Jun 8th 2018

Darian Longmire and Helmut Hammen: Material to Void

@ Baby Blue Gallery

2201 S Halsted St. 3-4s, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Friday, June 8th, from 7PM - 11PM

On view through Friday, June 29th

The ability to make a painting about nothing is a proven luxury in the current political state. When bodies, truths and materialities of marginalized people are continually in the balance, we must search for a form of making that offers a more stabilized temporality. Much like the excess that our late modernists formulated in their image making. We assert that there is a tacit re-borrowing in our intentions, in order to re-orient a world view where “nothing” is replaced by the common or unnoticed material.

Darian’s work reclaims modernist devices to plot new futures. He uses non-traditional materials to confront notions of history and identity. While his interventions into materials and gestures may be downright obtuse, he pushes the work further by insisting on the black ontological perspective as his driving force. Considering this perspective, the content in his work transforms into the symbolic, abstract and ultimately proposes that all strata in the universe might be matter imbued with a speculative past.

Helmut is a conceptual artist whose work draws from cultural iconography and minimalist principles. The montage of technical painting and sculptural techniques produces a grand image that traverses historical contexts and adopts emotional effects through its natural motifs. He uses an array of textures and unconventional materials simultaneously with appropriated imagery. His current project, Vermiculus, is referential of the structural markings made by wormlike organisms within organic material. This work asserts the deadpan sculptural surface of the paintings by subtly revealing specific symbols, lending itself to ephemeral interpretations within the void color space.

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