Friday, February 19, 2010

The Poroshina Reception

Tonight's Alina Poroshina reception at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago was well attended. Poroshina [not pictured] flew in from New York to attend the event.

Born in Moscow, Poroshina moved—with her family—to Lansing, Michigan as a refugee at the age of ten. As her life continued, she earned BFA in Painting, with a minor in Illustration, from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. She continued her education and in 2007 earned an MFA in Studio Art, attending Kendall's graduate program on a merit scholarship.

In describing her paintings, Poroshina explains:
“The hidden symbolism—found in my paintings—creates a multi-lingual narrative that is interpreted in accordance with the unique cultures of the viewers. Seemingly different, all my paintings reflect my internal struggle, my passions, and the painful analysis of the fears and hopes of my generation.”
The Alina Poroshina exhibition continues through April 15th at Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. The exhibited works are available for purchase. Gallery 180 is located at 180 N. Wabash—at the corner of Lake and Wabash—in Chicago's Loop.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Alina Poroshina ...Reception Friday, February 19th

It’s been an amazing weekend. As you may know, the College Art Association Annual Conference was taking place here in Chicago. It began on Wednesday evening and continued through Saturday afternoon. The sessions were amazing …and between sessions on Saturday, I took a few hours to hang the Alina Poroshina exhibition in Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago.

The Poroshina show is wonderful and the canvases are substantial—both in size and content. Poroshina has created a body of symbolic imagery, which deals with issues confronting women—and in my opinion—society in general. The beautifully painted surfaces are rich with confident strokes of color, which demand the viewer’s full attention. Benches have been included in the exhibition space to allow onlookers a place to stop to contemplate the imagery. A catered reception for the exhibition will be held this Friday, February 19th from 5:30-7:30. Gallery 180 is located at 180 N. Wabash in Chicago. The reception is free and all but one of the pieces are available for purchase.

A second show will also be taking place Friday evening… The Art of Human Rights to benefit Heartland Alliance will take place at the River East Art Center from 6:30-9. Check out the Heartland Alliance web site for additional information.

Image: Alina Poroshina, "Abduction of New Orleans", Oil on Canvas, 60 x 96, $8,400 - and detail

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ken Konchel... Graphically Beautiful

When selling art, if the patron is “on the fence” about the purchase, I’ll suggest that they go home. I tell them that if they’re still thinking about the piece the next day—or a week later—then they probably need to make the purchase. I’m one of those people who purchase work because it moves me… not really knowing where it will eventually live.

A few years back, I produced an exhibition for photographer, Ken Konchel at Gallery 350 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. Konchel’s work was—and continues to be—a beautiful presentation of graphic black and white photographic abstraction created from architecture. From Konchel’s web site:
"My aim is to photograph buildings in arresting ways, creating compositions that do not immediately reveal themselves as architecture. Buildings present rich opportunities for me to imaginatively explore the angle, the cube, the curve, the triangle, and the rectangle. By examining these forms individually or by grouping them into unconventional configurations, I aspire to challenge and captivate people by introducing them to architecture’s intriguing visual possibilities. I strive to take photographs that disclose their content in layers of meaning that more richly reward with repeated viewings."

Well the reason I bring this up is that I purchased one of the pieces from that exhibition… The piece, titled “Beam”, is dated 2003. The image is of the ceiling of Windhover Hall, a ninety-foot high glass-walled reception area at the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavillion. The photograph has been leaning against the wall on my living room for the past few years. It’s a relatively large piece—framed to 30 x 36”— so I’ve been looking for the perfect placement… I found it. Today, I hung the work in our freshly painted office. The contrast of the steel blue walls and the forms created by the flanking window blinds—which obviously mimic the image—create the perfect environment for Konchel's tranquil composition.

You can find other work by Ken Konchel at: Check it out… his work is quite amazing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Alina Poroshina - February 19th – Save the Date

Gallery 180 of The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago will present a series of oil paintings by Alina Poroshina from February 15 through April 15. These works are just a segment of the artist’s “Fire and Water” series from which she uses symbolic imagery of strong women, who choose to conquer and prevail despite existing adversity.

A resistance to victimization is symbolically communicated to the viewer in the cleverly titled “Coy”. This piece presents a provocatively dressed woman floating in a pond with by a number of large Japanese carp. Based on Japanese symbolism, the carp—or koi—represent perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose. The large golden fish circle the woman as though attempting to keep her afloat. The beautifully painted canvas—54 inches high by 36 inches wide—is but one of the artist’s anthems of feminine perseverance.

Please join us for the Alina Poroshina Exhibition, which will open at Gallery 180 with a reception on February 19th. Gallery 180 is located at 180 N. Wabash—at the corner of Lake and Wabash—in Chicago’s Loop. The exhibition is free to the general public and all works are available for purchase.

Image: "Coy", oil on canvas, 54 x 36", 2008