Friday, October 21, 2016 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
We Have a Back Room With Other Things
Mel Cook and Megan Stroech address the conceptual space of the conventional through a combination of images, objects and replications. Taking a skewed glance at domesticity and the production of place, their collaboration makes various gestures towards a generalization of home that is at once political, satirical, man-made and personal.
Both artists make work that is most comfortable communicating indirectly. Megan Stroech’s irreverent approach to material and the appropriation of luxury puts her work both at odds with authenticity and squarely embedded in it. By straddling humor and earnestness, the real and the fake, and the original and the reproduced, she initiates a conversation between high and low culture that invites the viewer to have the last say. Like Stroech’s sculptural compositions and installations, Mel Cook’s paintings disrupt traditional models of space. Cook’s work is often evasive, gesturing loosely towards the political of the everyday and the construct of place-making, while embracing the way images often fail in their attempts to articulate. Permanence collapses into suggestion, and desire for the represented object quickly switches to ambivalence.
If both artists’ work moves towards a translation of home, it is one mediated.
Mel Cook is a visual artist currently living and working in Chicago, Illinois. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio in 2009 and attended Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois where she received her Master of Fine Arts in Painting in 2012. She has previously taught at Illinois State University and Illinois Central College. She currently teaches at Marwen in Chicago, Illinois. Her work has been featured in Art in Print, Studio Visit magazine, and most recently in New American Paintings, Midwest ed. No 125. This year she was a participant in The Center Program at Hyde Park Art Center and a resident at Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Most recently her work has been exhibited at The Hyde Park Art Center.
Megan Stroech is an artist living and working in Chicago, IL. Stroech received her MFA in Printmaking with Exceptional Merit from Illinois State University in 2012, and her BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Stroech was a recent artist in residence at the Wassaic Project (Wassaic, NY) and has completed artist residencies at Chicago Artist Coalition’s HATCH Projects (Chicago, IL) and ACRE (Steuben, WI). Stroech has been a featured artist in the contemporary art publications: Artforum, Hyperallergic, LVL3 Media, and New American Paintings. Some recent exhibitions include: Ortega Y Gasset Projects (Brooklyn, NY), PULSE Contemporary Art Fair (Miami Beach, FL), Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (Austin, TX), Fernwey (Chicago, IL), ROCKELMANN& (Berlin, Germany), The SUB-MISSION (Chicago), and Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Snowmass, CO), where she was an artist-in- residence in 2012
Friday, October 21, 2016 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Nothing Twice Opens October 21
Heaven Gallery is pleased to present Nothing Twice, a two-person show featuring two Chicago based artists, Magda Dudziak and Annette Hur.
Dudziak’s practice explore topics of displacement, memory, intimacy and relationships. Through abstraction and process of deconstruction/reconstruction she is interested to interpret familiar places that over time get altered and reimagined and to question how physical and psychological experiences of displacement effect and reshape a sense of one’s identity.
Hur’s practice lies in narrative potential in relation to history of forgotten struggles of the face in different cultures and our mind reading ability. Hur navigates shifting identities - cultural and social - as to from long history of decolonization of her own country to direct observation of present moments. Borrowing and elaborating the space of our most revealing part: face, she creates images that plays dichotomy between rendering the surface of the face and the interiority of it to open the meaning to certain culture or history of individuals. Serial attitude as the act of keep recording those freeze faces with flux and transforming them into infinite spaces let viewers fill in the ambiguity and completes the narrative.
Magda Dudziak is an artist born in Poland. Dudziak holds BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied in Painting and Drawing Department. She is a recipient of Edward L. Ryerson Fellowship and is currently a MFA Candidate at the University of Illinois in Studio Arts. Dudziak work has been exhibited at Hokin Gallery, Woman Made, Beverly Arts Center, Artis’t Run The Satellite Show in Miami, and Woskob Family among others. Dudziak currently lives and works in Chicago.
