Monday, July 19, 2010

Birds in the Art of Suzanne Stryk

The work of Suzanne Stryk will be opening at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago on July 26th. The exhibition is titled Flyway: Birds in the Art of Suzanne Stryk and highlights the past decade of Stryk’s conceptually driven nature paintings. Her work merges scientific observation with expressive replication resulting in beautiful imagery that emphasizes the intricate details of birds and insects—bringing awareness to nature’s design.

The studies of art and science have obvious similarities within the creative process. Stryk explains,
“… both often beginning with the question: What if? What if I put these two chemicals together? What if I search a new habitat for a rare orchid? What if I combine two disparate images? What if I create an imaginary ladder made of feathers?”
“…people see the world of art and science as much too separate… Jacques Cousteau was once asked what he thought would make people more environmentally aware. I was surprised when he replied “the study of the humanities.” … Of course, what his comment implies is not that the study of science should be neglected, but rather should be coupled with the study of the arts. I agree—the arts and sciences should be partners in making people sensitive, imaginative and knowledgeable about the living world…”

Within imagery that—at times—includes secondary elements of chromosomes and the double helix, Stryk unites her passion for zoology and entomology [insects] with a contemporary awareness of genetics. These subdued secondary marks take the imagery from beautifully decorative to work of substance. Stryk forces us to focus on the beauty of the common creature and matches the seductive form with scientific reality implying that we should take an even closer look. She writes…
“My hope is that the work suggests questions, such as: How has our knowledge of genetics altered the perception of the natural world?; How do we reconcile personal reverence for life with scientific information?; and Does the mapping of the genome unravel mysteries or actually create more?”

The work of Suzanne Stryk will be presented at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago through September 9th. An Opening Reception will take place on Friday, July 30, 5:30-7:30 pm. This exhibition is free and open to the public. Gallery 180 is located at 180 N. Wabash—at the corner of Lake and Wabash—in Chicago’s Loop. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 8am-8pm; Friday, 8am-5:30pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.

Image: Suzanne Stryk, Green Evolution, 2007, Mixed Media on Wood Panel, 40x60"

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