Aug 27th 2021


@ Chicago Gamespace

2418 W Bloomingdale Ave Apt 101, Chicago, IL 60647

Opening Friday, August 27th, from 5PM - 8PM

On view through Saturday, August 28th

August 27 – Sunday August 28th
Opening Friday August 27th 5-8pm
Pubic Hours: Saturday August 28th and Sunday August 29th 1-5pm
Chicago Gamespace. 2418 W Bloomingdale, Chicago IL 60647

Chicago Gamespace is proud to present new work by Los Angeles-based artist Nate Zoba. Curated by Jonathan Kinkley in close collaboration with the artist.

In my paintings, I combine the material qualities of oil paint and methods from poetic composition to create sublime surfaces that are both subtle and intricate. The shapes and forms allude the syntax, rhythm, and diction. Like poems, the paintings resist singular interpretation and are in flux. One of my driving concerns is manifesting a sense of harmony within unstable systems.

I began this body of work early in 2020 and continued work on it into 2021. When little was known or understood about covid in early 2020, I began to wonder what possibilities existed in a world that was contracting and seeming to collapse as everything everywhere was shutting down. Life came to a standstill. My normally-bustling studio building was deserted. Freeways were empty. Sidewalks were desolate. The combustion engine that is Los Angeles went silent. Only intense anxiety was pulsing through our fraction of normal life and there was little of life’s noise to distract us from it. During the beginning of the pandemic many artists changed mediums or could no longer go to their studios because of the restrictions, the risk, or just their desire to remain at home. That was not the case for me, my work practice was mostly unchanged. Volume was what changed for me. My world was quieter. This quiet, anxious existence allowed for a meditative space amidst the anxiety of covid, injustice, wildfire, and election and my painting technique changed to exist in that space. My hand disappeared to find the body through the absence of brushstroke.
I reflected upon our corporealness, our material bodies, our capacity for illness, for spreading disease, for death. I thought about breath, contact, how often we touch our own faces, the distances between us. We get sick. Our bodies react. We get others sick. Some of us heal. Some of us die. Many, many people were dying. Hospitals and morgues overflowed. The fragility of everything was ever present. The fragility of our bodies, society, supply chains and political systems were laid bare and exposed. My daily painting practice became a form of documentation of the changing world. The way in which I painted during this time created work that was extremely delicate and easily damaged reflecting the fragility of everything around me. The paint was thinned and barely applied to overwrought surfaces laying bare the body of the work.
These paintings gestures towards bilateral symmetry, a myth of the human body. The mathematical divisions of planes allude to equal halves, to a middle. The unknowable layers of paint build up in apparent, but fragile equilibrium. But these paintings, like human bodies, are not symmetrical. There are differences in the halves. Left and right sides are not identical, are not reflections of each other. Like bodies, they are unstable but reach for harmony.

And just as the body carries evidence of disease, my paintings are both evidence and reconstructions of bodies and of the time. To recall is to ruin a memory — the more something is remembered, the more the memory changes from what occurred. In their creation, I hope to create harmony in memory-decay.

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