Annette Hur is originally from Korea, and has been living and working in Chicago since 2013. Her practice lies in narrative potential in relation to history of forgotten struggles of the face in different cultures and our mind reading ability. Hur navigates shifting identities - cultural and social - as to from long history of decolonization of her own country to direct observation of present moments. Borrowing and elaborating the space of our most revealing part: face, she creates images that plays dichotomy between rendering the surface of the face and the interiority of it to open the meaning to certain culture or history of individuals. Serial attitude as the act of keep recording those freeze faces with flux and transforming them into infinite spaces let viewers fill in the ambiguity and completes the narrative.
Hur is currently a resident at Chicago Artists Coalition BOLT residency, and she has exhibited at Gallery X, Zhou B Art Center in Chicago and Mist gallery among others. Hur holds BA(education) from Ewha Womans University in South Korea, and BFA(painting and drawing) from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Friday, September 2, 2016 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Everything Must Go! Opens Septmber 2
Wicker Park says goodbye to its colorful history from the Lumpen Buddy days, to the Around the Coyote art fair and now the Double Door. Everything Must Go! reflects the selling of our neighborhood and with it our art and culture. This new wave of corporate colonization is being felt all over the city with Google’s tech boom in the West loop, displacing artists and galleries.
Historically Wicker Park was home to artists. By the late 70’s artists that were gentrified out of Old Town and Lincoln Park began settling there in large numbers. As more artists came they began to transform loft space into livable studios, storefronts became galleries, music venues, coffee shops, and bars. Roberto Lopez a native and long time superintendent of the Flat Iron Building said “Wicker Park wasn’t just a place, it was a state of mind.” At it’s peak was Around the Coyote that began in September of 1990, this art fair changed the cultural landscape by drawing tens of thousands of visitors--and hundreds of thousands of dollars--to the community. A victim of its own success, this new bohemia attracted economic investment. The neighborhood feared yuppies and "Lincoln Parkization." They recalled how the visual arts industry created a real estate boom on Manhattan's lower east side, that ended in the Tompkins Square anti-gentrification uprising of 1988. The community feared that Wicker Park’s unique ethnic and artistic diversity was at risk and that its growing popularity would lead to their displacement. “Anytime a community is discovered, the indigenous population is forced out and the new colonizers reap the benefits.” Theories of gentrification indicate that capital follows culture and identify artists as the main agents for gentrifying working class neighborhoods. Whatever pandered to the "commodification of the artist's lifestyle in the service of a real estate market" was fair game for protest wrote the Lumpen Times in the mid 90’s. Back then anti-gentrification groups and radical neighborhood activists printed flyers and used guerrilla tactics. They sabotaged businesses by gluing their doors shut, breaking windows, and spray painting “The Natives Are Restless” and "Gentrafux". Many people fought to keep the neighborhood but as time went on one by one they all left. The nail in the coffin came in 2012 when Wicker Park was featured by Forbes as one of the 5 hippest neighborhoods in the U.S.
Everything Must Go! speaks of the loss of authenticity and to a new era of political passiveness where people are carried by the wave. Over the past 15 years many artist and independent businesses have been priced out of Wicker Park. Heaven gallery that was established in 1998 in the Flat Iron building and in its current location for the past 16 years is one of the last stands that reflect the spirit of the old neighborhood.
Claire Molek and Heaven Gallery invite galleries and curators to rummage through works they have on hand, as a celebration of unique producers, and recalls the collective histories and togetherness of artist neighborhoods and street art fairs. Intersecting the boundaries between a clearance sale and an art fair, the exhibition further explores the magic of unknowable context, and what it means to encourage practice over product, or product over practice.
