ArtSlant - Recently added en-us 40 Jessica Labatte - Western Exhibitions - March 13th - April 25th <p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: Georgia,Times New Roman,Times,serif; font-size: small;">Western Exhibitions is pleased to present <em>Underwater Highway</em>, an exhibition of photographic works by<strong> Jessica Labatte</strong> that continues her investigations in photographic illusion, while respecting the material processes of photography. Labatte&rsquo;s most recent body of work addresses and employs light and color as a model for space and time; the barely visible, such as dust particles; minerals as pigments; and digital or antique photographic processes. The show opens with a free public reception on <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Friday, March 13</span> from 5 to 8pm and will run through April 25. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11am to 6pm.<br /> <br /> For "Figural Concretions," a series of black and white photographs that sit upon pedestals in the gallery with large frames leaning against the wall, Labatte photographs rocks gathered from Bradenton Beach in Florida, identified by the proprietor of a seashell shop as remnants of an &ldquo;Underwater Highway&rdquo; that traverses the Gulf of Mexico. Although no evidence of such a roadway exists, the fragments of this fictional road speak to the hidden and undiscovered potential within our world&ndash; a magical potential found buried beneath the waves. The negatives of these images were left unexposed in the artist&rsquo;s studio for four months, accumulating tiny hairs and dust. <br /> <br /> Labatte again embraces dust, the natural enemy of the photographer, in her series, "Spotting". In the analog darkroom, the space between the enlarger and the photographic paper hides all but the largest particles of dust. If a photographer is not meticulous about removing dust from all photographic apparatuses, they have to spend time &ldquo;spotting&rdquo; their final prints to prevent surface imperfections in the final print. &ldquo;Spotting&rdquo; fills in the dust spots with ink that will match the surrounding surface. Ironically, the high resolution scans that make large format inkjet printing possible illuminate every particle of dust that graces the surface of the film, even specks beyond the photographer&rsquo;s vision; it can take hours to remove dust from a very large file. &ldquo;Spotting&rdquo; is work traditionally done by assistants as it is considered to be mindless labor. Contemporary digital technology offers a specific tool, the clone stamp, which has made &ldquo;spotting&rdquo; an incredibly quick and simple process. To honor the labor of the assistant in the retouching process, Labatte has left the &ldquo;spotting&rdquo; layer in Photoshop visible in the final print. This labor is not mindless, but reveals the individual decisions each assistant makes regarding brush size, gesture and what should be removed. The resulting marks acknowledge the virtual cutting away of the image, revealing a perfect simultaneous contrast of color and tone to the background layer.<br /> <br /> In Labatte&rsquo;s "Pond Weeds" series, Labatte has cut shapes from color photographic backdrop paper that resemble botanical elements. Using a multiple exposure process, the sculptural paper is shot several times in the studio with different arrangements layering two and three exposures on top of each other on a single sheet of film. The reflected light from the paper mixes directly on the film, creating new colors unseen by the photographer, allowing past and present to mix, creating a new colored space. The ethereal plant forms float between foreground and background, giving the illusion of floating underneath water. <br /> <br /> Carbon printing is a historical photographic printing process developed in the 1880s. This antique process uses gelatin as a binder for pigment, which is sensitized to light. Originally black carbon from ashes was used to create luscious photographic prints. Working with the Geology department at Northern Illinois University, Labatte pulverized minerals (turquoise, lapis, and malachite) in a machine called a &ldquo;shatter box.&rdquo; Once pulverized to dust the minerals are used to pigment gelatin emulsions, which are used as the foundation for a new photographic series. <br /> <br /> This is Jessica Labatte&rsquo;s first show with Western Exhibitions and her first solo show in Chicago since her U<em>BS 12 x 12 New Artists/New Work a</em>t the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Other solo shows include Golden in both New York City and Chicago and the Humble Arts Foundation in NYC. Group shows include Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, FL; Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL; and Horton Gallery in New York City. She recently completed a residency at Light Work, Syracuse, NY and her work has been written about in <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The New Yorker</span>, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"></span>, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Art F City</span> and <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Chicago Magazine</span>. Jessica Labatte (b. 1981, Salt Lake City, UT) lives and works in Chicago, IL. She received an MFA and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.