Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
118 North Peoria Street
artists & participants
In conjunction with the exhibition "keeping secrets: fetish in african art," curated by Douglas Dawson, Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present evoking spirit. Contemporary artists in this group exhibition have been selected for the ways in which they investigate the practice of placing spiritual significance on objects or the act of translating an imbued essence from a material. Moving beyond the physical reality of the works, this exhibition resurrects the esoteric power that shapes our connection to artwork.
This thought-provoking group exhibition begins with an understanding of the human tendency to be impacted by the power of an object. This understanding is challenged in the selected artworks through the deconstruction, celebration, or reversal of the composition of an object’s essence.
Deana Lawson’s photographs of contemporary voodoo ceremonies in Haiti act as a palpable bridge between the instruments of divination and ritual on view in keeping secrets and the contemporary artworks featured in evoking spirit. Artists Pascal Marthine Tayou, Huma Bhabha, and Pier Paolo Calzolari utilize mixed media, natural elements, and discarded commercial materials in their work to awaken a deeper spirit and perceived power in a displaced setting.
Conversely, sculptures by Xavier Toubes and Patricia Rieger exist in poetic spaces and attempt to capture intangible elements such as beauty, imagination, and self- perception. Meanwhile, David Schutter renders physical encounter with canonical paintings through re-performing their surface from memory, an act of phenomenological study of the art object’s power. Anne Wilson unravels issues of history, domesticity, and social ritual in her fiber-based conceptual art practice.
Artists Robert Heinecken and Luis Gispert have taken a more critical approach, questioning the thrust of desire and power embodied by commercial objects. By awakening the specters in each artist's practice, this exhibition brings to light their explorations in issues of authenticity, desire, and memory.
Artists included: HUMA BHABHA, PIER PAOLO CALZOLARI, LUIS GISPERT, ROBERT HEINECKEN, DEANA LAWSON, PATRICIA RIEGER, DAVID SCHUTTER, PASCALE MARTHINE TAYOU, XAVIER TOUBES, ANNE WILSON