Galleries include Chicago Artists Coalition featuring work by Jaclyn Jacunski, Amina Ross, Sanaz Sohrabi, and curated by Teresa Silva; , The Franklin, featuring work by EC Brown, Jeremy Foy, Diana Gabriel, Jessica Harvey, Daniel Hojnacki, Kelly Reaves, James Jankowiak, Catie Olsen, Nicole Lane, Melissa Oresky, Victoria Martinez, Michael Rea, E. Aaron Ross, Luis Sahagun, Christopher Smith, Dan Sullivan and Edra Soto; Heaven Gallery, featuring work by Sarah and Joseph Belknap, Morgan Sims, Sarah Mosk, Annie Kielman, Soo Shin, Jessica Caponigro, Marissa Lee Benedict, Ilan Gutin, Lesley Jackson, and Arianna Petrich; , LVL3 featuring work from Allison Wade, Frances Roberts, Josh Reames, Paul Kenneth, Guy Conners, Matt Nichols, Marianne Wehr, Kate Bonner, Michael Rocco Ruglio-Misurell; ,Woman Made Gallery, featuring work by Maira Egan, Juliet Eldred, Olivia Rogers, Renee Robbins, Tiffany Funk ,Sarai Redmond, Yevette Mayorga, Alessandra Hickman, Tonia Hughes, Michael Zhang, Lisa Vinebaum, Martha Morimoto, Vivian Le, Michelle Miller, and Annie Grossinger; ,Boyfriends Gallery featuring work by Kiam Marcelo Junio; ,Fernwey Gallery editioned prints and multiples and Co-Prosperity Sphere prints and books.
Curators include Claire Molek, featuring work by Ariel Baldwin, Banrei, Marcelo Eli, Julia Haw, Lindsey Liss, Stephanie Burke, Kira Scerbin, Lucy Ellerton, Steven Vainberg, and Xiao Tse Janice Bond, featuring work by David Anthony Geary, Una Delic, Sonja Henderseon, Zakkiyyah Naieebah, Martha Wade and Reisha.
Friday, July 15, 2016 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
EXILE INSIDE OUT
Exile Inside Out is a group exhibition that brings together artists Soheila Azadi, Grace Cross, Sherwin Ovid, Soo Hyun Kim and Roni Packer to investigate the insurgent nature of the domestic sphere, which localizes the global. As immigrants to the United States we all inhabit the interstitial space between what is homely and what is (un-homely) uncanny. The home is an assumed incubator of gender roles, a space of security, and a site of insurrectionary praxis. The security that protects some citizens, is the same mechanism that misconstrues foreign bodies. Our show interrogates our permeable exilic existence governed by the insecurity of the benevolent nation-state. This show strives to bridge our space of belonging that breaches the borders of our twin homes both physically and ideologically.
The symbols and memories of the kitchen table, the families silverware, mother’s knitting, and the family photo-wall, make shifting recipes for artworks embedded in cross-spatial borders. From the ideological knitting with the slogan #madeiniran, that covers Azadi’s exercise balls, to Packer’s lush plate paintings that recreate her sister’s family meals cooked back in Israel; the artists in this show investigate the familiar in an unfamiliar guise. The material choices of each artist transgresses conventional artistic-material borders; like Ovid’s use of unruly, liquid resin and glue to create his poured paintings or Cross’s corporeal mixed-media, felted paintings, or Kim’s depiction of ephemeral dwelling material in his native Korean shanty town caught through the camera lens.
Ovid’s material curiosity is forged into visual composites of Trinidadian parlor interiors, delftware, and depression. His plethora of objects found in domestic spaces of leisure are painted as symbolic references of class and race. Trans-
Packer’s visceral paintings transport the viewer to a different location, into a space of nostalgia. Her reconstructed home meals, made of oil and panel, pivot the hyper local specificity of food to a public ingestion of longing. Packer’s work deals with the transmigration of images through the web, where locations and experiences can be shared in an instant. The substrate of paint and the charged content of exile cannot be separated because of their symbolic nature.
Exile Inside Out unearths the day to day living of the disenfranchised. The show grapples with physical and psychic struggle, with intimacy and desire for life between all of us, not settling for freedom even in the most private aspects of our lives. Kim’s visceral photographs document his mother’s makeshift home in Guryong Village, Korea, juxtaposed with photographs of his nuclear families urban Chicago living. His photographs collapse intimate moments of everyday life with the coarse urban milieu of city space, to emphasize the unspoken contradictions of places shaped by neo-liberal economic policy, and to reveal the private relationships of the home.
Azadi, a similarly displaced body, creates performative installations of potent social interactions, to investigate the separations embedded in Iranian and American society. She is a dedicated transnational feminist invested in granular political action that calls out gender and race inequality through interactive, spatial interventions that carve out space for dialogue.
