JULIUS CAESAR Pop-Up as part of Chicago Exhibition Weekend
@Color Club, 4146 N Elston Ave
Thursday, September 28th, from 6-9PM
With open hours on Saturday, September 30th, from 12-6PM, and Sunday, October 1st, from 12-4 PM
The exhibition is free and open to the public. COLOR CLUB's 100-year-old home is not yet wheelchair accessible, but they are working on it. For more information on the venue, visit them here.
Marzena Abrahamik, Mel Cook, Ash Dye, Liza Jo Eilers, Emilie Louise Gossiaux, Jenny Halpern, Hyun Jung Jun, Allie Kushnir, Rodrigo Lara & Nate Young, Michael Lopez, Devin Mays, Juan Arango Palacios, Celeste Rapone, Jennifer Sullivan, Cody Tumblin, Caroline Walp @ Julius Caesar
In 2014 when the last of Julius Caesar collective’s founding members departed, those remaining invited Ro Miller, Josh Dihle, and Tony Lewis to join. All 3 had attended SAIC together and were practicing artists. When Kate was invited to join, she would become our first writer as a member of the collective. She had been working on Inside/Within, and had made getting-to-know artists her professional mission. During this time we began to think about what the Julius Caesar collective was, and how we want to be different from that. One of the changes we made was a commitment to love. Love for the artists we work with, love for our community, and supporting them through the exchange of seeing and being seen.
The exhibition Loving Forms is inspired by the wedding of our co-director Kate Sierzputowski to her partner Sam Clapp. Not just because Kate asked us to curate an exhibition for her, but because we love Sam and Kate, we know how many other people love Sam and Kate, and felt this exhibition would capture our mission in a way we had never done so directly. In honor of their wedding, we have curated Loving Forms to look at the breadth of our most powerful emotion. The group exhibition features a number of artists we have been proud to present in the past, as well as new faces we are excited to share. Each artists presents a vision of love they bring to form, many of which stand in striking contrast.
Abrahamik’s Mother, capturing the fierce love as a mother-to-be, is one such striking work on love. Lying behind Michael Lopez’s sculpture, which is also perhaps inspired by parenthood. Lopez, the father of a young toddler, says his work represents the “oppressively merciless love of a situation so pressurized it transcends the material universe.” Some other artists have created works in harmony. Cody Tumblin and Hyun Jung Jun, an artist couple, made paintings a heart-shaped symbol of love in their mediums of choice, sharing both proximity in exhibition as they do in life.
Devin T Mays, like several others, looked at the concept of love, with two blocks leaning into each other, both interlocked and supporting. Emilie Louise Gossiaux has been consistently inspired by the love shared between humans and their animal companions. Juan Arango Palacios’s painting title T.Q.M. is an abbreviation used in Latin America for “te quiero mucho,” a more endearing and less romantic way of saying, “I love you.” Caroline Walp, one of several friends-of-the-couple in the exhibition, uses images of Lake Michigan. The overlapping pictures of a singular body captures the wedding of Kate and Same, the beauty of love, and the power of nature. Ash Dye’s photograph, Love is a cold splash, creates a visual poem using the objects of our world to create a love story.
Several works represent the creation of art as an act of love. Celeste Rapone made Still Life in New England as a wedding gift to her friends’ wedding this past summer. Jenny Halpern made her work with her child’s baby blanket as a canvas. And on another polarity of our experience of love, Nate Young and Rodrigo Lara collaborated on Libations, a work made in honor of a beloved friend who passed away. Mel Cook’s Forget Me Not (MOM WOW III) is similarly inspired by the memory of love, as the painting was part of a series honoring her mother.
Liza Jo Eilers and Jennifer Sullivan present works on celebrities. Despite not knowing them personally, both artists made bodies of work celebrating these figures as icons, who not only represent powerful ideas to those who know of them, but can even change the way we love ourselves. That stands in contrast to Allie Kushner, who was inspired by her close friends Kate and Sam. Her piece As the Light Moves uses the same flowers Sam set out the night he and Kate were engaged.
We cannot thank these artists enough for their participation in this exhibition. We love all of them, their work, and are so happy to share them with Chicago for Exhibition Weekend.