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Lara Lepionka, Jennifer Talbot, Christine Tarkowski, Anne Wilson

Monday, February 14, 2000–Saturday, March 11, 2000

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Artists: Lara Lepionka, Jennifer Talbot, Christine Tarkowski, Anne Wilson

Lara Lepionka ’s public, community-based art acknowledges and celebrates the identities of service workers. Her project, Identifying Marks, and it’s accompanying project, Visible Links, were the result of a collaboration with a restaurant and its staff in which workers expressed themselves as individuals in the food service industry through imbuing place settings with their own ideas and opinions on the work they perform. Food service workers’ personal statements are engraved into flatware, etched into plates and glasses, and embroidered into napkins and then used by the restaurant in its daily operation.

Jennifer Talbot’s performance and video, Cherry Picker, was an investigation into necessary and prescribed activities of the human body: desire, appetite, consumption, nourishment, and depletion. A pristine white tablecloth fitted over twelve-foot table spills over onto the ground creating an image of a bride’s train, seemingly controlling and restricting the posture and manners of the performer. As the performer dined on the pile of cherries upon the surface of the cloth, first in rapid obsession and finally in utter exhaustion, an intrinsic relationship between the body and objects was established.

Christine Tarkowski ’s Cabin was both a physical presentation of a house, located within the confines of the gallery, and a photographic presentation of the shelter, documenting its virtual location within the urban landscape. Constructed from synthetic materials, similar to those used in the manufacture of tents and tarps, the form of the house approximated the dimensions and layout of the dwelling once inhabited by Theodore John Kaczynski, the Unabomber. In this work, domestic notions of safety and shelter were confronted with contradictions by the potential threats of fear and bodily harm.

Anne Wilson’s A Chronicle of Days is a collection of 100 framed panels of torn pieces of white damask tablecloth embroidered with small spots of human hair. Tiny stitches hold the hairs in place, referencing a particularly gendered history of stitchery, self-preservation, and bodily security. Vestigial remnants of individual existence and beauty, the panels are overwhelmingly in their relic-like presentation, functioning as a physical evidence of a life lived.

Collectively, these artists may be seen to situate their endeavors within the unarticulated gap between material and experience~ their works occupy a liminal space critically informed by each artist’s practice – and process-oriented concerns. In a sense, these artists may be seen to have achieved a realization of the avant-garde ideal to move art unequivocally, into the physical sphere of life, removing art from its cloistered position of privilege and separation through an active utilization of elemental and familiar detritus. Reflecting integration between the once distinct categories or artistic production and theory, the works are presented as compulsively formal applications of play and ritual, simultaneously immediate and enigmatic. Emerging from within the traditional boundaries and mandates of the fiber and materials discipline, the works of these four artists on display together at Gallery 400 provided the viewer with an examination into the nature of the increasingly decentralized and demystified relationship between the experience of art and the materials of life.

MEDIA COVERAGE

Rosenfeld, Kathryn. “New Works by: Lara Lepionka, Jennifer Talbot, Christine Tarkowski, and Anne Wilson.” Dialogue, May/June 2000.

PRINT COLLATERAL

Postcard: New Works by Lara Lepionka, Jennifer Talbot, Christine Tarkowski, and Anne Wilson

EXHIBITION SUPPORT

New Works by Lara Lepionka, Jennifer Talbot, Christine Tarkowski, and Anne Wilson is made possible by the College of Architecture and the Arts, the School of Art and Design, and supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

EXHIBITION CHECKLIST

Lara Lepionka

Identifying Marks, 2000
Community-based project

Visible Links, 2000
Community-based project

Jennifer Talbot

Cherry Picker, 2000
Performance and video

Christine Tarkowski

Cabin (after Theodore Kaczynski), 2000
Photo-screened nylon on aluminum frame

Anne Wilson

A Chronicle of Days, 2000
Mixed media (damask tablecloth, human hair), 100 framed panels

ARTISTS BIOGRAPHIES

Lepionka Head Shot Lara Lepionka is an inter-disciplinary, community-based artist living in Gloucester, MA. She was awarded commissions from the Northampton Arts Council and seARTS Partner with an Artist Program in Massachusetts to complete public art projects about people and their work. She is featured in the 2007 anthology, The Object of Labor: Critical Perspectives on Art, Cloth, and Cultural Production, published by MIT Press. Lepionka was an artist-in-residence at Cultural Exchange Station in Tabor, Czech Republic, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, and Millay Colony for the Arts. She has exhibited her work in New England and New York, and her work has been on National Public Radio, Community Arts Network APInews, and labor publications and broadcasts. She is the recipient of a Puffin Foundation Grant, Community Development Block Grant, an Illinois Arts Council Artists Fellowship Award, and two Chicago Community Arts Program Grants. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Bard College, New York.