The images throughout each artist’s practice, coalescing in the show, are talismans for a deep history, bringing transformative cultural wisdoms and materials that erode, uncover, excavate and perforate boundaries of the ‘homeland’. The foreigner lives within us: she is the hidden face of our identity, the space that wrecks our abode, the time in which understanding and affinity founder.
Friday, July 15, 2016 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Lesley Jackson and Matt Mancini
The city of Amarillo, also known as “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” was originally named after the wildflowers that grew in bounty along the countryside. The flowers flirted with the water in Amarillo Lake, turning the soil a cool yellow. Decades later, those open plains grew few and far between and a new nickname developed. Now known as “Bomb City,” Amarillo is home to the largest nuclear weapons assembly plant in the country.
A place romanticized in old country ballads, where all the cowboys longed to be, Amarillo is just like any other paradise, riddled with contradictions, unfulfilled promises, and much too hot to stand still.
Like a cowboy moving towards the sun, we too are profoundly restless, trying to escape wherever it is we find ourselves. We move around, never quite present, or we stay where we are and dream up what’s missing. We look to the past, back to the open plains, when the present seems too frightening.
So if paradise is eternally elsewhere, what are we supposed to do while we’re here?
Lesley Jackson is an artist living and working in Chicago. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in 2013. Recently her work has been shown at Cornerstore Gallery, Born Nude Gallery (solo), and Nada New York with SPF15 Exhibitions. Forthcoming projects include a show at Efrain Lopez Gallery in December, and a solo exhibition with 4th Ward Projects in the Spring of 2017.
Matt Mancini was born in Philadelphia, PA. He currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. He recently completed his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014 and holds a BFA from Rutgers University. Forthcoming projects include a show at Julius Caesar. He has recently shown at Little Berlin in Philadelphia, Fernway Gallery, LVL3, Ballroom Projects, and Roots and Culture in Chicago.
Friday, June 24, 2016 - 7:00pm to Saturday, June 25, 2016 - 1:00am
Feeling nervous about the robot apocalypse? Is Ray Kurzweil's singularity nearer than we think?
Heaven Gallery celebrates 16 years with ROBOPOCALYPSE, the machine uprising party. Welcome to the future where the acceleration of technology causes an intelligence explosion, creating a new superintellengence that surpasses humans and Google robots take over the world.
The evening will feature a silent art auction and AI dance party, where you can dance your robotic fears away to the soulful beats of Ayana Contreras host/producer of Reclaimed Soul, on Vocalo.org (WBEZ), Jesse Andwich from Danny’s Nightmoves and Cordell Johnson & James Vincent (JV) Excursions House Music.
*Futuristic Attire Suggested*
Auction work by:
(Auction ends at 10pm)
Special thanks to Urban Belly, Big Star, Handlebar, Garfield's Beverage, Revolution Brewing, Perrier and Starbucks for donating to our event.
Friday, May 13, 2016 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Fanfare for the Times II New work by Lauren Edwards and Eric Watts
Opening Reception: May 13, 7-11PM
Fanfare for the Times
(a horn sounds)
"Narrators oversee - observe, approve, reject - a deja vu formed in new terms.
I, Narrator, having not seen the sun, the wind, the rain, nor the dust, am trying to embrace this way. The official looking thing, promising an exit (or an entrance) waves its sexy little body; just out of reach.
According to my calculations, the room I am looking for should be on the second floor. Walking the length of it and coming back, the corridor seems to have no way out. As I return to my point of departure, I set out again, this time slowing my pace, sticking close to the wall and following its scars with my fingers. This second attempt is no more successful than the first. However, since my first inspection, I noticed a door, covered with thick curtains, above which was written in crudely traced letters: Hello!"
In Fanfare for the Times, Lauren Edwards and Eric Watts use multiple sites of projection and architectural intervention to question distinctions between the real, the psychological, and the hypothetical.
LAUREN EDWARDS uses various strategies including installation, projection, and sculpture to create framing devices which question the relationships between experience, perception, and representation. She has exhibited in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. A recent recipient of the Provost Award for Graduate Research, Edwards will be attending the Institut für Alles Mögliche residency this summer in Berlin. She received her BS in Psychology from Northeastern University in 2004.
