Monday, May 20, 2013
ARC's June exhibition features the work of Rudy Gonzalez.
May 29, 2013 through June 22, 2013
Join us for our Opening
Friday, May 31 from 6-9 pm
The Artwork of Rudy Gonzalez is a thoughtful balance of traditional graphic design fused with expressive influences of popular culture and graphite art. Gonzalez work can be more broadly categorized as collage, mixing acrylic painting techniques and imagery manipulated through print media. The imagery is often figurative, taken from a collection of printed resources and symbols, which provide a kind of narrative.
The narrative aspect of the work is situated around metaphor which allows the viewer freedom to engage the emotional and psychological interpretation of the work from various angles. The subjects might seem aggressive or confrontational, but Gonzalez’ work is more about questioning the power of imagery and how it can be manipulated in our media driven society.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Here's a link to AmSECC's review of Member Kina Bagovska's March exhibition at ARC:
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Intern’s April Exhibition Review
by Erin Ford
Since its inception nearly forty years ago, in 1973, ARC Gallery has remained a unique and diverse artistic space within the Chicago art world. Over the years, addresses have changed, but the gallery and educational foundation have remained true their mission by providing alternative exhibition opportunities for innovative artists. The current exhibition, Approaching 40, which debuted with an opening reception on April 6th, is both a reminder and celebration of almost four decades of this commitment, reflecting the past, present, and future of the gallery. As an open wall show, the collective body of work is the product of a varied pool of over 100 artists, from a breadth of ages, places, and walks of life. The success of the show lies in its ability, through its aesthetic framework, to freely guide viewers throughout the space in a manner of active viewing, thereby establishing a space for artistic inquiry and dialogue between the artwork-space-artist-beholder.
Dimension was the only eligibility restriction for artwork submission where no piece in the show may measure more than a total sum of forty inches in height, width, and depth. This made the show visually cohesive, with no work appearing out of scale or place. This is significant for such a large and diverse as exhibition. While the scale of the art in Approaching 40 provides a sense of visual continuity among work, it is the single greatest commonality throughout the exhibition, and a necessity given the aesthetic variability of other visual principles. Disregarding all other factors, and considering the number of pieces alone, a show of this size is essentially difficult to hang. Further, consider the number of different artists represented, and the visual variety implicit with hanging the work of over 100 different people.
Even among works of a given medium there are a multitude of variations, complicating the problem of developing a visual logic to the exhibition. Of the prints on display, techniques represented include: screenprinting, intaglio, solar plate etchings, cliché verre, monoprinting, giclee, digital printing, and gelatin-silver prints. Even if these works are to be considered of the same medium, unique processes render aesthetic differences. Furthermore, each artist has their own treatment of the media, so while some may work share the same medium, they each have individual styles. With each artist represented comes not only a mélange of means, but of genres, colors, expressions, and themes as well. While this makes for a richly diverse and visually interesting exhibition, it demands a visual organization that addresses both its striking diversity and its need for an ocular, salient logic.
Consequently, the aesthetic framework of Approaching 40 hinges on the hanging and layout of the exhibition. Immediately apparent upon entering the gallery, is the unusual placement of the hung work. The show is not installed in the traditional or standard method, with each work centered on a midline 58” from the floor, and is instead arranged in a clothesline style, with the top edge of the works at the same height. This method creates a clean line that travels throughout the gallery, flowing from one room to the next, and tying the pieces together along the way. The line formed by the top of the artwork, which winds its way through the space, works in conjunction with the even spacing between the works, establishing a sense of visual consistency that facilitates a comfortable experience of the exhibition. While the clothesline hanging is the most conspicuous decision made in installing the show, it is far from the only consideration made regarding the layout.
A cardinal aspect of a clothesline hanging is the inherent and inescapable irregularity of the baseline. While the top of the works remain fixed, anchored to an invisible horizon, the baseline is entirely dependent on the dimensions of the artwork. As the dimensions vary by piece, the bottom edge jumps along the wall, existing in opposition to the unwavering line formed by the top of the work. This creates a sense of dynamic shifting between the works, an elegant sort of staccato effect that reinforces the rhythm of the show, while amplifying the sense of continuum established by the constant linearity of the top edge. This encourages the viewer to traverse the space of the gallery in a more active manner than other hanging methods.
