The Aesthetics of War and Reconciliation
co-curated by Professors Bettina Spencer and Krista Hoefle
January 28-February 25, 2011
Artist Reception: Friday, February 4th from 5-7pm
Moreau Center for the Arts
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, IN

“This exhibition is a contemporary examination of the aesthetics of war and reconciliation and it came about out of a shared interest in politically-based artworks that utilize different strategies of representation. The viewer can draw her or his interpretation of modern warfare from fragmented/open ended images. The exhibition and related programming investigates how artists and scholars translate traumatic events as much as it is about the events themselves.”

Featuring artworks in a wide variety of medias by:

Shannon Benine
Donald Cameron
Joseph DeLappe
Paul Kuharic
Dan Mills
Dorothy Schultz
Susanne Slavick
Mary Strebinger

Matt Siber

01.20.11

Matt Siber
Opening: Friday, January 21, 2011, 7-11pm
Johalla Projects
1561 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago / Illinois

Johalla Projects, in conjunction with the ACRE residency program, is excited to present new and unexhibited photographs, videos and three dimensional objects by Matt Siber. Known for his Untitled Project and Floating Logos, he is continuing his exploration of commercial signage, underscoring how it infiltrates environments, subliminally penetrating psyches with simulacra that both mirrors our culture and delivers transparent messages. His recent project Pulse meditates on the relationship between the camera’s gaze and the automated sign. Giving way to chance, Siber records what he refers to as “urban rhythms” with film and video in various locations in Spain, France and China. This exhibition also marks Siber’s first showing featuring sculpture; like his photographs, these conceptual works deconstruct the semiotics of advertising, branding and desire and, in the tradition of Minimalism, exist as objects of aesthetic pleasure.



Kerstin Honeit: Ambiguity is My Weapon
January 18 – March 12, 2011
Opening Reception January 19, 5-8pm

In her first solo US exhibition, Berlin-based Honeit presents photographic and video works exploring identity formation through the visible markers of familial legacy and gender construction. In assuming the identities of nine-half siblings she has never met, enacting four women’s accounts of their father’s funerals, and documenting women’s occupation of public space, Honeit considers the public and private borders of gender identification in flux.

Gallery 400
University of Illinois at Chicago
400 S. Peoria Street (MC 034)
Chicago, IL 60607

A Certain Ratio

01.04.11

Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center
1034 n Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
773-235-8874
hours: Thurs. & Fri 4p-7p, Sat 12p-6p

from RAC: In 1984 Frank Stella stated the following:
“I have no difficulty appreciating (and up to a point understanding) the great abstract painting of modernism’s past, the painting of Kandinsky, Malevich, and Mondrian, but I do have trouble with their dicta, their pleadings, their defense of abstraction. My feeling is that these reasons, these theoretical underpinnings of theosophy and anti- materialism have done abstract painting a kind of disservice…”

We have seen a return to abstraction in the past decade. And while, in our current moment, the entire canon of Modernism is readily available to rehash, remix, and reconfigure, there is a significant looking back to the very earliest abstractionists and their inquiries into the esoteric and mystical.

In the first few decades of the 20th century, artists such as Piet Mondrian, Frantisek Kupka, and Hilma Af Klimt were influenced by the studies of The Theosophical Society. Founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in 1875, the Society was a spiritual think tank that practiced comparative studies of science, philosophy, and religion. In their theological pursuits, the Society adopted a symbology that conflated glyphic motifs from across world religions- Western, Eastern,and antiquated. The painters mentioned above as well as early American abstractionists such as Marsden Hartley were engaged with these ideas of universal spirituality and visually borrowed from Theosophical symbology.

At the intersection of the mathematical sciences and religious study is the theory of Sacred Geometry. This idea of relating sacred meaning to mathematical proportions has historically been prescribed to design, art, music, and architecture. The idea traces back to Plato who stated that “God geometrizes continually”. The Golden Ratio is a number often encountered when taking the ratios of distances in simple geometric figures. This number has fascinated many of the great thinkers throughout history from Pythagoras to da Vinci and its proportions were employed to design some of the greatest architecture from the Parthenon to Le Courbusier. This irrational number occurs often in nature, which has lent to a recurring pre- occupation with its metaphysical significance. Sacred geometry and the golden ratio lend themselves to a Theosophical observation of the universe, conflating mathematical theory and nature-based spiritualism. Likewise, the geometric reduction of natural forms to convey a mystical order was employed by the early abstractionists.

The five artists in “A Certain Ratio” engage abstraction to investigate these classic philosophical inquiries. A reduction of form to symbolic or geometrical composition imparts their work with a depth of mystical pursuit. This is a dialectical approach to the position stated above by Mr. Stella, which expresses the dominate role of abstraction since Minimalism of a strict, materialistic formalism, emptied out of signs.