ERIC WATTS is a Chicago based artist working in moving image and installation. He received his MFA from the University of Chicago , and his BFA from The School of Visual Arts. In 2014 Watts was a resident artist for Winterjourney at The Banff Centre, Banff, AB and at The Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC) in Dawson, YT.
1550 North Milwaukee 2nd Floor, Chicago, IL 60622
Friday, January 29, 2016 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
What is the Message
Works by: Deborah Boardman, Howard Fonda, Jackie Kazarian, Sabina Ott, Diane Christiansen, Ryan Richey, Jin Lee, Jeroen Nelemens, Ellen Rothenberg, Dianna Frid, Laurie Palmer, Paola Cabal, Jackie Kazarian, Wendy Mason, Edra Soto, Barbara Koenan and Dan Sullivan
Year-by-year, Boardman (1958 - 2015) recorded her experiences in drawings and journals, exploring the dimensions of the artist’s daily life and dream life through depictions of her studio, family, friends and introspective free writing. Painted blue text on the last page in her notebook dated August 2015 sums it up powerfully: “What is the message – How can I share it with others?”
A collective survey of the work of Deborah Boardman as chosen by other artists, this exhibition will consider her career through a selection of works specifically assembled for the Heaven Gallery spaces. Featuring her work alongside that of her friends and peers, It is an important first consideration of Boardman’s work to date, and through it, we can only begin to understand the genesis of her creativity over three decades.
The crux of the exhibition is that it locates her work within her broader milieu as she defined it prior to her passing. How does an artists’ work emerge from the social fabric that is an art community? Perhaps this constellation of works will reveal some ways that her artistic goals, values and ideas were punctuated and shaped by those in her orbit; and in turn we will begin to map the ways that she was a catalyst in the creative production of others. Through artwork, we will visualize a community.
In a career spanning nearly 30 years, artist Deborah Boardman developed bodies of work across painting and drawing, installation, writing, environmental sustainability projects and sound/video. An educator, she influenced hundreds of artists, some of whom became her collaborators. Through it all, she has become especially known for her singular approach to color and pattern as a vehicle for emotional content and narrative potential, as well a uniquely gestural approach to mark making and hand lettering. As critic Lori Waxman wrote, her recent work has grappled with the unseen and ineffable, articulating “what life looks like in that gracious limbo between life and death.”
Friday, December 11, 2015 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Work By: Assaf Evron, Robert Burnier, Sarah Mosk, Josue Pellot, Todd Mattei, Ron Ewert, Vae Lee, Christopher Ottinger, Sarah and Joseph Belknap, Kevin Buzzell and Jason Knight
Many towns in American have what is known as a “Dead Man’s Curve” —a fatal stretch of bent road. These perilous trajectories can also be wildly thrilling. “You won’t come back from Dead Man’s Curve,” warns the chorus of a 1960’s drag racing song by Jan and Dean. The saying “live fast and die young and leave a good looking corpse” became a part of pop culture through the film Knock at Any Door (1949). Similar expression can be found in the works of Nietzsche who believed in deliberately living dangerously and dying young.
No one embodied this archetype better than James Dean. A month after his infamous car crash his film Rebel Without a Cause opened to packed theaters. After only three films Dean became a symbol for rebellion and narcissism. Andy Warhol said it best: “He’s not our hero because he was perfect, but because he perfectly represented the damaged, but beautiful soul of his time.” In music this theme appears both in rock & roll and in hip hop. Rappers are immortalized for dying early and being gangster. Rockers, like Morison, Joplin, and Cobain, became part of the “27 Club” for the age they died at; mostly from drugs.
Risk taking and narcissism have become synonymous with the new YOLO (You Only Live Once) mentality. Climate change has produced apocalyptic pop and has fully revived the nihilistic “live fast, die young” mantra. The message is that we should party cause the world is going to end anyway. YOLO can be seen as a more hedonistic version of “carpe diem”, which is Latin for “pluck the day as it is ripe”. This philosophy goes back to ancient Greece where people never had the notion of a “human being”, but rather of “mortals and immortals”. If you dig deep enough you can find this mindset as early as 6th century B.C. in the teachings of Lao Tzu. “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.”
