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“By Hand”
Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
Recommendation by Robin Dluzen

Chelsea Culprit, "Feng Shui," 2010-13, oil and mixed media on canvas, 60 x 60"

Continuing through April 30, 2016

In “By Hand,” works by six artists are brought together to illustrate the aesthetic characteristics at the core of the gallery’s overall program. Each piece contains a reference to the figure, and as the title indicates, each bears the visible hand of the artist. From Howard Fonda’s heavy brushstrokes, to Chelsea Culprit’s and Denise Kupferschmidt’s gestural line work, to Diana Guerrero-Maciá’s carefully stitched fabric, and Alice Tippit’s and Ann Toebbe’s hand-rendered, hard-edge compositions, “By Hand” provides an alluring array of the two-dimensional image-making processes.

However, it’s not simply the presence of these two visual components that binds the various works together. The combination of the body and the physical index of the artist emphasizes notions of intimacy. The pattern of leggy women in Kupferschmidt’s mural, “Women Walking,” has the hem of their short skirts at head-height over the entrance to the gallery, providing us with the titillating experience of walking right between their legs. Though Toebbe’s colored pencil drawings contain no outright depictions of the figure, the domestic detritus — keys, piles of bills, dirty dishes in the sink — throughout her meticulously rendered interiors makes the human presence undeniable. A pair of works by Guerrero-Maciá, “My First Painting” (1982) and “My First Painting Twenty-One Years Later” (2003), are also quite personal; the artist gives viewers a glimpse of her own artistic journey with her past and her present on display.

Carrie Secrist Gallery

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