Mwanel Pierre-Louis’s “Alchemy” Opens September 14th.

MWANEL PIERRE-LOUIS
Alchemy  
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 14 from 6-9PM

“In able to grow, we all must shed off our layers”. 

 “This show, Alchemy, conveys the energies and conversation between the people and I. Working thru the conversations, peels back the layers through color and abstraction. These scenarios give duality and emotions throughout each piece. There’s a vast vocabulary with dense and airy contrast by it compositions and space. I’m also using Basic Alchemy to cover most of the scenarios. These are everyday people that are willing to shed off their daily stories to me and allow me to convey that through painting.” – Mwanel Pierre-Louis 

‘LAX / ORD II’ at Vertical Gallery curated by Thinkspace

Vertical Gallery presents ‘LAX / ORD II’, curated by Thinkspace. The exhibition will feature 100 artists, and will take place September 7 – 28, 2019. The opening reception is Saturday, September 7th, 6-9pm.

After the phenomenal success of LAX / ORD in September 2016, Vertical and Thinkspace immediately discussed collaborating again. “LAX / ORD II” will have more artists than the first edition, in what will be the largest collection of artists from the New Contemporary Movement under one roof to date in the Windy City.

All the artists have been asked to work within the same space confines of 12×12 inches (30×30 cm) and left to their own devices from there. This collection helps to showcase just how vast and varied the Movement is, from portrait based works to the more fantastical, from landscapes to design based abstract works… ‘LAX / ORD II’ promises to bring your Instagram feed to life and expose you to your new favorite artist.

The exhibition will also include more of a taste of the local Chicago art scene. JC Rivera will have a site-specific mural on the back wall of the gallery to help accent the group show that will be installed on the gallery’s adjacent side walls. On top of that, there will be a new print edition from Kayla Mahaffey that will be available exclusively for sale to those attending the opening reception. Get ready for Thinkspace’s big return!

Artists include: 
ABCNT
Abigail Goldman
Adam Caldwell
Ador
Alex Garant
Alex Yanes
Alexandra Manukyan
Alvaro Naddeo
Anthony Solano
Baldur Helgason
Benjamin Garcia
Brian Mashburn
Bryan Valenzuela
Buff Monster
Caratoes
Carlos Ramirez
CASE
Casey Weldon
Charlie Edmiston
Chase Mullen
Chloe Becky
Clare Toms
Collin Van Der Sluijs
Craig ’Skibs’ Barker
Crash One
Cristian Blanxer
Daniel Bildodeau
David Cooley
Derek Gores
Drew Young
Eduardo F. Angel
Eelus
Egg Fiasco
Erica Rose Levine
Ermsy
Fafi
Fernando Chamarelli
Fumi Nakamura
Goopmassta
Hanna Lee Joshi
Helen Bur
Hilda Palafox (aka Poni)
Huntz Liu
JC Rivera
Jacque Fragua
Joseph Renda Jr.
Joram Roukes
Kaili Smith
Kayla Mahaffey 
Kelly Vivanco
Kelsey Beckett
Kobusher
Koz Dos
Kyle Bryant
Lauren YS
Leon Keer
Linsey Levendall
Lisa King
Lonac
Louis Masai
Luke Chueh
Mando Marie
Marie-Claude Marquis
Martine Johanna
Max Sansing
Meggs
Nicola Caredda
Nomad Clan
Nosego
Nuno Viegas
Oak Oak
Paola Delfin
The Perez Bros
PREF
Rachel Strum
Ricky Watts
Roos van der Vliet
Ryan Malley
Samuel Rodriguez
Sean Chao
Sepe
Seth Armstrong
Sickid
Spenser Little
Stephanie Buer
Stikman
Super A
Superdeux
Telmo Miel
Terry Arena
TMRWLND
Troy Lovegates
Wiley Wallace
Woes 
Wooden Wave
Yok & Sheryo
Yosuke Ueno
Yusei Abe
Zezão

‘LAX / ORD II’, Curated by Thinkspace
September 7 – 28, 2019
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 7 from 6-9PM

Taking Place At:
Vertical Gallery
1016 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60622

Michael Reeder’s “The OtheRealm” opens Saturday, August 3rd.