60 years after James Dean’s death his crash site remains an altar littered with cigarettes, beers, and bras. Dead Man’s Curve is a metaphor for living in reckless abandon. This glamorized death show investigates what it means to live dangerously, to tempt fate, and to die beautiful.
Friday, October 23, 2015 - 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Everyone knows and everyone knows that everyone knows and everyone knows that everyone knows that everyone knows and so on.
Anaïs Daly executes an adept kind of continuity drift, one in which what we know and what we are given to know at the beginning is unclear at the end. In a series of mixed media paintings she provides the substrate for formal language, with meaning grounded in symbols drawn from the history of painting. Anaïs builds upon this base with an inquisitive structure that puts those foundational symbols together in a manner that causes their meaning to begin to unravel, making it difficult for each to contain its full sense and context. Anaïs picks apart syntax by pulling together a web of fragmented representations; the body, the land, the hand, the beast, the column. What is formally familiar in these works acts to obfuscate meaning, which has been manipulated by Anaïs in the process of developing a method for using language to do more than describe the world. Under her direction description is agile and compositions comprised of many parts confront the limitations of ever becoming a whole.
Andrew Barco begins with a misunderstanding, and moves forward from the site of the error without attempting to resolve what has been misunderstood. Drawing from common knowledge and operating as an authority through the use of academic voice, Barco takes advantage of the conceptual disorder instigated by a polysemantic relationship. From this point he constructs objects in response to a world defined by an unstable history and fortified by his misinterpretation. In this instance two mechanical objects that exemplify the word drone become one—a Predator Drone and a Hurdy-gurdy. The resultant machine is a drone that drones. Barco uses the structure of a Predator drone, the design and purpose of which is remote operation that allows distance between the user and the execution of actual violence. Inside this structure is the mechanism of a Hurdy-gurdy, an instrument that requires the expertise of a present operator to make an ancient sound. This object created from his misinterpretation gives an opportunity to consider the history and application of both objects on a new scale.
Anaïs Daly is an artist, mother and teacher living and working in Chicago. She is a recent recipient of a teaching fellowship at the University of Chicago, A 7 week residency at the Banff Centre and a residency at Acre, Chicago. Her work has or will appeared at Heaven, Chicago, IL, The Hills Esthetic Center, Chicago, IL, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Canada, The Chicago Exposition 2014, The Logan Center for the Arts, Chicago, IL, Dova Temporary, Chicago, IL, Johalla Projects, Chicago, IL among other Chicago locations. Her work has also shown nationally in multiple venues in New York, Miami, Boston, and Atlanta.
Andrew Barco is an object, installation and performance maker based in Chicago, Illinois. His work is concerned with the often strange and improbable ways ideas and habits can be transmitted across cultural landscapes and through time. With an MFA in sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Andrew’s work uses craft and industrial histories, quirky and edgy relational gestures, and philosophical inquiry to create affective and thoughtful encounters. His work has been featured in group exhibitions in Durham NC, Baltimore MD, Hartford, CT, and Chicago, IL, New Orleans, LA. Solo exhibitions include: “Imminence: A Life” at Threewalls, in Chicago, IL (2014), “Oblique Negotiations” at the Fivesevendell Project Space in Boston, MA (2010) and “Passion for the Real” at West Village and “Sonnets to Orpheous” at Transom Gallery in Durham, NC (2007).
Kate Bowen is an artist, curator, and teacher living and working in Chicago. She is the Video Programming Coordinator at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and Exhibitions Director for ACRE. She is a lecturer at the Illinois Institute of Art and a Teaching Artist with Picture Me and After School Matters. She received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago in 2011.
ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions) is a volunteer-run non-profit based in Chicago devoted to employing various systems of support for emerging artists and to creating a generative community of cultural producers. ACRE investigates and institutes models designed to help artists develop, present, and discuss their practices by providing forums for idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.