From left to right: Josh Dihle, Catherine Hu, and Jacob Goudreault
1:8 x 8 (+2)
Julius Caesar @ Hyde Park Art Center, feat. Chris Bradley, Josh Dihle, Jacob Goudreault, Michelle Grabner, Diana Guerrero-Maciá, Catherine Hu, Em Kettner, Tony Lewis, Roland Miller, and Kate Sierzputowski
September 1 - November 1, 2020
On view at Hyde Park Art Center, please refer to their website on how to view Artist Run Chicago 2.0 (ARC2.0). Visitation is currently by appointment and limited walk-ins, Tuesday-Friday.
Julius Caesar has inhabited an east-facing, two-room exhibition space at 3311 W. Carroll Ave. for over 10 years. The first room is a 12-foot white cube. White walls box in the viewer with fluorescent lights overhead and bare concrete under foot. The second room is also a 12-foot cube, but the eastern wall features a vine-covered, steel-frame window, and the floor is splattered with paint from its time as an artist studio. The two rooms are identical in volume but contrasting in feeling. The West Room feels cold and self-contained. The East Room feels airy, mindful of human touch and the outside world. Their contrast is felt in curation, whether highlighting different aspects of an artist’s work, or contrasting the style of different artists.
For 1:8 x 8 (+2), at Hyde Park Art Center’s Artist Run Chicago 2.0, Caesar has been reduced to 1/8th scale. Proportions for the cubby-sized gallery are the same as its full-sized inspiration, but condensed for peering into rather than around. The once confining walls of the West room now present a barrier between art and viewer, while the East Room’s outward-gazing window is ripe for peeping in. The cataclysmic scale shift exaggerates the impact of architecture on an artist’s work: a resonance always present but not always felt. The micro-gallery’s scale challenges the perception of each work as context is lost, distorted, and clarified.
Suddenly 1:1 scaled works merge with those intended as portraits of the miniature. Michelle Grabner’s jam jar lid and Tony Lewis’s comic cell project to paintings several feet across. Chris Bradley’s miniaturized truck and Catherine Hu’s shrunken city bench, on the other hand, revert to the size of their inspiration. Diana Guerrero-Maciá’s drawing transforms into a large-scale work, while Jacob Goudreault’s miniature sculptures retain their modesty.
Some works lack an external frame of reference and lie ambiguously in the middle. Roland Miller’s figural paintings, Josh Dihle’s neon landscape, and Em Kettner’s woven sculpture exist comfortably at any size. Hu’s Pushpin is the lone counterpunch: the only sculpture to be larger-than-life (already 5x the size of its inspiration). Finally, Kate Sierzputowski’s earring armature. Its post embedded in the wall, it questions whether scale is enforced by the architecture of a space or its relationship to our body.
1:8 x 8 (+2) is an invitation to examine the relationship between architecture and an exhibition. Existing as a self-contained contrivance, the otherwise invisible apparatus of an exhibition space becomes a literal obstacle to viewing. At once in the way and what-must-be-ignored, the 1:8 scale gallery inverts our relationship with the out-of-the-way and forgotten-before-seen.
CHRIS BRADLEY is an artist based in Chicago. He has recently presented his work in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Shane Campbell Gallery, Roberto Paradise, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Raleigh, and has been included in group shows at The Renaissance Society, Atlanta Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the NRW-Forum, and the Elmhurst Art Museum. He received his MFA degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2010. In 2014, he was included in the Modern Painters magazine feature “25 Artists to Watch.” In 2017, he was the recipient of the Meier Achievement Award. In addition to his studio practice, he is an instructor of sculpture at both SAIC and the University of Chicago. Over the past two decades, Bradley has developed a sculptural language around representation, poetics of ordinary subjects, trompe l’oeil techniques, and exhibition as site for the imagination. He aims to use this creative language to encourage his audience to practice the suspension of disbelief as a method for reconsidering and understanding this shared common world.
JACOB GOUDREAULT (b. 1985) lives and works in Chicago, has held solo exhibitions at ADDS DONNA (Chicago), Bloodfeast-Adult Swim (Atlanta), Bahamas Biennale (Detroit), Kate Werble Gallery (New York), Green Gallery (Milwaukee) and The Suburban (Oak Park). Group shows include Roots and Culture (Chicago), Modern Life Fine Arts (New York), Mount Airy Contemporary (Philadelphia), Heaven Gallery (Chicago), LVL3 (Chicago), 1-800-bad-drug(New York) and The Poor Farm (Manawa, WI)
MICHELLE GRABNER works in a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, video and sculpture. She is most widely known for her abstract metalpoint works and her paintings of textile patterns appropriated from everyday domestic fabric. Incorporating writing, curating and teaching, with a studio practice grounded in process and productivity, she has created a multi-faceted and dynamic career.
