In Portfolio 2013 Carl Hammer Gallery presents a group show of gallery/non gallery artists examining the gallery’s evolution over 34 years in both a looking back and looking forward process. This exercise is calculated also to celebrate the collective artistic expression earmarking the aesthetic profile of the gallery here in Chicago since when, in 1979, our doors first opened at the 620 N. Michigan Avenue location. Back then, the gallery pretty much took on a pioneering role by discovering and presenting select 19th and 20th century American folk and outsider art to a largely contemporary art-buying public. A half-dozen years later, the gallery perspective morphed into a broader, fuller integration with contemporary art, while enjoying the success of the integration of our outsider beginnings within the art collecting community at large. Our intent then, as it remains today, is to present art expression, whether outsider or “mainstream”, in which its creation advances a vision of spirit and life evolving from ideas and common life experiences, forged into a unique and emotive vocabulary.
Portfolio 2013 includes many familiar faces and some not so familiar to our long-standing following of collectors and friends. The challenge facing the curation process re each artist chosen to participate in this exhibit, was that their work would showcase where they find themselves currently, both in their craft and in their thinking. In doing so, we hope to better understand who we are by the example of both past and current history, as well as better understanding where we are headed in addressing the issues of the next thirty-four years..