The Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Three Hares, a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring new works by Bobby Gonzales, Kate Conlon, and Olivia Petrides.
An enigmatic puzzle with triangular symmetry, the “three hares” figure is thought to have a range of symbolic, mystical, or numinous associations, all of which have varied across time, geography, and culture. The image is essentially an optical illusion: each part can be seen individually, but visual confusion arises when trying to view all three in totality. It has appeared as an architectural element, a religious motif, on pottery, artwork, tattoos, jewelry, and more.
Potential explanations of the three hares symbol have ranged from connections to peace and tranquility; rebirth and resurrection; psychoanalytic concepts about the feedback loop between the conscious and unconscious mind; or alchemical notions about cyclical energy and infinity. Ultimately, however, its origins are unknown, as is any unified conception of its inherent meaning. It remains, possibly, an unanswerable riddle.
The systems through which we make meaning in/of the world become both the subject and process in the work of Gonzales, Conlon, and Petrides. Through various cumulative strategies of layering and collage, representation and abstraction, they utilize printmaking, drawing, textiles and sculpture as means of exploring individuated and collective knowledge production about self and existence.
Their iterative studio processes, derived through the prism of personal subjectivity and hybridized with the purported objectivity of research and observation, manifest along various trajectories – ranging from explorations and expressions of desire, fantasy, memory, and identity; to grappling with the overwhelming scale of climate change and deep geological time; to improvisational tinkering and “thought experiments” where the potential for failure is built-in and expected.
Sometimes playful, sometimes awe-struck, or other times rife with skepticism, their projects probe the space between our inner psychological realm and the traumas, concerns, and mysteries that comprise our experiences in the outside world, though always with a self-reflexive eye toward methods of inquiry and the specter of impossibility.
Three Hares is organized by Greg Ruffing.
Image: Kate Conlon, “Washington’s Axe,” 2018, Plywood
THIS EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Bobby Gonzales (b. Delran, NJ) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago, IL, whose work explores the intersection of painting, performance, and photography. He received his BFA in painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and completed his MFA in photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016. Recent exhibitions and performances include participation in Merce Cunningham’s “Field Dances” at the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), group exhibitions at Das Institut für Alles Mögliche (Berlin, Germany), The Milwaukee Institute for Art and Design (Milwaukee, WI), The Galleries at Columbia University (New York, NY), Zurcher Studios (New York, NY) and solo exhibitions at Vox Populi artist collective, where he was an artist member from 2012-2014 (Philadelphia, PA).
Kate Conlon is a Chicago-based artist whose work usually begins with an earnest attempt to figure something out and invariably ends in a mess of paradox, incongruence, and doubt.
Conlon’s work has been exhibited at venues including MANA Contemporary Chicago, The Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Terrain Biennial, and Museu do Douro in Portugal. She recently released DL-44: In Pursuit of the Perfect Replica, a work of non-fiction published by Third Object Press.
Conlon has received grants and residencies from Kala Art Institute, Columbia College Chicago, ACRE, and Chicago Artists Coalition. She served as a founding director of Fernwey Gallery and director of Fernwey Editions, an independent publishing house that collaborated with artists on limited edition prints and multiples from 2014 to 2018. She currently teaches in the Printmedia departments of SAIC and Columbia College Chicago.
Olivia Petrides is a painter and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching drawing and painting for the last 25 years. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
Over many years, she has traveled to iconic landscapes in Africa, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, France, Italy, Greenland, Alaska, and the American West. Specific emblematic features of these landscapes are the source of her paintings and drawings.
In support of her work, she has been awarded grants such as a Fulbright Grant, the Margaret Klimek Phillips Fellowship and several awards from the American-Scandinavian Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council. In addition, she was an artist-in-residence at the Reykjavik Municipal Museum and the Akureyri Gil-society in Iceland, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, Catwalk in New York, Yellowstone National Park, and the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Her work is included in the public collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Park Service, the Field Museum, the Illinois State Museum, the Hunt Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Purdue University, Openlands Preservation Association, and Iceland’s Hafnarborg Institute of Art, among others. She has had numerous exhibits in galleries and museums in Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Scotland, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.
As an aspect of her travels and grants, Petrides curated several exchange exhibits between Icelandic, Faroese and Chicago artists, which took place at the Living Art Museum of Iceland, the Faroe Islands National Gallery, the Nordic Museum in Seattle, and Artemisia Gallery in Chicago.
Greg Ruffing is an artist, writer, organizer, and curator working on topics around the production of space at different scales – from the macro level of sociopolitical structures and architecture in the built environment, down to an emphasis on community, collaboration, and exchange on the interpersonal level.
Often looking critically or conceptually at the specifics of site and place, he has facilitated exhibitions and programming at venues such as The Perch, Public Access, SPACES (Ohio), and the Terrain Biennial. He received a dual degree MFA in Photography and MA in Visual & Critical Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.