With Joshua Johnson, Adrienne Miller, Allen Moore, Stuart Snoddy, & Marcy Thomas
ANX XV takes its name from the Annex Studios, a former furniture warehouse and storage space for the Lyric Opera of Chicago in Dekalb, IL. These studios are home to Northern Illinois University’s MFA program, of which the five artists in the show are recent graduates– the class of MMXV. These artists were selected through a juried invitational based on the excellence of their work and to weave several common threads amongst the output of this world class degree program (which resides just far enough from the metropolitan art center of Chicago to not quite capture the same attention as its urban counterparts).
Figuration is one common theme– whether rendered in the wistful, yet psychologically uneasy portraits of Stuart Snoddy or the grotesque bodies of the allegorical etchings of Joshua Johnson. Other works evoke symbolic histories through abstraction such as the shimmering graphite grooves in Allen Moore’s canvases, which nod toward Afro-futurism and in the meandering lines of Adrienne Miller’s prints which reassess romantic notions of landscape. Finally Miller’s intuitive mark making process links her work to the abstract sculptures of Marcy Thomas, which are articulated by the inherent qualities of their materials as much as the artist’s decision making process.