Know Better
08.28 — 10.15.16

August 28 – October 15, 2016
Opening Reception: Sunday, September 18, 4-7 pm

devening projects + editions is very pleased to present Know Better, Allison Wade’s third exhibition with the gallery.

This group of sculptures, inspired by a fence display at Lowe’s, embraces the formal appeal of the ubiquitous staircase: it elevates, it frames, it references the body, and it has a distinct front and back. It also offers a way to organize space that mirrors the logic of her recent drawings. By stretching the riser and condensing the tread of each stair, Allison Wade re-negotiates the structure’s use value and heightens the play between two and three dimensions, flatness and form.

She always starts with drawing. Sometimes jumping from one body of sculptural work immediately into another, but she knows better. The drawings offer a low-stakes way for her to arrange objects in imagined constructions. As she says, “nothing falls in a drawing!” Working with ink wash led her to more layered and dense two-dimensional compositions. The stair sculptures express her attempt to apply this thought process to three dimensions.

Each scenario in the show comprises a particular color scheme. With application techniques adopted from her glazed ceramics, she uses painted forms with blurred transitions to further emphasize overlapping relationships.

Allison Wade’s approach is grammatical — she manipulates objects and materials into highly edited sentences, paragraphs, or stanzas. Whereas previous installations may have felt like sparsely composed essays or poems, this grouping reads more like a collection of short stories. Each sculpture relates to the others stylistically, but ultimately remains self-sufficient.

Allison Wade received her MFA from the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and holds a BA in English literature from Stanford University. Recent solo shows include you and you and you at Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, IL). Additional exhibitions include Ditch Projects (Eugene, OR), Scotty Enterprises (Berlin), Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College (Memphis, TN), La Esquina Gallery (Kansas City, MO), Riverside Arts Center (Riverside, IL), and LVL3 (Chicago). Wade has been awarded residencies at Ox-Bow, ACRE, Mustarinda (Finland), and the Vermont Studio Center and has been a visiting artist at Miami University, Rhodes College, the Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Ceramics Department, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Interlink program. Born and raised in Texas, she lives and works in Chicago, where she is a Lecturer in the Department of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University.

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