Chicago is certainly creating a footprint and becoming more and more relevant in the field of Contemporary art: many artists live and work in the city proper; a good portion of them are very talented and are therefore able to exhibit their work in significant locales, with some even reaching overseas. Museums and foundations support these endeavors, as well as Universities, where a lot of the artists teach. The contemporary art scene in Chicago has also been a key to the livelihood of smaller private galleries who in turn have collaborated with other institutions and with the artists themselves bringing to the forefront artists and works of particular quality and significance. Monique Meloche exemplifies the above statement. She has spent a considerable amount of time navigating through the contemporary art scene in recent years while simultaneously changing the face of collaboration between artist and gallery. She has discovered artistic talent such as Rashid Johnson and worked at the MCA as well as various prominent galleries such as Rhona Hoffman and Kavi Gupta after which she opened her own in 2000.
For the summer season, Monique Meloche has opened with a wholly female exhibit entitled My hands are my bite, in which four very different women, Lilli Carré, Laura Davis, Carol Jackson and Diane Simpson both fundamentally and artistically, intertwine inside this one single space which unites them in a poetic harmony. This exhibit is curated by Dan Gunn, who is himself an artist and is exhibiting his work, which showcases two wooden fanlike artifacts with splashes of color, in an adjacent space within the gallery.
The artists all share a common medium in sculpture, which arises from a seemingly archeological beginning. In Carre’s case, her work seems to slowly shed traces and fragments of her personal message in – at a first glance – primitive but then a very refined manner. In Davis’ case, she gathers minute objects and quotations from various circumstances, also cultural ones, and perfectly balances them creating complete harmonic installations/situations. Carol Jackson takes yet another approach using raw material and vivaciously manipulating it in a way as to render it evolutionary in and of itself. Carol also talks about “looking to the future” in a presentation where the four women speak about their work. Diane Simpson chose to display her work in an installation aimed at the external world, as if it were a sophisticated and purposely manipulated visual opening into the gallery, arranged seemingly at random but recapturing a style that calls us back to something of the past. On the Wall, public art, inside, at Monique Meloche Gallery, until August 7th.
thanks to Allison Glenn for the material,
thanks to Sara Sotgiu for the translation
All images are © Jim Prinz. Courtesy of Monique Meloche Gallery.