Did You See Heaven: WYSIWYG
WYSIWYG. What you see is what you get. The funny thing about acronyms is that there is always more to get than what we see. We flesh out abbreviations in our heads, and even understand and extend them to various degrees of intricacy. WYSIWYG might remind one of tedious hours with Dreamweaver, good times with Mr. Wilson and Ms. Jones (and Killer!), and even, somehow, Frank Stella.
The gestures of material into abstract work in WYSIWYG spring from different intents and personalities, but what remains (on surfaces) always engender other ideas. How much endurance, how much eureka, for one. How seemingly immediate brushwork belie true and multiple complexities, for another. Far from a plain suppression of linguistic desire, one could regard an abstract painting as a question or a re-direction to further individual thoughts, and in this sense abstract work is incredibly accommodating and generous. Still as they might seem at first glance, these paintings have the ability to shift in meaning, animating not shape but connections and opinions. Of course that assumes we would give them and ourselves some time; what they pose is an option for us to live and re-live their shades and substance.
The artists: McKeever Donovan received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2010. Recent exhibitions include Important Projects (Oakland, CA), The Green Gallery (Milwaukee, WI) and 1dM (Chicago, IL). He lives and works in New York. Susanne Doremus is a Professor of Painting and Drawing at SAIC. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Zolla/Lieberman Gallery and Corbett vs. Dempsey both in Chicago. Ron Ewert lives and works in Chicago, earning his MFA from SAIC in May 2012. Ewert is Co-Director of The Hills Esthetic Center, an artist-run exhibition space in Garfield Park. Richard Galling lives and works in Milwaukee, WI. He is a 2011 recipient of The Mary L. Nohl Fellowship as an Emerging Artist. Galling has recently shown at The Green Gallery, Milwaukee; Autonomie, Los Angeles; and LVL3, Chicago. Antonia Gurkovska is an artist living in Bulgaria. Her work was recently shown at Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago; Art Platform, Los Angeles; Brand New Gallery, Milan; and the Armory Show, New York. Oliver Henry lives and works in Chicago and is a graduate of SAIC. His recent exhibitions include shows at 1dM, Manifest Exhibitions, and the rooftop above Julius Caesar. He has just returned from a self-sponsored research expedition in Marfa, Texas. Sofia Leiby is an artist and writer based in Chicago. She is a contributing editor of the media theory journal Pool and has recently exhibited in Chicago and Philadelphia. Josh Reames lives and works in Chicago. He has forthcoming exhibitions at Dittrich & Schlechtriem (Berlin), Autumn Space (Chicago), Circuit 12 Contemporary (Dallas). Ezara Spangl lives and works in Vienna, Austria. She has exhibited her work with Song Song, Vienna and Skestos Gabriele Gallery, Chicago.