Jul 10th 2020

By appointment only: To ensure the safety of visitors to our gallery and in accordance with the City of Chicago’s guidelines, no more than five guests will be admitted simultaneously. Face coverings are required for entry. To schedule your visit please email Sofia Macht

Rhona Hoffman is honored to present “If We Asked about the Sky”, the gallery’s fifth solo exhibition with Chicago-based artist Anne Wilson. Oscillating between the macro- and microcosmic, Wilson’s new textile-based works set the immediacy of human labor and encounter against the infinitude of space and time. In a moment of unprecedented global transformation, the exhibition offers an opportunity to “meditate on living in and through loss,” as the artist describes.

The exhibition is anchored by Wilson’s suite of 21 Material Drawings (2018-20). Each work begins with the chance operation of throwing ink onto a fragment of white damask cloth; through capillary action, the ink absorbs into the fibers of the cloth, expanding outward to form circular shapes with irregular fractal-like edges. Wilson then develops the results of her immediate gestures with a deliberate, slow stitch of hand embroidery with silk thread and hair. The image associations shift between everyday phenomena—a pin prick, a spill, or a splatter—and a celestial idiom, evoking planets, craters, and galaxy clusters. “The work proposes both smallness and vastness,” Wilson says, “and inhabits a space of contemplation between the mortal world and a celestial universe that is infinite and unknowable.”

Also on view is Absorb/Reflect (2020), a floor installation of embroidered gold roundels and mourning garlands made from black ribbon. The golden forms face upward and evoke the light and constancy of the sun, while the black garlands are meant as objects of meditation on loss, offering a way to remember, transferring the care of a maker to another person. Wilson first began to make the mourning garlands in the late 1980s for friends who had lost loved ones during the AIDs epidemic. A portion of the sales proceeds from the garlands will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

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