Apr 29th 2023

Join us Saturday, April 29th for our closing reception of “for IRIS and other flowers” new works by Leslie Baum
2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

This closing will be followed by a special performance by Anthony Burton and Joe Adamik at 7pm: details to come.

“Why record a flower? What’s the point? They’re ephemeral, they’re never the same from day to day, they’re so brief, there are so many of them. Incremental change, inevitable loss.” —Jordan Kisner

This exhibition is an attempt to reframe loss as a celebration. An absurd project? Perhaps, but one that aspires to be helpful, hopeful, and even healing. I think of this work as radically unfixed – not meant to endure in any form or location. Here, for now, thin cotton paintings temporarily adorn indoor and outdoor surfaces. Casual arrangements of ceramics populate tabletops. A large-scale painting composed in three parts – comes together just for this show. This mode of making is an outgrowth of several recent art-making experiences: an experimental residency in Umbria, a re-engagement with ceramics begun at the Watershed Residency and /continued at Gnarware, and my pandemic project of – daily watercolor paintings of flowers from my garden. At the beating heart of the whole endeavor is my mother, Iris. She was my first art teacher and introduced me to watercolor and clay – her two primary media. In the 1970s, she made a clay stamp of her signature to sign her ceramic work. I now have this object and use it – putting my hand onto the clay she shaped and – imprinting her name – and spirit – into my work.

Leslie Baum is a Chicago-based painter whose work is invitational in nature. Baum received her BA from the University of Vermont and studied abroad at the Glasgow School of Art. She has exhibited nationally and internationally with exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Portland, Mexico City, Italy, and South Korea. Her drawings and paintings are in permanent collections of the Chicago Art institute and the Elmhurst Art Museum. Her work has been reviewed extensively, including in Artforum, Art in America, Hyperallergic, and the Chicago Tribune. She has received residencies at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts, the Nido project in Monte Castello di Vibio Italy, Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center. A 2020 DCASE grant funded the pleinairarchive.com – a site documenting her ongoing painting social practice.

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