Jul 14th 2018

Everyday Englewood – a solo exhibition of photographs by Tonika Johnson
Granded – a solo window exhibition by Scott Mossman
July 5-31, 2018

Gallery hours: Saturday 12-5 and by appointment

Contemporary depictions of urban Black life have increasingly centered on and fetishized notions of void and dejection. The result is that levity, triumph, and joy are treated as aberrations rather than norms. As an epicenter of Black life, the narrative and attending images used to portray present-day Chicago have tended to compound and sensationalize these dichotomies. This relentless centering on lack and need often wholly obscures the fact that Chicago continues to assert itself as one of the world’s foremost incubators of Black culture, style, philanthropy, and genius.

In “Everyday Englewood” documentary photographer Tonika Lewis Johnson depicts the Englewood community in which she was raised, assertively challenging ongoing assumptions in her love letter to Chicago. Her photographs assert the divinity of regular people, the people we pass on the street, sit next to on the bus, see in the grocery store and affirm the sanctity of everyday Black existence even while unveiling the cosmology that guides and informs it.

Tonika Johnson: https://www.tonijphotography.com/

An avid collector and traveler, Scott Mossman’s sculpture have always been colored by a fascination with the object and interior spaces, as well as a sculpture’s relationship to the wall where it’s hung, the viewer and the gallery space. His pieces are often hung well above the viewers head, wrapping around or placed within corners, or jutting out from or above doorways rather than the “traditional” spot at eye level or on a pedestal. This placement poses questions about the function of a piece of art within a space. Often referencing artifacts and architectural prototypes from various cultures and eras, his work appears to serve a purpose other than art—although the purpose of the eccentric, abraded tool, appliance or architectural detail is not as obvious as the fire alarm, security sensor, duct, heating unit soffit or molding that occupies a similar spot in an interior.

Scott Mossman: https://scottmossman.wixsite.com/scott

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