Given the eclectic breadth of submissions for Approaching 40, other formal principles of the artwork exist equally important considerations for hanging. Beyond the spatial arrangement of work on the walls lie deliberations of how the visual properties of the art direct attention throughout the space and shape the aesthetic experience of the exhibition. Not only must the size of the work connect throughout the gallery, but also the colors, mediums (oil painting, photography, ceramics, mixed media, etc.), genres (portraiture, landscape, still life, etc.), and themes, which includes style and ideas (abstraction/naturalism, love/despair, a Sunday morning/a world war, etc.).
In the installation of Approaching 40, these concerns for layout and hanging have been masterfully addressed. The show has been arranged so that each wall features work in a variety of mediums, styles, and colors with no one area featuring considerably more photographs or encaustic panels than another. This is in part due to the clever physical layout of the walls in the gallery, which break the space into three areas, yet allow for and encourage movement throughout the entire space. The primary physical markers of walls and sculpture pedestals are arranged without creating any ‘dead space’, which is further avoided by the placement of the art in a manner that flows from any vantage point. No matter where a viewer stands in the exhibition, they are sure to see common threads woven throughout the space, even if they are not entirely conscious of them. Looking at a piece from anywhere in the gallery, another artwork of similar size, color, theme, material, or style is visible. This is what completes and perfects the aesthetic framework of Approaching 40, as the final set of considerations that guide viewer experience throughout the show. It is the final set of elements that underlie the audience’s aesthetic experience of the exhibition, and perhaps its greatest success.
Ultimately, the composite aesthetic framework of Approaching 40 operates by visually establishing a rhythm and flow that encourages viewers to freely move through the three areas of the gallery however they please. This guided freedom present in the seamless transitions throughout the installation creates a space for active perception, as viewers are more self-guided in their physical and intellectual interaction with the exhibition. Rather than pass passively from wall-to-wall, as an audience is wont to do when large exhibitions are divided into artist areas or genre groupings, Approaching 40 encourages active seeing and moving, as evidenced by the movement and interaction of people at the opening. The show piques viewers’ interest through subtly forcing them to solve a mental puzzle of finding likeness or difference between works, while encouraging movement throughout the space and demanding a more active consideration of the work. In this way, Approaching 40 creates a dialogue between the space, art, and viewers that is too often absent in today’s gallery exhibitions.
ARC features John Dempsey's solo exhibition "being there" this June.
|Glare #8: Ocqueoc 96" X 69" a/c paint 2011-2012 - from 'being there'|
John Dempsey will be exhibiting recent large-scale paintings along with smaller laser etched photos at ARC Gallery in an exhibition titled ‘being there’. Dempsey paints a variety of architectural and environmental spaces together into complex compositions that allow for comparison. Public, religious, governmental, work and natural environments are all brought together and formed into a variety of designs for the viewer to experience these many spaces all at once. Dempsey’s painted spaces attempt to give us a perspective on our perspectives. We all move through and negotiate many different environments as we work, pray, play and negotiate our lives. These paintings give us an opportunity to examine that actuality.
The exhibition opens on May 29th and runs through June 22nd with an opening reception on Friday, May 31st, 6-9 p.m.
You may see more of John Dempsey's work on his facebook profile at
You may see more of John Dempsey's work on his facebook profile at
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Intern's March Exhibition Review
By: Melissa Woolridge
The walls of the first exhibition space in ARC gallery are lined with twelve beautiful mixed media drawings by Kina Bagovaska. Her series is titled “Sacred and Erotic”, and the artwork certainly reflects this theme as all the drawings focus upon the organic female form. Kina also utilizes architectural arches that frame each figure, resembling the curves of a woman’s body. The entire series possesses a ritualistic and primitive feel that can be traced back to ancient Thracian figurines. Each of the works emanates its own spirituality and sacredness, while still retaining a sense of eroticism. By using simple, minimalist lines and natural materials Kina achieves the portrayal of ceremonial dancers, using their bodies to perform an empowering dance while echoing an archaic tradition.
