From the Ground Up

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Carrie Secrist Gallery
From the Ground Up

835 W. Washington Blvd.
60607 Chicago
March 16th, 2018 - May 5th, 2018
Opening: March 17th, 2018 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tue-Fri 10:30-6; Sat 11-5; or by appt


Carrie Secrist Gallery is pleased to announce the group exhibition:

March 17 – May 5, 2018
Opening Reception: March 17, 2018 from 5 to 8PM 

The origins of human mark making as an art form, called “cupules”, were made by repeatedly striking a stone tool on a stone surface creating a cup-like shape. The earliest know examples date back hundreds of thousands of years and can be found on 5 continents. As such, human beings have been utilizing materials from the ground as a form of cultural and personal expression for an almost inconceivable amount of time in order to communicate ideas and observations.

From the Ground Up explores the sequence in which natural objects – clay, metal, natural/organic matter, wood and stone – have been directly sourced from the earth and altered by the artist’s hand. All the objects on view primarily take on the media-specific qualities of three-dimensional sculpture, but are altered from their original form by only a few degrees of separation. Cumulatively, each artist’s approach to their respective material, and hence their aesthetic concepts, lays bare an overall essential reverence to our surroundings with a sense of poetic immediacy.

In From the Ground Up, how the artist’s hand is made visible is paramount to the foundational materials used. By shaping, building, cutting and bending with those hands, the manipulation of these materials reveal forms developed from traditional methodologies but also pushing conceptual boundaries. Notions of entropy, adornment, humor and intimacy arise; contextualizing the objects in a manner that suggests the relationship to our natural surroundings is paramount to our essential beings. As these artworks protrude from the gallery walls, hang from the wooden ceiling and lade on the concrete floor; the amount of removal that can be coaxed from their earthly origins are defined by the function of the artist’s ideas and crystallized in their, albeit, impermanence. Up from the ground, through the artist studio and into the gallery and ultimately, still, these are communicable ideas and observations about the world around us.

Woody De Othello’s (San Francisco) ceramic sculptures use scale, color and anthropomorphism to humorously comment on the nature of our relationship to the objects that occupy our domestic lives.

Josh Dihle (Chicago) creates his walnut relief carvings as a form of drawing, using translations from Dante’s Inferno as a loose framework for commenting on our current socio-political landscape of uncertainty. Updated with an amalgam of bodies, places, schemas, and text that do not sort into a hierarchy, the wood surfaces are both support and image in these works.

J. Michael Ford (Chicago) uses metal piping to explore the vulnerability contained within desire. His works cite the body through expressive line that enacts a fluidity of form. Through polished surfaces and poetic collage, these sculptures delineate a metaphorical space while exploring the intricacies of human connection.

Claire Larkin Pope’s (Charlotte, NC) work explores the notion of ecstatic quietude and wonder as found in Nature during the present Age of the Anthropocene (our current epoch defined by humankind) and the evolution into the Posthuman. She has a background in wandering, wondering, collecting, making, destroying, and re-making.

Jake Ziemann’s (Los Angeles) practice is informed by notions of intimacy, co-dependency, and vulnerability. His work explores personal states of being through bodily shapes that conjoin ceramic sculpture with utilitarian support (stone, metal, leather). Ziemann’s sculptures are rooted in the process of building, and symbolize the labor involved in intricate human relationships.

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