Western Exhibitions is pleased to present The Power of Selection, the first in a series of three shows curated by Ryan Travis Christian at the gallery. Mr. Christian, who writes for Fecalface.com and selects an Artist of the Day, each and every day, on his Facebook page, organized these shows, the first in January, the second in the summer and the third in December, to increase the circulation of contemporary artwork seen in Chicago by showing works by out of town and/or up-and-coming artists. In this first installment, Christian selected work that takes figuration into strange and bewildering stylizations through the use of drawing, sculpture and video.
[Suitable Video: Works from the Suitable Exhibitions Archive] loosely organizes work by a number of artists who showed at Suitable Gallery, a DIY exhibition space located in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, during its 5 year run between 1999 and 2004. It speaks more of a community of artists than of a curatorial agenda. The process of selection and compilation began as a straightforward effort to survey all the video work shown at Suitable. Substitutions and omissions occurred in response to logistic and aesthetic concerns. The resulting program ultimately sought balance and watchability over purity or completeness.
The content is disparate and varied. There is no thematic or conceptual agenda, although several arise retrospectively which may reflect the tastes involved in Suitable’s original gallery programming. Subject matter found in these pieces include humor, failure, the abject and degenerate, the performative, roll playing, the body, art history, art spaces, art materials, counter-culture, process, time, death and love, to name a few. There is a tangible sense of utility in much of the work- they do not seem fussed over, they communicate directly.
Curated by Scott Wolniak. Work by Charles Irvin, Julia Hechtman, Sterling Ruby, John Neff, Sarah Conaway, Kirsten Stoltmann, Paul Nudd, Miller & Shellabarger, Reed Anderson & Daniel Davidson, Marc Schwartzberg, Ben Stone and Siebren Versteeg.