Sacred and Erotic by Kina Bagovaska
The second exhibition space is occupied by Masha Keating’s colorful and powerful paintings that breathe with an abstract dynamic of organic and architectural forms. Using bright colors with defined and strong lines that contour throughout her paintings Keating connects each piece with grace and precision. Each artwork flows onto the next with poise and brilliance of pigment, even through different painting materials from oil to acrylic. A theme that is represented in many of her paintings is repetition and reflection. Particularly in her flower paintings such as “Tangle”, two large sunflowers intertwine petals among a mesh of small budding flowers against a background of blue sky. I very much enjoy the vibrancy of color in this piece as well as the mirroring aspect of composition that is also represented in the abstract painting of her exhibit.
Masha Keathing, Tangle, Oil on Linen
Walking into the last exhibition, it flowed very smoothly from Masha Keating’s paintings. The last space had a sense of abstract surrealism yet the works retained accessibility, as mixed-media collages of fishes overlaid with delicate colors, balanced the room. Barbara McIntyre’s collection of work titled, “The Fish Series”, gave the entire exhibition a comforting notion of childhood wonder and subtle yet intricate craft.
Barbara McIntyre, Dorado & Wahoo, Mixed Media on Panel
In conclusion, the three exhibitions as a whole were very successful. Each individual artist brought their own uniqueness to the gallery and was tied together by organic form while maintaining strong independence and originality. I very much enjoyed Bagovaska’s performative aspect as well as her embracing of erotic and natural figures in her drawings. Her pieces flowed well with Keating’s stunning paintings of abstract and floral forms, which also connected well to the colors and the dreamlike quality of McIntyre’s fish series.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
ARC Gallery's June show features the work of ARC member Amy Zucker.
May 29, 2013 through June 22, 2013
May 31, 2013
May 31, 2013
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
From Restraint(S) 2013
Restraint(S) is an investigation of the dichotomy of the word restraint; how they are used juxtaposed with the meaning that popular culture applies. While the viewer may be pulled in through curiosity, the reality of the struggle presents itself. This work originates from Zucker’s profession as a nurse. Experiences of intimacy that blur boundaries are familiar and can be in opposition to caregiving as society defines it. Through examination of the object, an opportunity to engage in the conversation is offered.
- Amy Zucker
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
ARC Gallery features the work of photographer and life-long Chicagoan Margaret Wright this May.
May 6, 2013 through May 25, 2013
May 4, 2013
4:00 to 7:00
|Graduation - Digital photograph and collage on archival media|
Margaret Wright's Almost Out The Door: Stories of Adolescence is a series of contemporary portraits which document and explore the intersection in an adolescent’s life between the world of their friends and the world of their families. "I have been collaborating with six adolescents to photograph them as they gather together in public and private places, with their intimate friends, family members, teachers and classmates," she says. "These photographs represent moments of exchange between individuals and groups - how these people created privacy or intimacy with their bodies and their gazes and the complex narrative that evolved over time as they connected and disconnected with each other."
The series is composed of digitally photographed and collaged panoramas printed on archival media in sizes ranging from 12” x 28” to 18” x 75", with some images reaching the length of 90". Wright describes the construction of her images in parallel with the flow of events in the lives of the young adults she documents. "My technical choices in constructing these images act as metaphors, which suggest my framing of a real moment in time. My manipulation of the picture making process and the picture plane - the changing point of focus, the shifting position, and the use of scale, distortion, ellipses and repetition - amplify the events that are going on in the scene just as we exaggerate and diminish events while they occur and, later, as we recreate them as narrative in our minds. Moreover, the individual frame seams within the larger constructed image, and their varying styles, are visual metaphors for the exchanges between individuals represented in the photograph. The elongated or extended form of these pictures provides a formal device for describing unfolding dramas that occur as time passes and for compressing the passage of time in a still image."
Wright's work in Almost Out the Door is partially funded by the Albert P. Weisman project completion grant.
You may see more of her photography and her collaborations with the collective Standard Usage Project, of which she is a founding member, on her website at http://www.margaretwright.org/. Look for her exploration of the urban community at Stella's Diner on Broadway during Chicago Artist's month this October.