Friends and colleagues,
In praise of small things with depth.
Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Small Sculpture, an exhibition of tabletop three-dimensional works by more than 50 artists.
Across the surfaces of two enormous tables, spread out like pieces from an eclectic chessboard, artworks emanating from many different points of origin come head to head in this show, a rare group exhibition for CvsD which draws its inspiration from the gallery’s longstanding fascination with intimate-scale sculptural objects. The recent renaissance in ceramics is bountifully represented with exemplary historical sculptures by Bay Area “funk” figures Robert Arneson, Robert Hudson, and Gary Molitor, and contemporary works by Margot Bergman, Kathy Butterly, Alex Bradley Cohen, Elizabeth Ferry, Stanya Kahn, Ellen Lanyon, Andrew Lord, William J. O’Brien, Joakim Ojanen, Thomas Schütte, Arlene Shechet, Cauleen Smith, and Jimmy Wright. Confounding category, Richard Artschwager created the classic Formica piece “Table with Pink Tablecloth” in 1964, now part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection; decades later he made a scaled-down version in a tiny edition, a prototype of which is part of Small Sculpture. Like Artschwager’s piece, the eerie presence that emanates from these objects is a conceptual thread weaving throughout the show, linking uncanny works from David Adamo, Carol Bove, Peter Brötzmann, Alex Chitty, Thomas Grünfeld, Robert Guillot, Rachel Harrison, Carol Jackson, Mike Kelley, Josiah McElheny, Joshua Mosley, B. Ingrid Olson, Joyce Pensato, PopeL., Betsy Odom, Matthew Ronay, Dieter Roth, Alan Shields, Richard Wentworth, William Weege, and Christopher Wool. Joe Brainard, Matias Faldbakken, and John Sparagana manipulate found material. Jeremy Anderson, Ted Halkin, David Hartt, Katsuhito Nishikawa, Diane Simpson, and Steven Urry all deal with architectural and/or minimal construction. The many dimensions of Chicago’s own sometimes surreal milieu are explosively represented in sculptures by Don Baum, Dominick Di Meo, Robert Donley, Ed Flood, Philip Hanson, Thomas H. Kapsalis, Rodney Quiriconi, H.C. Westermann, and Karl Wirsum.
In both the East and West Wings, CvsD is proud to present the first solo show in Chicago of painter Orion Martin. A rising artist based in L.A., Martin’s approach to surface and image is part of the heritage of Chicago Imagism as well as painters like Konrad Klapheck, but it is thoroughly contemporary and every bit Martin’s own. His paintings in the Whitney’s 2016 exhibition Flatlands posed penetrating questions about the nature of representation and illusion, taking each viewer on a wild ride from faux to real and all points between. In this exhibition, three large canvases feature elaborate metal fences, the intersections of their elements creating patterned openings through which objects or atmospheres are visible. Vividly dimensional in their flatness, with over-the-top handmade undulating wooden frames, these bright, playful paintings are a fitting riposte to the sculpture show and its objectness. A single smaller jester-like self-portrait introduces a human element to Martin’s virtuosic contribution.