</span></p> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:36:39 +0000 Maya Mackrandilal - THE MISSION - March 13th - April 25th <p class="p1">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;THE SUB-MISSION is pleased to present <em>Kal Pani</em>, a site-specific installation by Maya Mackrandilal. Describing her artistic practice as trans-disciplinary &ndash; incorporating several media including drawing, digital imagery, text, performance, video and installation &ndash; Mackrandilal creates incomplete narratives that retell history. In her solo project in THE SUB-MISSION, Mackrandilal constructs a meditative space influenced by time she spent in Guyana, her family&rsquo;s native country, on an Odyssey Travel Grant in 2011.&nbsp; An opening reception will be held Friday, March 13 from 6 to 8pm. The exhibition continues through Saturday, April 25, 2015.</p> <p class="p2"><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Kal Pani </em>features a video projection of footage gathered from various locations in Guyana near the Mahaicony River, a main avenue for transportation that flows through land owned by Mackrandilal&rsquo;s family. Recordings of spoken passages that address historical, political and cultural issues accompany the projection.&nbsp; Sourced from text written by the artist over the past several years, the spoken passages explore fractures in her family history caused by migration.&nbsp; The installation also features a clay floor painting that wears away and drifts as viewers move through the space.</p> <p class="p2"><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; They called the sea kal pani, black water. To cross it was a rupture, a separation from the land, from culture, from caste, to be forever outside, forever a nomad. This was the journey of my ancestors, as slaves and indentured laborers, from India and China and Africa. Even as farmers, intimately connected to the land, their descendants&rsquo; feet would wander.</em></p> <p class="p3"><em>- Maya Mackrandilal</em></p> <p class="p1">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p2"><strong>Maya Mackrandilal</strong> received her BFA from the University of Virginia and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work has recently been exhibited at Smack Mellon in New York, Heaven Gallery in Chicago and Ruffin Hall Gallery at the University of Virginia. She was an artist in residence at HATCH Projects at the Chicago Artists Coalition in 2014. Mackrandilal lives and works in Chicago.</p> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:07:07 +0000 Mariana Sissia - THE MISSION - March 13th - April 25th <p class="p1">THE MISSION is pleased to present <em>Mental Landscape</em>, an exhibition of recent graphite drawings by Argentine artist Mariana Sissia. In her second solo exhibition at THE MISSION, Sissia presents a series of landscape drawings on rice paper.<em> Mental Landscape </em>features large-scale, scroll-like drawings, as well as a 65-foot drawing installation that drapes over iron bars throughout the gallery. An opening reception will be held on Friday, March 13 from 6 to 8pm. The show continues through Saturday, April 25, 2015.</p> <p class="p1">Mariana Sissia&rsquo;s delicate drawings begin as layers of &ldquo;frottage,&rdquo; a technique developed by German surrealist artist Max Ernst in 1925 where graphite is rubbed onto paper placed on textured surfaces. She uses varying materials &ndash; cement floors, walls and stones &ndash; to build layers of graphite rubbings that she further refines by hand. The materials Sissia sources in her drawings transform into complex graphite renderings that are products of the artist&rsquo;s own cognition. Through thought, experience, and sensation, she produces ethereal compositions without reference to geographic features that landscape often suggests.</p> <p class="p3"><em>[In this series], we find, not a place nor even a point, but a conception in the mind. Sissia calls this series of work Mental Landscape, where the artist traces an order that one cannot quickly grasp, the order of emotions and sensations, something similar to the feeling of your own skin, your hair or your body. Sissia&rsquo;s drawings are not a &ldquo;thing,&rdquo; but a layer of a thing that proposes an order that can be contained in paper. Their space is both physical and abstract &ndash; concerning materials and matter, and escaping precisely being a thing.</em></p> <p class="p4"><em>- Ionit Behar</em></p> <p class="p1">An exhibition brochure featuring an essay by Ionit Behar, curatorial assistant at Gallery 400, will accompany the show.</p> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:10:40 +0000