Andreas Fischer + Melissa Pokorny

Kabinett 5
01.30 — 03.19.11

devening projects + editions is very pleased to present Kabinett 5, the most recent in our series of exhibitions showcasing contexual conversations within the work of multiple artists. Kabinett 5 pairs sculpture installations by Melissa Pokorny with a new series of paintings by Andreas Fischer.

For Melissa Pokorny, found objects constitute the starting point for elaborate constructions that address gender, the public and private self, the nature/culture divide, and most recently, the connections between “things” as potent containers capable of active agency and the deeply haunted sense of place that clings to landscape and personal possessions. The unremarkable histories of everyday objects become activated and heightened as they move into new situations and re-position within a larger tableau. The compulsion to collect and the status of marginal objects and things is a focus in these works. The rarified and the quotidian work together to create momentary and speculative connections. Reveries. Fragmentary narratives emerge on the nature of loss and desire and the power of magical thinking. The stuff comes from estate sales; the photographs were taken at the Funk Prairie Home and Gem & Mineral Museum in Shirley, Illinois. This collection, amassed over a lifetime by hybrid seed baron LaFayette Funk, claims to be the largest privately held collection of rocks and natural ephemera in the United States. It is a “kabinett” for Kabinett 5.

Within his most recent projects, the Chicago artist Andreas Fischer has been producing works that come about through fragmentary impulses. Utilizing small material statements occurring within individual paintings, among paintings in series, and in relation to images in the world, he’s been working toward revealing raw information rather than refined and resolute declarations. By intentionally constructing the uncertainty of an unresolved outcome, he guides the viewer away from questions of how ideas must fit together to arrive at a clear destination, and instead reveals experience through process. He’s interested in the possibilities for these fragments to swirl around each other, sometimes mixing, but never obligated to interrelate. Fischer’s paintings hang on the shell of representation. He uses the language of traditional painting subjects as markers for unburdened meaning and as the armature upon which to hang his loose network of gestures. Ultimately, for the viewer, it’s the deliberate instability of the painting structure that creates a satisfying tension between clarity and hesitation.

Melissa Pokorny has been an exhibiting artist for more than 20 years. Her large-scale, assemblage-based sculptural works have been widely exhibited at venues across the United States. Recent solo shows at Platform Gallery in Seattle and Front Room Gallery in New York augment a long career of solo exhibitions, beginning with Gallery Paule Anglim in San Francisco and continuing with Bodybuilder and Sportsman in Chicago. Selected group exhibitions include venues such as Yerba Buena Gardens, Southern Exposure, Victoria Room, and New Langton Arts in San Francisco; FOOD Gallery in Los Angeles; Gallery 400, Columbia College and the James Hotel in Chicago; and The Richard Peeler Art Center at Depauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Her work is held in collections at Orange County Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Museum and others. Melissa Pokorny is an associate professor in painting and sculpture at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she currently lives and works.

Andreas Fischer’s numerous projects include exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Hyde Park Art Center, Kavi Gupta Gallery and Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago; Mattress Factory Museum, Pittsburgh; Gahlberg Gallery at the College of Dupage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois; Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, Illinois; Hudson Franklin Gallery, New York, among others. He is currently assistant professor of painting and drawing at Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, and lives and works in Chicago.

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