Kristian Alanson Bruce,  Eagles, Pigeons, Parrots,    2018, Oil on Linen, 64 x 51 in / Image Courtesy of the Artist

Kristian Alanson Bruce, Eagles, Pigeons, Parrots, 

2018, Oil on Linen, 64 x 51 in / Image Courtesy of the Artist

Like One Speaks to the Stone

Curated by Jeffly Gabriela Molina

September 29 – November 3, 2018

Stuart & Co Gallery, 2250 W Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60612




Artists featured in this exhibition:

Sarah Mildred Crow, Leander Knust, Salvador Dominguez, Yani Aviles, Nasim Hantehzadeh, Kristian Alanson Bruce, Dan Rizzo-Orr




A letter from the curator:

"A few months ago I came across a poem titled Radix, Matrix by Paul Celan. The poem puzzled me, and it was this poem’s first line, as translated by Pierre Joris, that set off the idea for this exhibition: “Like one speaks to the stone, like / you, / to me from the abyss, from a homeland hereward, dis- / sister, hereward / thrown one, you…” and the poem goes on. This is one of Celan’s later poems where the relationship between the words he chooses (or that choose him) and the world they describe expands in the exercise of reading and rereading the poem. But, I do not want to loose you, and this letter won’t do justice to so excellent a poet and his work. I want to say that I chose this title because I found in ‘like one speaks to the stone’ a beautiful metaphor that describes an impossible or imaginary conversation, one that is still attempted, or it describes a conversation that is ultimately performed with oneself. Today, an artist may find such a conversation an exercise of isolation and connection with a world that relentlessly overwhelms what could be an individual's’ particular frame of reference: a culture, history, language, or daily life.

As I began to reach out to the artists in this exhibition, it was my task to find where their conversations overlap. Nasim Hantehzadeh’s drawings are a recording of daily intuitions that deal specifically with the conditions imposed upon the body by social, political, or religious structures. Yani Aviles’s work comes as healing gestures in the form of material processes and multi-sensory poetry aimed to amplify our body’s physical and emotional awareness and its ability to transform, or be transformed. Dan Rizzo-Orr is a kind of mystic, not unlike Yani, but Dan’s work delves into the field of symbolism and figuration; his paintings intensify the body’s relationship to illusory experiences, to dreams, love, and sexuality. Kristian Bruce is also a painter whose images are not rational or sensible, but his emphasis on montage over narrative sets up an unsettling arrangement that in its repose, evokes a preoccupation with temporality and calamity. In Sarah Crow’s paintings, there is also a blend of stillness and intensity; the intimate scale of the subjects represented and their isolated state compels and teases one to come closer, to find that they speak of a desire that only manifests itself in moments of profound solitude. Leander Knust creates sculptures that blur the definitions of nature and artifact; he gives lifelike qualities to objects that are physically inert. In a way, he forces materials to abandon their own genealogy and to transform themselves into something other, into something beautiful and seemingly alive. Salvador Dominguez is both a painter and a sculptor whose work represents a commingling of poetry, identity, and labor. He uses traditional blue-collar practices such as tiling, to create objects and paintings that translate his experience as a first generation immigrant into gestures that recognize the unrecognized.

These intense, beautiful, and strange conversations have inspired me to bring these artists together. The drawings, paintings, sculptures, and conceptual gestures selected for this exhibition address the body, in its physical, psychological, and emotional relation to time, growth and decay, beauty, sexuality, and labor.

I want to thank the artists for accepting my invitation and engaging in this project, Christopher Stuart, of Stuart and Co., for being so excellent at encouraging, facilitating, and hosting this exhibition, and thank you, in advance, for making the time to visit us."

In the Company of Flowers

Kruger Gallery, Chicago, IL, December 1, 2016 – January 14, 2017

Bringing together nine early-career Chicago artists, In the Company of Flowers presents paintings and sculptural works that explore themes of memory, sensuality and everyday experience. The artists’ diverse practices are connected by attempts to evoke or embody ephemeral phenomena, as well as a focus upon nature, the body, and the affective power of everyday objects. Amongst these forms and images, moments of poetry, fragility, permanence and possibility emerge.

A letter from the curator:

“I was left alone there in the company of orchids, roses and violets, which, like people waiting beside you who do not know you, preserved a silence which their individuality as living things made all the more striking, . . .” Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time, Vol II

This fall I spent, sitting by a window, reading and reviewing essays on walking — walking as methodology, walking as a way to index the infinite ways in which the world manifests — and something in the text reminded me of this passage about orchids, roses and violets. I had been thinking for days on end about the artists I invited to participate in this exhibition, about their work. I was waiting for an inspiration to verbalize the unconscious similarities I had thought were inherent in their practices in order to justify a desire to have each and every one of them be a part of this exhibition, and so it came.

The works comprising this exhibition, in their singularity and unsuspected togetherness, present to us an accumulation of personal histories; a series of imaginative incidents that were carefully composed and deliberately crafted. Through a variety of materials and mediums, the participating artists translate the permanence and impermanence of a memory, of a sentiment, of a moment of vulnerability or blooming sensuality. I welcome you to walk through a space where to index is to experience a nomadic journey across gestures—forms that focus on the possibility contained within the ephemeral and concrete. I invite the audience to find and lose themselves in a space filled with living things."


Artists featured in this exhibition: 

Jaclyn Mednicov, Michael Ford, Kayla Risko, Kristian Bruce, Sarah Crow, Yani Aviles, Asli Ozdoyuran,  Leander Knust, Ana Segovia

Yes, You're In Heaven

824 N Rush St, Chicago, IL, May 22 – June 12, 2014

Yes, you’re in heaven presents a refreshing collection of new works from emerging Chicago-based artists. The paintings, sculptures, and installations comprising this exhibition explore the intersec­tion of creative process, self-awareness, and personal narrative. The participating artists, recent graduates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, introduce a multifaceted critical dialogue, transforming materials and ideas into precious compositions that reflect experiences specific to this social and historical moment. This exhibition confidently straddles the fence between stability and flux; the art exists in the limbic space between perfection and play, structure and chaos, precious and disposable, the surreal and the hyper-real. Yes, you’re in heaven presents a selected a body of work that engages seductively; the work is witty, enticing, and shamelessly attractive. It visually investigates our situation as we grapple with a culture of increasing immediacy and rapid change. Curated by Sara Van De Walle and Jeffly Gabriela Molina.

Artists featured in this exhibition:

Jeffly Gabriela Molina, Jason Guo, McKenzie Thompson, Margaret Bobo-Dancey, Mika Horibuchi, Brendan Luchik, Lesley Jackson