Jennifer Talbot received a Master of Fine Art through the Fiber Department from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. She took advantage of the inderdisciplinary nature of the School’s structure by working in video, photography, and installation. Awarded full scholarship to Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Residency program, she traveled to Maine to continue her collaborative installation work. Jennifer has exhibited both nationally and internationally including a solo and group exhibition at the Hochschule in Graz, Austria in 1996. Within the Stateline Vicinity Group show at the Rockford Museum, Illinois, Jennifer’s work was favorably reviewed by Lynn Warren of the Chicago MCA on National Public Radio in 1998. Jennifer received the Mischa Kapsa Grant from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to further support her artistic endeavors.

Tarkowski Head Shot Christine Tarkowski is a Chicago based artist who works in a variety of mediums including sculpture, printed matter, photography and song. Her works range in scale from the ordinary to the monumental. Equally variable is her scope of production which incorporates the making of permanent architectural structures, cast models, textile yardage, and temporary printed ephemera. Many of her recent works point toward the flotsam of western culture relative to systems of democracy, religion and capitalism. Those systems often intersect with or concern themes of conversion, salvation, and belief and are malleable systems relative to a believer’s desires.

Her solo exhibitions include Whale Oil, Slave Ships & Burning Martyrs at Priska Juschka Fine Art in New York, Imitatio Dei at the Museum of Contemporary in Chicago and Last Things Will Be First And First Things Will Be Last at the Chicago Cultural Center. She has been included in exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Socrates Sculpture Park, Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, RISD Museum, and The Contemporary Museum in Honolulu. She has created commissioned projects for the Manilow Sculpture Park at Governor’s State University, Mass MoCA, Public Art/City of Chicago, and Franconia Sculpture Park. She currently is an Associate Professor in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has been the recipient of grants from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Creative Capital Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council and awarded residencies at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, J.M. Kohler Arts in Industry. She is currently at Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Women and Gender in the Arts and Media, Columbia College Chicago/3Arts 2010 Fellow.

Wilson Head ShotAnne Wilson is a Chicago-based visual artist who creates sculpture, drawings, performances and video animations that explore themes of time, loss, private and social rituals. Her artwork embraces conceptual strategies and handwork using everyday materials — table linen, bed sheets, human hair, lace, thread, glass, and wire. In 2010 Wilson’s work was part of “Hand+Made” at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and her solo exhibition “Wind/Rewind/Weave” was presented at the Knoxville Museum. She participated in “Out of the Ordinary” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2007-08. Her work was part of “Alternative Paradise” at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan in 2005-06. The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston hosted a major solo exhibition of Wilson’s art in 2004, and “Anne Wilson: Unfoldings” was presented at MassArt, Boston in 2002, and at the University Art Gallery at San Diego State University in 2003. She was included in the “2002 Biennial” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Wilson’s art is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Museum of Glass, Tacoma; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, among others. She is a Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

PRESS RELEASE

Lara Lepionka, Jennifer Talbot, Christine Tarkowski, and Anne Wilson
New Works

Gallery 400
Chicago, IL
February 14–March 11, 2000

Opening Reception: Wednesday, February 16, 2000, 4–7 pm
Artist Performance by Jennifer Talbot: Wednesday, February 16, 2000, 5 pm
Panel Discussion with the Artists: Tuesday, February 29, 2000, 5 pm

Works by Chicago artists Lara Lepionka, Jennifer Talbot, Christine Tarkowski, and Anne Wilson will be on view at Gallery 400 during the months of February and March. Collectively these artists may be seen to situate their endeavors within the unarticulated gap between material and experience; their works occupy a liminal space critically informed by each artist ’s practice – and process-oriented concerns. In a sense, these artists may be seen to have achieved a realization of the avant-garde ideal to move art unequivocally into the physical sphere of life, removing art from its cloistered position of privilege and separation through an active utilization of elemental and familiar detritus. Reflecting integration between the once distinct categories of artistic production and theory, the works are presented as compulsively formal applications of play and ritual, simultaneously immediate and enigmatic. Emerging from within the traditional boundaries and mandates of the fiber and materials discipline, these four artists provide the viewer with an examination into the nature of the increasingly decentralized and demystified relationship between the experience of art and the materials of life.