MICHAEL REEDER
The OtheRealm
August 3, 2019 – August 24, 2019

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, August 3, 2019
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Michael Reeder invites the viewer into The OtheRealm this August at Thinkspace. Discovery through the exploration of process and materials has fueled this new series of work. Experimenting constantly in his studio to find just the right balance, Reeder never stops pushing himself forward. The OtheRealm features the largest collection of work to date from the Texan-born, Los Angeles-based artist.

A contemporary portraitist who uses figurative distortions and symbolic dislocations as a vehicle for the expression and examination of identity, Reeder’s controlled chaos is as evocative as it is strategically unsettling. Looking to the depiction of the figure as an exteriorization of the internal self, Reeder’s graphic and stylized works oscillate between moments of reduction and surplus.

The artist’s imagery is loose enough to encourage projection and tight enough to direct association by tapping into the subconscious, and its surreal recesses, as a limitless visual resource. By recreating a single subject multiple times, Reeder discovered the poetic potential in seriality and the subtlety of incremental difference: each iteration of the same producing profoundly different results.

Moving from flat graphic expanses of space and patterning to more realistically rendered areas, the portrait is positioned as a dynamic, shifting entity, a composite of competing forces colonized by often conflicting imperatives from the realms of the personal, political, and social. As something finite and circumscribed, the figure just like the self is, nonetheless, undeniably infinite as a locus of unwritten potential.

Matthew Grabelsky’s “Jungle Train” opens Saturday, August 3rd.

MATTHEW GRABELSKY
Jungle Train
August 3 – August 24. 2019

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, August 3, 2019
6:00pm – 9:00pm 

On view in the Thinkspace project room is Jungle Train, featuring new oil paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Grabelsky. His works combine a hyperrealistic painting technique with a surreal penchant for unlikely juxtapositions. Raised in New York City, Grabelsky uses its subway’s underground world as the setting for his unlikely pairings.

Grabelsky’s works depict his subjects traveling on subways, often nonchalantly reading magazines or newspapers, while the protagonists in these dyads are strange, quasi-mythological human hybrids with animal heads. Deer, bears, elephants, tigers, and everything in between, make a suited appearance in rush hour. By contrasting the platitudes of the day-to-day with the presence of the extraordinary and unlikely, Grabelsky stages the unexpected within the most unassuming of circumstances.

The appearance of the animal head feels distantly totemic, an archetype for something primordial, ancient, and psychologically motivated. Fascinated by the persistence of animal imagery in mythology and communal cultural imaginaries, Grabelsky superimposes its presence onto his depictions of the contemporary world. For the artist, the animal becomes a manifestation of the inner workings of the hidden subconscious, literally revealing the latent identities and motivations lurking beyond the composure of the human mask.

Technically inspired by 19th Century academic and naturalist painters, Grabelsky creates these unlikely, surreal scenes with a staggering degree of realistic detail. The contrast created between the visual verisimilitude of the works, and the surreal improbability of their content catches the viewer in a prolonged moment of convincingly suspended disbelief.

Kyle Bryant’s “On Broken Wings” opens Saturday, August 3rd.

KYLE BRYANT
On Broken Wings
August 3, 2019 – August 24, 2019

Opening Reception with the Artist(s):
Saturday, August 3, 2019
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Kyle Bryant graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in 2008 and has been perfecting his special brand of what he refers to as “Present Surrealism” ever since, an aesthetic bordering on the edge of a believable reality. A fine artist focusing on woodcut printmaking, Bryant recently took his oeuvre into a new direction, by adding layering and dimension to his wood-carved works. 

“The work that I create takes a traditional medium and expands upon it by completely dismantling it. After years of creating woodblock prints, I decided to take one apart, carve each piece individually, and put it back together in three-dimensional form. The result is a stunning combination of artistic expression, tradition, craftsmanship and an explosion of color.” – Kyle Bryant