Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire, opening on Friday, January 21 from 6-9pm will feature new work by Aaron Storck and Lee Peichocki that includes painting, video, and installation addressing - with fascination and skepticism - the boundary-blurring trends in contemporary art. The evening will include artists' remarks at 6pm. There will be a public discussion with the artists on February 26 at 2pm.
"The stability of the modernist era has disintegrated into a multiplicity of art making approaches. Artists, historians, critics, and theorists have systematically dismantled barriers and effectively opened the floodgates. Art, it seems, can be anything. We are free, but this freedom does not come without a price. The current pluralistic art milieu is unpredictable and chaotic, a tangled mess of methodologies."
So write artists Lee Piechocki and Aaron Storck, whose new exhibition, Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire, explores this idea of the contemporary "mess", its problematics and its potential. To do so, they draw subject matter from the immediate environments of their studios, and the messes, piles, stacks, and accumulations therein, while also drawing on their observations and perceptions of far-ranging aspects of contemporary culture and art, as well as theory, including the writings of Nicolas Bourriaud and his concept of Relational Aesthetics and the Altermodern.
The exhibition will include new still-life paintings and a series of sculptural objects/arrangements by Lee Piechocki, and a new large-scale multi-media diptych painting, an installation, two videos, and studies by Aaron Storck.
Lee Piechocki received his BFA in Painting from Ball State University in 2004. Based in Kansas City, MO and Lawrence, KS, he is a former Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project Studio Resident, 2008-09, completed an Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Art Writing and Curatorial Fellowship in 2010, and, with Aaron Storck and Jeffrey Ison, is the recipient of a 2010-11 Rocket Grant. Piechocki's work has been presented in group exhibitions at venues including Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence, KS; University of Kansas History Museum; Charlotte Street Foundation's Paragraph gallery (an Urban Culture Project venue); Allrise Gallery, Chicago; Wonder Fair, Lawrence, KS; Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas; Minnestrista Cultural Center, Munice, IL; and Country Club Chicago, among others. He is a member of the Asteroid Head artist collective and a co-director of Wonder Fair gallery. www.leepiechocki.com
Aaron Storck received his BFA from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, in 2001. Based in Lawrence, KS, he is a former Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project Studio Resident, 2009-10, and, with Lee Piechocki and Jeffrey Isom, is the recipient of a 2010-11 Rocket Grant. In 2011, he will ban an artist in residence at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE. Storck's work has been exhibited at Dolphin Gallery, Kansas City; Bemis Center of Contemporar Arts; Charlotte Street Foundation's Paragraph gallery (an Urban Culture Project venue); Hub-bub Showroom Gallery, Spartanburg, SC; Art and Design Gallery, University of Kansas (solo); Dot Dot Dot Artspace, Lawrence; Carnegie Center, Dodge City, KS; Allrise Gallery, Chicago; Rare Gallery, New York; Dennis Morgan Gallery, Kansas City; and Riviera Gallery, Brooklyn, among others. He is a founding partner of the DotDotDot Artspace Cooperative and a founding member of the Fresh Produce Art Collective, both in Lawrence, KS. www.aaronstorck.com
Urban Culture Project is an initiative of the Charlotte Street Foundation, an organization dedicated to making Kansas City a place where artists and art thrive. Urban Culture Project creates new opportunities for artists of all disciplines and contributes to urban revitalization by transforming spaces in downtown Kansas City into new venues for multi-disciplinary contemporary arts programming. For more information, visit www.charlottestreet.org.