April 28 - June 23, 2012
BIG YOUTH II – NEWS FROM CHICAGO
curated by John Corbett and Jim Dempsey
Isak Applin, Lilli Carré, Todd Chilton, Alex Chitty, Dana DeGiulio, Jonathan Gardner, Rachel Niffenegger, Betsy Odom, Kellie Romany and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung.
In 2009, Corbett vs. Dempsey Gallery proposed a panorama of the young artistic scene of Chicago with the exhibition “Big Youth”. The artists were affiliated with the renowned School of the Art Institute of Chicago and most works presented in the show were paintings. Now, three years later, Amel Bourouina is happy to invite John Corbett and Jim Dempsey to carry on this “inventory” and show for the first time in Berlin ten Chicago artists who are among the most promising of their generation.
“Big Youth II” opens up to other artists and other techniques. Isak Applin and Jonathan Gardner, already shown in 2009, claim a filiation with the “big ancestors”, the Chicago Imagists (as well as Cubists and the Canadian “Group of Seven”), but develop their own highly original figurative work. Rachel Niffenegger, also shown in the first “Big Youth” exhibition, reveals in her drawings and collages a morbid fascination caused by the human body and its diseases, recalling Chicago artist’s longstanding interest in the grotesque.
Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Dana DeGiulio, Kellie Romany and Todd Chilton have chosen pictorial abstraction. Even though the first two mentioned often use collage (press, photo, etc.) which makes it difficult to categorize them! To the exciting iconoclasm of Zuckerman-Hartung, to the forceful gesture of DeGiulio, and to the murky sensuality permeating the delicate works of Romany, Chilton responds by suggesting an extremely controlled reflection on the importance of imprecision in the abstract painting.
In their sculptures and installations, Betsy Odom humorously explores the American identity as its social organization and attempts to break its codes, while Alex Chitty examines our relation to our environment. We also encounter humor in the animated films of Lilli Carré, but black humor contrasting strongly with her clear and charming lines.