Carrie Secrist Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition Usual Objects. This exhibition opens March 6 and continues through April 24, 2021. It will be viewable in person and by appointment at our gallery space located at 900 W. Washington BLVD, Chicago, IL. Our online viewing room and exhibition will open to the public Saturday, February 27 at 10AM (CST). To make an appointment in person, please visit the Reservation page on our website.
The still life genre is a part of artistic expression dating back to the early seventeenth century. As a tool for representation, this genre continues to allow its maker to immortalize the reality of its subject intimately and immediately. It remains a way for artists to simultaneously examine how a chosen medium can conceptually alter the reality of the subject while becoming a grounding exercise in stability. The inanimate object in artistic form carries messages of potential, transformation, signification and objectivity. Usual Objects examines the contemporary still life in the current context of the coronavirus pandemic against this historic backdrop.
The majority of the work on view in the exhibition was made during the current pandemic, a time when many people are spending much of their time at home surrounded by their possessions. Objects that are personal, functional, ephemeral or antique. This time spent with the things that continually surround us, as either a monotonous presence or with newly gained significance created by their omnipresence, leads to a new examination of these daily interactions with objects. The objects rendered by the artists in the exhibition Usual Objects represent this intimacy but take on extra meaning in the decoding of systems within and beyond a pandemic. Here, the inanimate object – regardless of medium – is rendered symbolically as the familiar, commonplace, ordinary and usual but with an added dose of real world reality.
The Usual Objects you will find here are Chris Bradley’s (Chicago) hyperrealistic sculptures in reimagined constrictions and site-specific panic room; Nicole Dyer’s (Baltimore) Papier-mâchés of flower arrangements and tightly rendered watercolors of life’s everyday things; Brendan Getz’s (Los Angeles) paintings of the ordinary objects delivered in extraordinary complexity: Madeleine Leplae’s (Chicago) hallucinatory paintings of trees as one might see from a window; Matt Lipps’ (Los Angeles) staged and sculptural photographic-like images of the material object as theater; Amanda Ross-Ho’s (Los Angeles) examination of the psychophysical state of the artists’ studio and Liliana Porter’s (New York) rescaled characters attempting Sisyphean tasks related to objects shapes as we cheer them on.
IMAGE: Madeleine Leplae, Sappy Tree, 2020. Oil on canvas, 48 x 24 inches.