On Thursday 26 April, I attended the opening reception of Forms & Fragments at the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Illinois. My expectations of classic "Motel Room Art" and a tacky "Starving Artist Sale" quickly dissipated upon entering The Art Museo section of the lobby. This group show featuring 3-D wall constructions is subtly integrated with artwork from the InterContinental's permanent collection which includes Modern masters such as Rauschenberg. The labyrinth of first floor corridors are designed to also serve as an exhibition space. On display during my visit was an impressive smattering of contemporary painting, photography and mixed media work including local legend Tony Fitzpatrick.
Forms & Fragments was curated by the Schneider Gallery (http://schneidergallerychicago.com) in partnership with artist/curator Mimi Peterson for The Art Museo. It includes her work as well as ceramic pieces by Nikki Renee Anderson (http://nikkireneeanderson.com) rife with a veiled, biomorphic eroticism in her sculptural representations of the adolescent feminine experience where the mapping of identity begins.
Fiber artist, Donna Hapac's (http://donnahapac.com) forms are crafted to not only hang on walls (as they are seen in the show), but can also be placed on surfaces to function as free-standing pieces in order to be activated by the effects of ambient light. I love her use of press-on nails as ready-made materials with which she constructs marine-like, quasi-bioluminescent forms.
Shelley Gilchrist (http://shelleygilchrist.com) presents a series of cheerful encaustics referencing reductive, 70s-style decorative arts. Simple, abstracted land and seascapes are composed of curvilinear, tricolored bands and wavering stripes nodding to the nostalgia of childhood memories of the family rec. room without coming on as dated or kitsch.
Mimi Peterson (http://mimipetersonart.com) works with found materials from both the natural and industrial worlds. Centerpieces for her high-concept weavings addresses the fragility of life induced by the imbalanced eco-system. In her six sculptures, she draws the viewer into her nests of twisted metal only to be confronted by a chilly, post-apocalyptic aftermath.
Forms & Fragments runs now through 30 July in The Art Museo (located in the main lobby of the ICO) at 5300 N. River Road in Rosemont, Illinois. To top off a day of culture, there are several high-end dining and/or drinks options on site.