Stan Shellabarger presents new artist books and collages made from cyanotypes produced during full moons, summer and winter solstices, autumnal and vernal equinoxes and a solar eclipse.
In Gallery 2, Western Exhibitions will present a companion show, My informal printmaking residency with Stan Shellabarger, that features work by Leslie Baum, Elijah Burgher, kg, Kelly Kaczynski, Rachel Niffenegger, Paul Nudd, Steve Reinke, and Jeremy Tinder. The work in this show highlights Shellabarger’s curiosity and generosity of spirit in inviting Chicago artists he admires, most with no printmaking experience, to make prints with him at Spudnik Press Cooperative.
Both shows open with a free public reception on Friday, March 1 from 5 to 8pm.
Beginning in 1994, Stan Shellabarger has executed over a dozen performances on solstices and equinoxes. Marking the longest and shortest days of the year, or those days with equal amounts of light and dark respectively, the duration of his art-making activities are often influenced, or even determined by, these celestial events.
In Shellabarger’s new body of work, comprised of a series of cyanotypes— a camera-less photographic process where chemically coated paper is exposed to light— full moons, the solstices, equinoxes and a solar eclipse are also the work’s light source, in addition to the inspiration for its imagery.
Waxing spheres, waning crescents, curvilinear lines and various geometric shapes are balanced, measured and aligned across much of the work, like an elegant equation. With their richly varied hue, tint and saturation, Shellabarger’s cyan blue monochromes can feel meditative. With his slow-media approach, through the creation of accordion-fold artist books and the piecework of his collages— the passage of time is further ritualized.
Shellabarger’s practice is often characterized by its relationship to the passage of time, which is infinitely more complex then a linear beginning, middle and end. The cyclical, repetitious arcs and ellipses of orbiting stars and planets are powerful symbols of that, and this body of work not only evokes them, it also harnesses their charged and ever-changing intervals.
Stan Shellabarger has work in the permanent collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The National Gallery of Canada and the Newark Public Library. His work has been written about in Art in America, Artforum.com, The Chicago Tribune, Art in Print, Chicago Magazine and ArtSlant. His work has been shown at Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC) in Nice, France; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, North Carolina; Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; and he’s been invited to perform at the VOLTA show in Basel, Switzerland; the Time-Based Art Festival in Portland, Oregon; Macy’s downtown department store window during the Looptopia festival in Chicago; Millennium Park in Chicago; Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois; The Suburban in Oak Park; and the Center of Contemporary Art in St. Louis. Shellabarger received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is represented by Western Exhibitions in Chicago and he lives and works in Chicago.