January 26-April 13, 2008
Polk/Wilson Galleries

Chicago-basedartistMichelleGrabner(withher3-year-olddaughter,Ceal,2008Remain in Light is the first museum survey exhibition for Chicago-based artist Michelle Grabner. Grabners artistic outputpainter, installation artist, gallery director, art critic, School of the Art Institute of Chicago professorreveals a creative restlessness that seeks expression in varied media and outlets. Grabners work is committed to domesticity, simple gestures, manual labor, and the everyday vernacular. Such themes are addressed in paintings, weavings, photographs, videos, and more.

Left: Michelle Grabner with 3-year-old daughter, Ceal

Two areas of interest come through strongly in the exhibition. Domesticity is first; Grabner builds references to household life and the garden in her detailed, labor-intensive art. Abstract paintings take their patterns from the average kitchen dishcloth, for example. In other paintings, Grabner maps the banality of much household labor through her painstaking repetition of simple motifs. Light is a second concept Grabner explores, and a curious displacement occurs in the artists evocation of rainbows and illumination.

Grabner catches what we normally experience outdoor and transmits it to paintings and photographs. She redirects perceptions in everyday experiencea chance encounter of a rainbowand layers the viewers response with the many emotional and philosophical associations that light embodies.

Grabner transformed the tiny concrete-block building on her property in Oak Park, Illinoisa former office for the neighborhood gas stationinto a gallery of changing shows. Following this part of her artistic practice, the Ulrich will present a rotating display of artists she selected in our own version of The Suburban, the name of this innovative exhibition space.

Vasco Araujo, 'The Girl of the Golden West,' 2004, 18 minutes, 28 seconds, digital video loop, courtesy of the artistJanuary 26February 10: Vasco Araujo

By Portuguese artist Araujo, the 2004 video The Girl of the Golden West looks at Puccinis popular 1910 opera La Fanciulla del West.

Adriane Herman, '[Yellow] Bananas,' 2005, inlaid burnishing clay on wood, courtesy of the artistFebruary 13March 2: Adriane Herman
Hermans work explores the culture of consumption in imagery as well as presentation concepts.

Gavin Turk, Mask, 2006, mixed media, courtesy of the artistMarch 5March 23: Gavin Turk
Turk reworks his own image disguised as a more famous person, with ambiguity and self-obsession as key features.

Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger, 'Untitled (Crochet),' 2005, archival inkjet print, 18 inches by 11 inches, courtesy of Western ExhibitionsMarch 28April 13: Dutes Miller and Stan Shellabarger
The artist team of Miller and Shellabarger will perform Untitled (Pink Tube) on Thursday, March 27. The finished product of their performance will remain on view through April 13. The pair crochet a tube with pink yarn, each at opposing ends of the weaving. The tube grows, keeping them tethered together while also pushing them apart.

Michelle Grabner, 'Untitled' (Roof Rainbow), 2001-2002, Lambda print, 18 3/4 inches and 16 3/4 inches, courtesy of the artistLeft: Michelle Grabner, Untitled (Roof Rainbow), 2001-2002, Lambda print, 18.75 x 16.75 inches, courtesy of the artist and the Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

Michelle Grabner: Remain in Light is organized by the University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal.

Artworks shown on this website are copyrighted by the artists unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced without permission of the copyright holder.