Opening Saturday, February 12th, from 1PM - 3PM
On view through Saturday, April 16th
Rebellious Fibers, a two-person exhibit featuring mixed media works by Yvette Kaiser Smith and Bobbi Meier, opens at OS Projects on February 12, 2022 and continues through April 16, 2022. The gallery will host an artist reception on Saturday, February 12 from 1 to 3 pm. Masks are required at the reception for all visitors.
At first glance, Rebellious Fibers reads as a lesson in dichotomy. Meier’s forms are organic, soft-edged, exuberant and boisterous. Kaiser Smith’s works are architectural, industrial, ordered and, in comparison, subdued. Sustained viewing, however, reveals similarities and kinship beyond the superficial.
Both bodies of work are responses to the times we live in. In reaction to the widening divisions in our society, Kaiser Smith looks for simple and direct ways to combine disparate materials and challenge our perceptions of difference. Her works ask viewers to consider whether we see diversity as a hard difference that leads to the notion of otherness, or rather as variation within a unified group. Meier embraces color as a means of transcending the darkness of the pandemic and its attendant sadness. She creates work that is enticing, revelatory and joyful. Her objects embrace our desire and need for touch while exemplifying a way of moving from confinement to openness.
The works in Rebellious Fibers engage fabric, sewing, tucking, padding and weaving. Many parts are assembled to create one garment, one body, one whole. Yet neither Kaiser Smith nor Meier considers herself a fiber artist, instead identifying as mixed media artists who make sculptural objects using the language of fiber and fiber traditions. Their respective bodies of work share a rebellious spirit that colors outside of the lines of traditions and generates new idioms within sculpture and fiber art.
About the Artists:
Yvette Kaiser Smith uses number sequences to create wall-based, geometric abstractions, where values of digits direct a composition’s formal structure. Born in Soviet-occupied Prague, Kaiser Smith has resided in Chicago since 1991. She holds a BFA from Southern Methodist University, which includes a fellowship to Yale School of Art Summer Program, and an MFA in sculpture from University of Chicago. Kaiser Smith has exhibited at regional museums, art centers, and university galleries throughout the U.S. Exhibitions abroad include U.S. Embassies in Moscow, Ankara, and Abuja; the National Art Museum of China (Beijing); and alternative galleries in London, Rome, Berlin and Bulgaria. Kaiser Smith has also exhibited her work at Bridges Mathematical Art Exhibitions in Austria and Sweden and created site-specific commissions for Facebook Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Rosewood Hotel Abu Dhabi and PricewaterhouseCoopers in NYC, among other clients. She has been awarded residencies at Ragdale Foundation and, most recently, ARV.International in Vishovgrad, Bulgaria.
Bobbi Meier is a Chicago-based visual artist. Life’s frustrations, joys, and fears are embedded into her abstract sculptures, drawings, and installations through her provocative use of materials such as pantyhose, spandex, porcelain, and found home furnishings. Meier’s work has been exhibited both regionally and nationally and is in the collection of the Kohler Foundation and John Michael Kohler Art Center. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions in Chicago include Strange Etiquette at Salonlb, Domina Domi at Okay Gallery, Visceral at Extra Projects Gallery and Perspiration Glitz at Roots & Culture. She has been awarded residencies at the John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program, Ragdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Ox-Bow School of Art, Anderson Ranch and Sanskriti-Kendra in New Delhi. Meier is a co-director of ADDS Donna, an artist-run space in Chicago. She earned her MA in Art Education and MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
About OS Projects:
OS Projects is a contemporary art gallery in downtown Racine featuring visual artists in solo and small group exhibits. The gallery’s primary focus is on artists living and working in the Chicago-Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee urban corridor. While the range of media the gallery presents is broad—encompassing painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, and installation—the exhibited artists are unified in their engagement with topical issues, experimentation with materials and processes, and adherence to craft.
OS Projects is located at 601 Sixth Street, Racine, Wisconsin. Gallery hours are Saturdays, 12 – 5 pm, and by appointment. For more information, please visit the gallery website: osprojects.art.
The image shows (on the left) Collective 27 (pi: 871…296) by Yvette Kaiser Smith, 2021, and (on the right) Sentinels for Innocents (Candyland) by Bobbi Meier, 2022.