I Work From Home, Michelle Grabner’s first comprehensive solo museum exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, organized by David Norr, opened in October of 2013 and was on view through February 2014. Grabner was also the subject of a solo exhibition at the Indianapolis Museum of Art curated by Tricia Paik in May 2015. Solo exhibitions of Grabner’s work have also been held at Richard Heller Gallery, California; James Cohan Gallery, New York; INOVA, The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Ulrich Museum, Wichita; and University Galleries, Illinois State University. She has been included in group exhibitions at Richard Heller Gallery, California; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate St. Ives, UK; and Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. Grabner’s work is included in the permanent collection of Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; MoCA, Chicago; MUDAM, Luxemburg; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Grabner holds an MA in Art History and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University. She joined the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996, and became Chair of its prestigious Painting and Drawing Department in the Fall of 2009. She is also a senior critic at Yale University in the Department of Painting and Printmaking. Her writing has been published in Artforum, Modern Painters, Frieze, Art Press, and Art-Agenda, among others. Grabner also runs The Suburban and The Poor Farm with her husband, artist Brad Killam. She co curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art along with Anthony Elms and Stuart Comer.
DIANA GUERRERO-MACIÁ makes hybrid works of art and considers craft a form of consciousness. She makes works that are collaged, pieced, dyed, and stitched as a reconsideration of the field and form to ask poetic questions about our perceptions of color, symbols, and material value. Through her large-scale projects she engages materials to question what is being seen and what inclusive histories are represented. Her studio practice is informed by her deep understanding and intuitive fascination with textiles, paintings, and designed objects.
Guerrero-Maciá has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. She has created public art commissions for the Public Art Fund, in New York City & Chicago. She is a United Artist Fellowship Nominee, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award winner and multiple MacDowell Colony Fellow. Guerrero-Maciá received fellowships at both Skowhegan School of Art and Penland School of Craft. She is a Professor in the Fiber & Material Studies and Painting & Drawing Departments at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is represented by Traywick Contemporary, Berkeley and Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago.
CATHERINE HU is a Singaporean artist living and working in Chicago. Through a process of imitation and recombination, she makes hybrid objects that attempt to belong in multiple places at once. Her objects mimic existing forms and formats (like that of luxury furniture or street advertising), to varying degrees of faithfulness, functioning like puns, where two meanings share one form, such that both can exist simultaneously in places where one or the other might not be wanted. She has shown work at 062, Gallery No One, and Heaven Gallery, in Chicago
EM KETTNER (b. 1988, Philadelphia, PA) received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and has taught there as a Lecturer in the Painting + Drawing, Contemporary Practices, and Liberal Arts departments. Em is currently the Exhibitions Assistant and a Facilitator for the Ceramics, Textiles, and Drawing departments at NIAD Art Center, a studio and gallery space that supports neurodiverse artists in the Bay Area. Em has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, and works to upend misconceptions related to agency and sexuality in the disability community. Em has been the recipient of an SAIC Teaching Fellowship, the MIUSA Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability, and the 2019-2020 AAC Diversity + Leadership Fellowship. Em weaves, writes, and fires clay out in El Cerrito, California.
Julius Caesar is an artist-run project space established in 2008. An ever-evolving group of artists acts as co-directors and at present is Josh Dihle, Tony Lewis, Roland Miller, and Kate Sierzputowski.
JOSH DIHLE (American, b. 1984) received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 and his BA at Middlebury College in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include the McAninch Arts Center (Chicago,IL), Valerie Carberry Gallery (Chicago, IL), and Pleasant Plains (Washington D.C.). Group exhibitions include Essex Flowers (New York,NY), Unisex Salon (New York, NY), Annarumma Gallery (Naples, Italy), Shane Campbell Gallery (Chicago, IL), Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, IL), the University of Maine Museum of Art (Bangor, ME), and DUTTON (New York, NY). Dihle teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and codirects the Chicago artist project space Julius Caesar.
TONY LEWIS lives and works in Chicago. His work has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions including Anthology 2014-2016, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2018); Plunder, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (2017); Alms, Comity and Plunder, Museo Marino Marini, Florence, Italy (2016); and nomenclature movement free pressure power weight, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH (2015). Lewis participated in the 2014 iteration of the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY and was the recipient of the 2017-2018 Ruth Ann and Nathan Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence Award at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.
ROLAND MILLER (American, b.1987) is a Chicago based artist and curator. He is a co-founder of Barely Fair and co-directs Julius Caesar, an artist-run project space in Chicago. He graduated from SAIC’s MFA program in 2014, and Boston University in 2009. Finding inspiration in contemporary body culture, source material includes famous bodybuilders, their relationship to childhood toys and adverts, and a ritualized workout routine. The Body Journal series centers around auto-fictional figure paintings drawing on a journaling practice.
KATE SIERZPUTOWSKI is a freelance writer and arts organizer based in Chicago. Fascinated by artists’ studio processes, she founded the website INSIDE\WITHIN in 2013 to physically explore and archive the creative spaces of Chicago's emerging and established artists. Kate contributes art writing to Hyperallergic, Colossal, the Chicago Reader, and Chicago Magazine. She serves as half of the curatorial duo Episode with Tusk-founder Mary Eleanor Wallace, runs a small gallery on her ear called Chandelier, and has been a co-director of the artist-run gallery space Julius Caesar since 2015.