional. As such, narrative art - art that tells a story - challenges the viewer to discern meaning through the level, approach and amount of an artist's articulation of a depiction.

What bind many of the artists in The Storytellers is the highly personal experiences through which their stories visually unfold. The use of figure(s), animals, nature and a myriad of other motifs develop deceptively simple to complex story arcs. The autobiographical and individual stories that are told evolve through this narrative approach as a way to convey shared meaning. Ultimately, how these images resonate gives agency to the viewer so that they may place themselves somewhere along their own arc.

For all inquiries or a preview of selected work, please contact Britton Bertran:


Image: Alex Stark, In Supplications Superfluous, 2018. Acrylic and colored pencil on two sheets of paper, 30 x 44 inches.