Sep 7th 2019

Melissa Leandro / Hope Wang

@ Ignition project space

3839 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60651

Opening Saturday, September 7th, at 6PM

On view through Friday, September 27th

The Patio – a solo exhibition by Melissa Leandro
throwing a short glance in the sliver between the glass barred against the warm air – a solo exhibition by Hope Wang
Black – an installation by Kevin Maginnis

September 6-27, 2019
Gallery hours: Saturday 12-5 and by appointment

The Patio presents the work of Chicago-based artist Melissa Leandro as she reflects on the architecture and interior landscape of her new Chicago home in West Humboldt Park. The vernacular of a 1970’s diner restaurant now turned home by Leandro, is juxtaposed with the aesthetic of south Florida beach life and its native flora and fauna. Florida, being a landscape that is both familiar and nostalgic to the Miami-born artist.

As she has documented and observed these two vastly different settings, collecting decorative patterns, natural and manmade textures and building materials, changes in light and climate; Leandro considers the symbolic and physical trace these personal and familial spaces have left on her identity. The gallery presents abstract and vibrant depictions from her everyday life, home, and present day wandering through the process of cyanotype printing, quilting, weaving and fabric dying techniques. The works in the gallery are an on-going project to understand these spaces through the record and eventual translation of personal objects (Knick knacks, souvenirs) and household finishings (furniture, home fixtures, and textiles).

Her Patio provides an area for the viewer to contemplate her abstracted woven landscapes while being situated just outside of their original viewpoint.

Melissa Leandro (b. Miami, FL) is an artist who works between the media of drawing, painting, and textiles.
Leandro’s woven and embroidered surfaces explore her composite cultural identity through means of intuitive mark- making. Reflecting on her past and present travels, she considers the impact of these environments on the fragmentation of identity and place. Leandro was awarded the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship (2017) and the EAGER Grant for research and collaboration (2016, Shapiro Center), both for her studio work at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She was awarded the Luminarts Fellowship (2017) from the Luminarts Cultural Foundation, Union League of Chicago. Leandro was a BOLT resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition for 2017-18, and was named one of Chicago’s Break Out Artists of the year for 2018. Her studio work is featured in LUXE, Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine as part of their Chicago Style Maker edition (June 2018) and the New Art Examiner,”Time Share” and “Warm Welcome” at Monaco Gallery, St. Louis (June 2019). Leandro is currently represented by Andrew Rafacz Gallery in Chicago.

Leandro has attended Atlantic Center for the Arts, Florida; ACRE Residency,Wisconsin; Ragdale Foundation, Forest Park; Roger Brown House Residency, Michigan; The Weaving Mill, Chicago; TextielLab, The Netherlands and the Jacquard Center, North Carolina. She holds a BFA and MFA from SAIC and is currently teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as Lecturer and is the Assistant Director title of the Fiber Material Studies department.

Hope Wang is a Chicago-based artist working in painting, print, photography, and weaving. Drawing from to architectural scars as metaphors for how people interact with and negotiate belonging in communal places, her work engages provisional aspects of architecture that both embody and belie meaning. She received her BFA (2018) from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has shown in two-person and group exhibitions including Ignition Project Space, FRIEND, ARC Gallery, Chicago Art Department, Gallery No One, Woman Made Gallery, Sullivan Galleries, DfbL8tr, and LVL3. She is currently a studio fellow at Spudnik Press Cooperative and a resident artist at The Weaving Mill.

My work explores how the dissonance of representation and its illusion gestures toward displacement in the same way bodies occupy space. Drawn to architectural scars as metaphors for how people interact with and negotiate belonging in communal places, I use print, painting, photography, and weaving to create simulations of public facades. Through meticulous reproductions of primarily industrial spaces, my work engages provisional aspects of architecture that both embody and belie meaning.

I’m interested in shifting visualization and spatial associations, where my work establishes tension between the ubiquity and specificity of architectural surfaces. With weaving, I process image as material object by combining and fracturing images of architecture. The loom becomes an apparatus for confounding image with surface and structure of woven cloth, producing simulacra of the photographed space. Yet it fails in completely selling such illusions.

Through the destabilization of surface and its assumed material conditions, my work questions familiarity as sincerity or as artifice. In mediating site and sight, the act of representing my surrounding spaces and signifiers engages a sense of place but also calls into question the sites of the everyday.

I am both the skeptic and the nostalgic body, one longing for intimacy and perhaps only finding it in the liminal spaces that belong to nothing in particular.

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