press release

Sign of the Times is a group exhibition exploring the current global economic crisis. This show was initially inspired by Carrie Schneider’s most recent photos “Recession” and “Miss America.” Acting once again as her own subject, Schneider set out to explore elements of physical comedy and its greater psychological repercussions. But as an American working in a foreign land (Helsinki), during a global meltdown, not-to-mention being bombarded with headlines about Miss California Carrie Prejean, Schneider could not help feeling personally responsible and embraced the topical nature of work. Taking this cue, Sign of Times hopes to convey the multiplicity of thought in regards to our current situation: from solidarity to parody, from economic to environmental, and of course from the political – both left and right. Kim Beck’s drawings from the series “Everything Must Go” are the precious versions of their printed and handwritten counterparts currently overwhelming the commercial landscape. As unique hand-drawn pieces, they signal the more personal repercussions of the economic collapse on the employees who make or hang these ever-perky, ever-optimistic signs. These signs announce an amazing, momentous, but also catastrophic, clearance event. Máximo González’s meticulously made collage-murals are entirely constructed of devalued currency. The work conflates the “political machine” with the reality of the “economic machine” that bankrupts developing nations. Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung’s own website announces art+design+activism. In a John Heartfield-meets-Monty Python style, his animated, neon-hued, cut- and-paste montages gleefully skewer all politicians from all sides, including President Obama, Hillary Clinton,Timothy Geithner, Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, President Bush, Valerie Jarrett, Felipe Calderón, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vladimir Putin, Benazir Bhutto and Kim Jong-Il to name a few. Michael Patterson-Carver’s brightly colored drawings feature placard-carrying protestors from his “We Need Work” series illustrating optimism in activism. In his artist statement, Patterson-Carver says “In the course of my life and activism, I have learned a few things- including the fact that in order to succeed at anything the first step you must take is to BELIEVE. This is the reason that everyone in my demonstration scenes is smiling- they are confident of success."

During the opening reception, Máximo González’s alternative/informal economy project El Changarrito will be situated outside the front of the gallery. The changarrito is a small push cart, likened to that often seen in Mexico (or the streets of Chicago for that matter) that sell various items from fresh fruit to black market goods. As a means of intervention or critique, González’s Changarrito has been situated in front of major art fairs, museums, and flea markets --most recently the Venice Biennale-- using it both as a platform for emerging artists as well as a satire of the art market. This time around, El Changarrito will feature the work of Jacob Goudreault and Robert Reinard, two local emerging artists without gallery representation. 100% of sales from El Changarrito go directly to the artists.

Kim Beck (American b. 1970 New Jersey, lives Pittsburgh) received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and BA from Brandeis University. She has exhibited widely including at the Walker Art Center, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Smack Mellon, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center. A recent participant in the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program, she has held other residencies at Yaddo, International Studio & Curatorial Program, Cité Internationale des Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and VCCA. She has received awards and fellowships from ARS Electronica, the Pollock-Krasner, Thomas J. Watson and Heinz Foundations and her artist's book, A Field Guide to Weeds, was published through the Printed Matter Emerging Artist Publishing Program and is in its second edition. She has a current window project at Mixed Greens Gallery NY and has work on view at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. She has an upcoming solo exhibition at The High Line NY and a group show at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2010.

Máximo González (Argentine b. 1971 Paraná, Entre Rios, lives Mexico City) studied Fine Arts in the Josefina Contte Institute of Fine Arts, in Corrientes, Argentina. He has had solo shows in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Madrid, Sao Paolo, London, NY, Milan, Frankfurt, Vancouver, and in 2008 “Recession: The alternative economies of Máximo González” at Queen’s Nails Annex San Francisco and “Heart of Lead” at Valle Orti Gallery in Valencia Spain. Select group exhibitions include “Arms and Tools” Museum of Modern Art Mexico City (2004); “Poetics of the Handmade” Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art curated by Alma Ruiz (2006); “Partisan” in ArtChicago 2009, curated by Mary Jane Jacob; and Changarrito at the Venice Biennale 2009 “Hacer Mundos - Making Worlds - Fare Mondi”. His work is in such collections as the Harvard Art Museum, Equity Office Chicago, and Dirk Dennison Architects. González made his Chicago debut at Skestos Gabriele Gallery in 2006.

Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung (Chinese b. 1976 Hong Kong, lives NY) earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University. His work has been exhibited at the New Museum, New York; Yerba Buena Center of The Arts, San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California; Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah; Postmasters Gallery, New York; Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, Bradford, United Kingdom; Urbis, Manchester, United Kingdom; Hebbel Am Ufer theatre, Berlin, Germany. He has received several awards throughout his career, including the Tribeca Film Institute Media Arts Fellowships, the “VIPER International Award- Internet” in Switzerland and “Honorary Mention- Net Excellence” in the 2002 Prix Ars Electronica. His work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art In America, The Village Voice, Libération, Le Monde, El Pais, Spiegel and La Repubblica among many others.

Michael Patterson-Carver (American b. 1958 Chicago, lives recently Los Angeles, New Orleans, Baja California, Mexico, San Juan, British Columbia, & Portland) is a self-taught artist and self-described activist whose first exhibition was at the ICA London show “Memorial to the Iraq War in 2007.” Since then he received the prestigious Altoids Award and exhibited at The New Museum NY in 2008. He has had solo exhibitions in NY, Portland, Brussels, and upcoming in Paris. This is the first time his work has been exhibited in Chicago. His work was recently acquired by the American Folk Art Museum.

Carrie Schneider (American b. 1979 Gurnee, lives Chicago) earned her MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. Her work is in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, and the Centre Canadien d’Architecture Montreal. She had her first solo show at moniquemeloche gallery in 2008 followed by the FaFa Gallery in Helsinki. In 2009 the Finnish Museum of Photography Helsinki and Galeri KiT Trondheim Academy of Fine Art Norway both mounted solo exhibitions. This December the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will debut her newest film in their UBS 12x12: New Artists New Work series. Schneider is currently making final edits in Florida on a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts with Rineke Dijkstra.

Sign of the Times

Künstler: Kim Beck, Maximo Gonzalez, Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung, Michael Patterson-Carver, Carrie Schneider