Black Thorns in the White Cube is a group show that presents work by eight contemporary artists influenced by the “mystic obscurity” of Black Metal music. The exhibitors “explore haunted Germanic forests, descents into the void, visual translations of sonic experiences, ontologies of Black Metal band logos, and barren western landscapes.” Curator Amelia Ishmael is a Black Metal scholar – a mix of curator, art historian, and artist who specializes in the thorny intersections between Black Metal music and contemporary art. She is also the co-editor of Helvete, a journal of Black Metal Theory. The exhibition lands at the Chicago gallery space Western Exhibitions from Kansas City this Friday.
I stumbled across the work of Brian Guidry not so long ago. It was a quite pleasant experience as I am a fan of gorgeous geometric abstractions, shapely surfaces, elegant finishes, and lovely colors. See more after the jump.
Samantha Bittman makes good-looking opstractions. They are painted on handwoven textiles, which adds a nice ripply surface to go with the hand painted lines. If you focus and un-focus your eyes they get even better.
Chris Kerr uses the fantasy aesthetic of wizards, unicorns, beer cans, and psychedelic swirls; but in his best work Kerr adds a disorienting dose of reality. In the process creating what philosophers might describe as a parallax view. Kant referred to this sort of arrangement of irreconcilable ideas as antimony, the purpose of which is to create a “decisive experiment, which must necessarily expose any error lying hidden in the assumption of reason.” In Kerr’s work, where we see both the hip iconography and reality, something starts to skew inside our heads. It’s a message written in two languages which you already know how to read, but it takes a long time to read them together.
Ted Gahl is making some beautifully paired down paintings. They are amazingly suggestive for the minuscule amount of information they present. The painting above feels, to me, like portraits in profile, but is it really? I’ve never seen a facelike these pink hieroglyphs. It’s interesting what a painting can make you think you see, and with just a few clues. Gahl is in a bunch of upcoming shows: The Power Of Selection 3, curated by Ryan Travis Christian at Western Exhibitions, in Chicago; 2020 at the Above Second Gallery, in Hong Kong; and Color Me Bad(d): Joshua Abelow, Ted Gahl, and Hugh Scott Douglas at Nudashank in Baltimore.
Slept on artist- extraordinaire and all around good guy, Ben Stone, just broke out his 3rd solo show here in Chicago @ Western Exhibitions. Full of ambition and humor, these new sculptures are NOT meant to be missed. More after the jump…
I apologize for shameful self-promotion, but I really couldn’t help myself. Here are some shots from The Power of Selection Part 2, the second installment in my 3 part conquest to bring work to Chicago that otherwise doesn’t get shown here. Check it out!