Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project is pleased to present Things to be Next To, an exhibition collaboration with threewalls, Chicago. Featuring recent and new work by Alberto Aguilar (Chicago), Peter Fagundo (Chicago), James Woodfill (Kansas City), and Warren Rosser (Kansas City), the exhibition will run September 4- October 15, 2010 in Kansas City at CSF’s la Esquina (an Urban Culture Project venue), and at threewalls in Chicago, November 5-December 11, 2010.
Co-curated by Kate Hackman (CSF) and Shannon Stratton (threewalls), this exhibition developed through extensive artist reviews and studio visits by each curator in the partner city. The project stems from each organization’s interest in cultivating relationships with artists, arts professionals, and arts communities in other cities to the benefit of the communities they serve, and extends each organization’s history of collaborating with other artist-centered organizations in the Midwest and nationally.
While the original idea for this project had been for an exhibition exchange or swap (a show of Kansas City artists in Chicago, and a show of Chicago artists in Kansas City), through the course of their visits they decided it would be a more collaborative and more substantial project to co-curate one exhibition combining artists from Kansas City and Chicago and traveling to both cities. Another interest that emerged was in the nature of the cities themselves, and how the conditions of each place, including the characteristics and contexts of the artists’ studios, inform their practices.
As the exhibition travels from one city to the other, the contrasting architectures of la Esquina in Kansas City and threewalls in Chicago will be used to advantage to evince and amplify a sense of the different contexts and conditions in which this work was created, while also drawing out a rich field of connections among these artists. While much of the same artwork will be featured at both venues, there will also be pieces unique to each showing, and all four artists as well as both curators will be involved in the installation of both shows as well as attending the openings and participating in opening weekend public roundtable discussions.
All four artists work both two- and three-dimensionally, and are united in their use of materials borrowed or scavenged from their everyday surroundings. Resourcefulness, playfulness, a sophisticated sense of rhythm, color and texture, and a respect for the inherent qualities and potential of common objects and materials—as they put these materials to work in new configurations—are a few of the shared aspects connecting their work.
Like many Chicago-based artists, Alberto Aguilar and Peter Fagundo both work in their own homes, creating artworks that are intimate in scale and substance. Their work derives from, responds to, comments upon, and participates in the domestic realm, often involving collaborations with family members and knitted into a spectrum of daily life activities. From Fagundo’s gorgeous yet emphatically humble assemblages of painted cardboard, wood, or fabric scraps, to Aguilar’s informally formal “towers” of stacked chairs, draped laundry, toys or rolls of tape, and tender, transfixing audio-recorded collaborations with his children—these two artists gently, tenderly, and disarmingly mine the potential of domestic environment as studio.
In contrast, James Woodfill and Warren Rosser work away from home, in expansive, high-ceilinged studios in the kind of industrial building characteristic of downtown Kansas City. Woodfill’s sculptural installations and Rosser’s fabric and carpet “paintings” respond to and integrate the architectures of these spaces, extending across walls and floors, and are calibrated to be experienced incrementally, from a range of perspectives and views enabled by the spaces they inhabit. A sense of freedom—to make things, step back and sit with them awhile, make other things, then circle back around again—is evident in these artists’ studios and palpable in their works, which convey a sense of ease, flux, and sustained potential. At the same time, both artists’ works for this exhibition reference the domestic as well, with Rosser employing fabrics and rugs in cut shapes that recall dressmaking patterns, and Woodfill creating structures that suggest—and can readily function as—benches, desks, and screens.
