This exhibition presents works by four Chicago artists with a focus on paintings. As the exhibition title suggests, the show’s premise is about the artist’s exploration of the layered emotional resonance of the concept of home. We have been living in a pandemic when most people have spent an unusually long time in their homes.Conversely, around the world, refugees have been forced to leave their homes, some with the hope of returning and others seeking a new life and home. We are asking the question; what does home mean? Is it a familiarity with the environment, or is home just an abstract place in our minds?
In the atmospheric paintings of Cindy Bernhard, we can see imaginary interiors with pop culture elements, food, and motifs from lifestyle blogs. In her works, she humorously critiques the nature of artifice and creates a vision of home as she wants to remember it. There are always pets, a small dog or cat, to add to the domesticity of the image.
Ellen Greene is looking back at domesticity and motherhood and the time when children are starting to assert their independence and leaving home years later. Some of her oil paintings depict the artist and her daughters. In others, figures are absent; what remains is a respectable floral wall-papered pattern interrupted with childhood vandalism.
Ann Toebbe’s paintings are reminiscent of architectural or design drawings, but she fills them with personal objects worth a closer look. In these obsessively crafted paintings, we see representations of the resident’s individuality and aesthetic choices. In each work, furniture selections, plants, carpets, knick-knacks, and items are left around, representing a home that cannot be replicated even if one wants to. These unfolded rooms are based on living spaces of the artist’s family, friends, and acquaintances, recreated from memories or photographs.
In the works of Gwendolyn Zabicki, intimate images of everyday life are quietly captured; brushing teeth, drying hair, or sleeping. These simple rituals happen every day, unobserved or remembered. These events can only occur in the comfort and privacy of our homes.
The exhibition is curated by Stano Grezdo and Linda Dorman.