EXPO CHICAGO—The International Exhibition of Contemporary Art—opened this weekend at Navy Pier’s Festival Hall. The show presents artwork from more than 140 of the most prominent international galleries—highlighting an array of fine art created by some three thousand artists. The event offers the opportunity to experience the fine art currently being produced around the globe, while revisiting some of the iconic artists from the past.
EXPO is substantial—seeming to fill every square foot of Festival Hall. I approached the exhibition in the same way I approach the first visit to a new art museum… Walk until something stops you. This has always been a successful technique when approaching an overwhelming quantity of work. As I wandered the corridors at a slow and scrutinizing pace, I found myself repeatedly standing in front of meditative works—fixed on the result of obsessive technique.
New to me, was the work of Anne Lindberg, represented by Carrie Secrist Gallery in Chicago. Lindberg’s visually meditative work is composed of thousands of individually placed graphite and colored pencil lines. Beautiful from a distance and uniquely engaging when approached—Lindberg’s complex imagery, pulls the viewer into a seemingly fragile illusionary environment intended to reflect the human condition, yet Lindberg’s world is emotionally powerful.
As I continued through the show, I came across the Aboriginal paintings of Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri, represented by the Smith Davidson Gallery in Miami and Amsterdam. The paintings are stunning. The scale forces engagement. The imagery submerges the viewer into a field of dotted line that occasionally shifts to generate unexpected—but comfortable—transitions. Each segment of the canvas is a meditative moment, but in its entirety, a reminder of the sacredness of nature and our world.
Finally, I found myself enthralled with the paintings of Ashanté Kindle, represented by the Latchkey Gallery in New York. Kindle achieves sophisticated beauty through an intricate and thickly laid, fluid impasto. Her elaborate abstract color fields generate a level of meditative introspection—offering the opportunity to get lost in glistening movement. For Kindle, these paintings are personal. The created wavelike forms define the natural textures that occur in Black hair. Kindle’s Artist Statement defines the work as “…a form of personal healing… and the desire to celebrate the history and beauty of Blackness.”
EXPO CHICAGO has much to experience. The exhibition continues through Sunday at 6pm. Tickets are $30 [$50 with tour]. Parking is available on site. For additional information visit: expochicago.com
ANNE LINDBERG’s work has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Venues include: The Drawing Center (NYC), Tegnerforbundet (Norway), SESC Bom Retiro (Sao Paulo), The Mattress Factory, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Museum of Arts and Design NYC, Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, US Embassy in Rangoon Burma, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Akron Art Museum, Cranbrook Art Museum, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, and the Omi International Art Center, among others. My work is in collections of the Nevada Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Howard and Cindy Rachofsky Collection, Collection of Kristy and Bill Gautreaux, Federal Reserve Bank Kansas City, Niwako Kimono Company, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics among many others. Lindberg is the recipient of the 2011 Painters & Sculptors Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, a Charlotte Street Foundation Fellowship, two ArtsKC Fund Inspiration Grants, a Lighton International Artists Exchange grant, the Art Omi International Artists Residency, an American Institute of Architects Allied Arts and Crafts award, and a Mid-America National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. I hold a BFA from Miami University (1985), and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art (1988). Lindberg works out of her studio in Ancramdale, New York.
ASHANTÉ KINDLE characterizes her practice as a form of personal healing: creation driven by a desire to celebrate the history and beauty of Blackness. As a multi-disciplinary artist working in abstraction, she creates abstracted wave forms that resemble the natural textures that occur in Black hair through a range of styling techniques. Kindle currently resides in Mansfield, CT as an MFA candidate at The University of Connecticut. She received her BFA from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. She has exhibited at FALSE FLAG (New York), Red Arrow Gallery (Tennessee), and Center on Contemporary Art (Washington) among others.
WARLIMPIRRNGA TJAPALTJARRI was born around 1958 east of Kiwirkurra in Western Australia. In 1984 the international headlines were filled with the ’discovery’ of the last group of Australian Aborigines who until the late 20th century had managed to retain their traditional lifestyle in complete isolation. These so-called ’last of the nomads’ or ‘lost tribe’ of nine Pintupi walked in from the bush west of Lake Owen that year and for the first time came into contact with western civilization. Six of these nine Aborigines became artists. From these six, Warlimpirrnga was the first who started painting after carefully observing other artists from the community at Kiwirkurra. Within three years, Warlimpirrnga transformed from a nomad with a traditional lifestyle into one of the leading artists from the Papunya Tula Artists corporation. In 1988, he held his first exhibition in Melbourne. Warlimpirrnga paints primarily in two styles, he makes extensive use of geometric shapes to depict the stories of the Tingari (ancestors), or he uses lines made up of carefully placed dots in his dreamings that depict holy Lake Mackay, a site of which he is one of the custodians. Warlimpirrnga uses the same dot technique as other Pintupi artists like his brothers, Walala and Thomas, but also George Tjungurrayi.