About the Artists:
Alberto Aguilar was born in Chicago, IL in 1974 and raised in Cicero, IL. In 1997, he received his BFA in painting and drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was married. Alberto had his first child in 1998 during a two-year hiatus in Phoenix, AZ, then returned to Chicago to receive his MFA in painting and drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and purchased his first home in Cicero, IL in 2001. For five years Alberto taught part-time at various colleges throughout the Chicago area. With the assistance of students, he painted several murals in and around Chicago. In 2004 Alberto had his last child, bringing the total to four. Also in 2004, Alberto got his first full-time job at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, IL, where he was appointed as Professor of Art History. In 2005 he took part in Blue Sky Project, a summer arts community and residency program, which opened him up to a more direct mode of collaboration with other artists and youth. Around the same time Alberto started documenting everyday occurrences, family life and household chores and designating them as his artwork. In 2006 he was appointed as a full-time Professor of Art at Harold Washington College in downtown Chicago where he teaches painting, drawing and art appreciation. In 2007 Alberto started Pedestrian Project, an art initiative dedicated to making art accessible and available to people from all walks of life. Alberto currently lives on the southwest side of Chicago, on the path of airplanes, near Midway airport. In his current work, every aspect of his daily life and exchanges with others are treated as creative acts. http://albertoaguilar.carbonmade.com
Peter Fagundo was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota in 1971 and lives and works in Evanston, Illinois. He received his BS in Psychology and Fine Art from Regis University, Denver, Colorado in 1997, and his MFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003. His work has been exhibited at venues including Devening Projects and Editions, Chicago (where he is represented), boom, Oak Park, IL; Hudson Franklin, NY; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Acuna Hanson Gallery, Los Angeles, among many others. He is an instructor at the School of the Art Institute Chicago and curator of ETF (Essential Transmutation Frequency), his home, studio and a space where he curates work from artists whose work interests me and which is presented in direct relationship to a domestic space. He is former co-curator of The Pond, which organized group exhibitions in a storefront gallery in Chicago’s Westtown area, championing issues of artist’s intentionality, art objects’ discretion and the conversation between makers and viewers. http://peterfagundo.com
Warren Rosser is the William T. Kemper Distinguished Professor of Painting and Chair of the Painting Department at the Kansas City Art Institute. Born in Wales, he moved to the United States in 1972. Solo exhibitions of his work have been presented at University of Leeds, England; Jan Weiner Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Epsten Gallery at Village Shalom, Overland Park, Kansas; Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, St Joseph, Missouri; South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, South Dakota; Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, Nebraska; and Review Studios Exhibition Space. His work has also been presented in group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Rosser is currently an artist in residence at Review Studios. http://warrenrosser.com
James Woodfill is a 1980 graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, who has lived and worked as an artist in Kansas City since his graduation. For the majority of his career he has concentrated on installation art, with numerous solo shows in galleries and museums throughout the region, most recently at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, Nebraska. His work has been included in a number of exhibits both nationally and internationally. His installation work has been reviewed extensively, including reviews in Art in America, Art Papers, The New Art Examiner, and Sculpture Magazine. Woodfill has also worked extensively in the Public Art realm along with privately commissioned sculptural installations in public spaces. His public work has been widely recognized with numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects, and it has been included twice in the Americans for the Arts/Public Art Network annual “Year in Review.” Woodfill is currently an artist in residence at Review Studios. http://www.jameswoodfill.com/
About Charlotte Street Foundation:
Charlotte Street Foundation (CSF) is a nationally leading non-profit arts organization that supports and recognizes outstanding artists in Greater Kansas City; presents, promotes, enhances and encourages the visual, performing and interdisciplinary arts; and fosters economic development in the urban core of Kansas City, MO. Through a range of initiatives and partnership programs, CSF cultivates an environment in Kansas City where artists and art thrive.
Charlotte Street Foundation was established in 1997 in response to needs articulated by artists and those who saw the arts as a valuable creative, social and economic resource to the city. Charlotte Street Foundation’s vision describes a vibrant city where artists are cultivated, respected and admired by leaders in the business, political, philanthropic and civic communities, as well as by a significant segment of the general public. The resulting support for artists leads artists to participate more fully in our community and attracts artists from other cities and the region. Visit www.charlottestreet.org for more information.
threewalls is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to increasing Chicago’s cultural capital by cultivating contemporary art practice and discourse. Through a range of exhibition and public programs, including symposiums, lectures, performances and publications, threewalls creates a locus of exchange between local, national and international contemporary art communities.
threewalls operates a year-round self-directed research residency; commissions a major project by a visiting artist working in, collaborating and otherwise interacting with the region; supports SOLO exhibitions of work by local and regional artists; programs a SALON series and symposium program to generate open dialogue, presentation of new ideas and the publication of new writing; as well as partnering with other organizations on publication and education, in an effort to broaden andcontribute to the contemporary visual arts. Visit www.three-walls.org for more information.