Sep 26th 2015

*in a year I saw you, and it was strange, strange to feel nothing.

Hope Esser, an ACRE artist, creates an environment of thirty-one small-scale sculptures that inhabit the space as people would. The sculptures are comprised of commonplace objects where another logic and set of rules have taken over as an attempt to access or re-imagine the ideal female body and psyche. Together – they are thirty-one mismatched moments – an amalgam of research and material investigations that each have an implied, but absent body, gesture, and micro-narrative.

For the exhibition XXXI Psyches, as well as the accompanying publication, the artist drew from her recent fascination with the 18th century British protofeminist Mary Woolstonecraft, athleticism, and the concept of “brokenness,” both physical and metaphysical.


Hope Esser is a Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist whose work investigates the body via garments, sculpture, performance, and video. She earned her BA cum laude in Studio Art and Art History from Oberlin College and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was awarded the Toby Devan Lewis and the James Nelson Raymond Fellowships.

She has been an artist-in-residence at ACRE, the Watermill Center, Hatch Projects, and Ox-Bow, where she was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Scholarship. She has performed and exhibited at the Arts Club of Chicago (Chicago, IL), the Watermill Center (Long Island, NY), The Hills Esthetic Center (Chicago, IL), Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn, NY), Links Hall (Chicago, IL), NARS Foundation (Brooklyn, NY), Chicago Artists Coalition (Chicago, IL), Defibrillator (Chicago, IL), La Esquina Gallery (Kansas City, MO), and the Fashion Studies gallery at Columbia College (Chicago, IL), among others. She is a Lecturer at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Contemporary Practices.

Image info:

Socks, 2015
clay, cotton, dimensions variable

Official Website

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