Ed Flood Constructions

Sept. 11, 2009 - Oct. 10, 2009

Main Gallery

View

Ed Flood


Edward C. Flood Constructions
1973
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
13" x 18" x 3"

Ed Flood

Evidence
1968
acrylic, Plexiglas, wood, marbles
10" x 8" x 2"

Ed Flood

The Flaming Comet Zulu Dart Board
1968
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
13.5" x 13.5" x 2.5"

Ed Flood

Pascal's Triangle
1973
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
24" x 30" x 15"

Ed Flood

White Water
1971
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
23" x 30" x 13"

Ed Flood

South Pacific
1971
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
25.5" x 35" x 1"

Ed Flood

Zero Dead Hero
1970
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
31.5" x 22.5" x 5.5"

Ed Flood

Gates of Paradise
1970
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
29.5" x 24.5" x 3"

Ed Flood

Virgin
1971
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
26" x 20" x 3.5"

Ed Flood

The Shell Game (front)
1971
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
14" x 21" x 8"

Ed Flood

The Shell Game (back)
1971
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
14" x 21" x 8"

Ed Flood

Flower Box
1968
Acrylic, Plexiglas, and wood
9" x 11.5" x 2"

Ed Flood

Untitled (One Side Edge Round)
1973
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
14.5" x 16.5" x 10"

Ed Flood

Jackie's Club
1968
Acrylic, Plexiglas, and wood
13" x 11" x 3"

Ed Flood

First Nighter
1968
acrylic, plexiglas, and wood
13" x 13" x 1"

Ed Flood

Time Capsule (Multi-Color)
1966-70
mixed media
12" x 12" x 4"

Ed Flood

Time Capsule (Brown)
1966-70
mixed media
12" x 12" x 4"

Ed Flood

Blue Lagoon
1969
unique glitter print
23" x 17.5"

Ed Flood

Two Palm Trees Menaced by a Wave
1971
color lithograph
16" x 20"

Ed Flood

Sketch for Silver Crown
1969
acrylic on paper
8.5" x 10.5"

Ed Flood

Sketch for First Nighter
1968
ink on paper
14" x 17"

Ed Flood

Sketch for First Nighter
1968
ink on paper
9.5" x 9.5"

Ed Flood

Sketchbook Page
1968
ink and collage on paper
9.5" x 11"

Ed Flood

Untitled (Various Maker Sketches)
1968
ink on and marker on paper
9.5" x 9.5"

Ed Flood

Sketch for Enemy Gunners
1969
ink on paper
14" x 17"

Ed Flood

Sketch (Palm Trees with Clouds)
1969
ink on paper
14" x 17"

Press Release

This is the first solo show of Flood’s artwork since a 1987 retrospective at the Hyde Park Art Center held soon after his premature death in 1985. The exhibition at Corbett vs. Dempsey will concentrate on his classic Imagist works, including a selection of Flood’s trademark Plexiglas and wood box constructions from 1967 to 1973, as well as works on paper and ephemeral materials such as preparatory sketches and posters.

Flood was a member of the influential group of Chicago artists known as the Imagists who burst onto the art scene in the late 1960s with a series of madcap exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center organized by artist and curator Don Baum. Flood’s work was first shown in the Nonplussed Some show there in 1968.

Flood was always an exceptional craftsman. The layers of impeccably painted Plexiglas held by finely joined wood frames in these early works are a testament to his skills. Like many of the Chicago Imagists, Flood was inspired by pop cultural sources like comics and picture postcards. His method of reverse-painting on Plexiglas achieved a bright and highly polished look comparable to that of mass-produced graphics and pinball machines. Flood used layers of Plexiglas the way a printmaker would use color separations, exploding his seemingly flat images into complicated treasure boxes.

The subversive slickness of Flood’s medium in these early works is complemented by their subject matter. With calculated perfection they show dense tropical landscapes, perky palm trees, and fiery flowers. Soon the palm trees become nonsensical emblems of happiness gone awry; they vibrate mysteriously in empty fields, storm clouds gathering in the distance. By the early 1970s, Flood’s box constructions were almost entirely abstract, with layer upon layer of wiggling pastel shapes that could be clouds, trees, or sea anemones. In pieces like Zero Dead Hero and The Flaming Comet Zulu Dart Board , Flood touches on colonialism and war as contemporary examples of the inherent dangers of both real and metaphorical paradises.

Corbett vs. Dempsey’s exhibition will offer a rare look into Flood’s lengthy working process, including sketches he made in preparation for his box constructions and serigraph prints from the same time period. It will also help viewers contextualize Flood’s career in the exciting history of Chicago Imagism, with ephemeral materials from the early HPAC shows and artwork by Flood’s friends Red Grooms and H.C. Westermann. In the East Wing, Red Grooms’ 1968 film Tappy Toes will be on view, featuring camera work by Flood, a set by Grooms, and performances by Ed Paschke, Lori Gunn, and other luminaries of the Chicago art world.

A 148-page catalog accompanies the exhibition. It includes multiple views and details of all box constructions in the show, dozens of Flood’s prints and preparatory sketches, and an essay by the great curator and scholar Robert Storr.