PDF of Pitchpoling Post Card
Image: Bobbi Meier, Twisted, 2014, fiber, spray paint and wood. Photograph by Tom Van Eynde
Opening Reception:Pitchpoling:Robin DluzenJosh GarberEric GusheeBobbi MeierHeather MekkelsonJudith MullenMelissa Pokorny
Friday, October 21, 2016
5 to 8 p.m.
co-curated by Robin Dluzen and Judith Mullen
October 17 - November 23, 2016
Curatorial Statement for “Pitchpoling”
Chicago artists are notorious for forging their own paths, shirking the norm in favor of that which hasn’t been done before. In “Pitchpoling,” eight of the city’s artists each take a novel approach to material, sourcing from the world around them to insert the non-art, the low and the vernacular into the contemporary art dialogue. For these artists, media that varies from the natural to the man-made is recycled and upcycled, deconstructed and rebuilt. Much like the way in which a Google search will turn up a democratic grid of images plucked from their original contexts, so too do the artists in “Pitchpoling” take stock of the stuff that surrounds them to pick and choose freely that which will be reconstituted into the context of “art.”
Often, working in this manner means that there is no prior modus operandi. There are no age-old methods for mixing paint or preparing a canvas, a set cocktail of darkroom chemicals to rely upon, or molding and casting methods that will yield confident results. Works made from materials like pantyhose, cardboard, styrofoam, branches and dime store tchotchkes don’t come with a canon of masters to emulate or ancient process that have long been perfected. It takes courage to engage in unknown material characteristics, to problem-solve without any limits, to constantly experiment with uncertain hypotheses. The artists in “Pitchpoling” are taking a risk with every visit to the studio, not knowing whether the actions they take will right the ship, or whether they’ll capsize it.
-Judith Mullen & Robin Dluzen