Ask the Oracle
Friday, August 7th, 2015
Claire Arctander, Ann Gaziano, Annie Kielman, and AP Shrewsbury.
Often acting as a medium through whom truth is delivered and trusting their intuition, the artists in Ask the Oracle construct paintings, sculptures, performances, and videos that address belief in non-conforming spirituality and result in work that is a process of creation through small yet endless epiphanies.
Using contemporary pop culture to discuss feminist identity and notions of wanting and revulsion, Claire Arctander will present work that addresses the gendered dynamics of magic. Though women were often the primary healers and magic practitioners in early American history, with the rise of institutionalized patriarchal medicine came the attempted ostracization and eradication of the same women, now labeled as witches. Artander’s sculptures, video, and performance challenge the stereotypical male magician, popularized at the turn of the twentieth century as a fast talking man in a top hat perpetuating a “nothing up my sleeve” trope.
Also utilizing cultural constructs, Ann Gaziano’s work addresses how the past is transformed by contemporary society. Focusing on the relationship between the body, furniture, and interior design, Gaziano instinctually assembles material and objects that revolve around familiar patterns and underlying systems, creating an experience that places the viewer in a mode of contemplation. Both the sculptural work, which is loosely based on a recognizable polka dot grid made of used baking pans, and the printed fabric contain distinct and identifiable references to domestic space and create connections to the familiar.
Annie Kielman uses manipulation as a basic language, creating artificial representations that manifest through process. By relinquishing control and trusting in the foundational elements of her medium, Kielman allows for perceptual readjustments through distortion. Held together by magnets, her three dimensional prints rely both literally and conceptually on tension and pressure to connect with their frames, inherently possessing the potential for movement.
Like a stenographer from an unknown land, AP Shrewsbury creates paintings and sculptures that reference traditional inscriptions, yet are unrecognizable. Familiar yet strange, Shrewbury’s work is heavily influenced by his transformative experiences with plant medicines under the direction of a Peruvian shaman. Using impulse and seemingly innate knowledge, Shrewsbury’s work searches for wisdom through experience, perhaps suggesting that only once inner joy, peace, and contentment is found, can one translate the text he has transcribed.
Claire Arctander earned a BA in Art Theory and Practice and Gender Studies from Northwestern University and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has taught art classes for UIC and the City Colleges of Chicago. In the past she has been a summer resident at The Cooper Union, Summer Forum, and ACRE. She heads to Ox-Bow this September for a Fall Artist Residency. Upcoming Shows (other than this one at Heaven) include herTrunk Show opening on July 25 and a one-person show at The Nightingale in the fall.
Ann Gaziano was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2005, she graduated from the College of Santa Fe with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture and went on to receive her Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2010. Her work was most recently presented in Beyond the Selvage: A History of Screen-printing at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, PA and a solo exhibition at Generator in Albuquerque NM. She has been part of numerous group exhibitions including Into the Woods at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, representation by Launch Projects at Art Santa Fe, 2009 and Hair of The Dog at The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has also received residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, I-Park, and ACRE. She now lives and works in Chicago.
Annie Kielman is a Chicago based artist who’s multi-media work focuses on reconstructed impressions through manipulations of process, material, and language. Annie received her MFA in Printmedia from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. She currently teaches at Harold Washington College, Co-runs the Design and Fabrication Collaborative VimFete, and is finalizing the building of a Print shop and shared artist space in Pilsen (name TBD upon unlikely agreement of all members). Annie has exhibited widely in Chicago and throughout the US.
AP Shrewsbury was born in Mississippi in 1984. Shrewsbury primarily creates works in the mediums of painting and sculpture. Themes center on the act of perception itself, the transcendent human experience and quasi-multidimensional letterforms. A self taught artist, he has recently had work included in group shows at Castor Gallery in Manhattan, FireCat Projects in Chicago and Minotaur Projects in LA. His work is in private collections worldwide. He Lives and works in the Ann Arbor, MI area.