EXCERPTS FROM A FADING BLOOM
September 11, 2015 - November 1, 2015
Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a solo exhibition by local Chicago sculptor, Jason Hawk. The exhibition opens to the public with an artist’s reception on Friday, September 11th from 6-10PM.
Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a collection of work by Jason Hawk that examines the developing layers of our society. The sculptural landscapes he creates expose a layered civilization, an evolving cultural dialog built upon once powerful objects that are abandoned for the next glittering status symbol. Hawk finds beauty in the crumbling ruins that were once deemed the pinnacle of our society—museums, nightclubs and shopping malls all fractured and decayed, defaced by bad graffiti—a cultural battleground where ideas and movements wrestle for dominance.
Jason Hawk explains, “In all of my work there are captured moments of allegory and cultural discourse. The work is almost always wrapped in the shell of beauty that’s hiding some sickening inevitability or truth. Like a milk dud: candy on the outside, poison on the inside.”
Excerpts from a Fading Bloom is a selection of work from multiple series that reveal elements of a greater cultural narrative. The “Blackout” series utilizes the foundations of art history with signifiers of decadence and status to remix a new semblance of meaning. The “blackout” application strips these emblems of their pretension and pomp, allowing the viewer to look at the work objectively. Hawk further engages a dialogue on class and status by departing from his repertoire of chrome and bronze finishes in favor of mundane materials such as plastic and foam. Similarly, the “Junk Piles” series is formed with discarded parts of culture that creates a caricature of the disposable nature of our collective behavior. The sculptures are formed with a rotational casting technique found in mass produced plastic goods that reinforces the blind folly of our society.
However, Hawk believes that the “Fabricated Landscapes” series is his most important to date because it’s where he initially discovered his conceptual voice. The “Fabricated Landscapes” combine simplified forms with elements of allegory and archetypal themes to create a foundation for personal narrative. Wrapped in layers of hidden meaning, these sculptures function as definitive statements while providing clues for the viewer to formulate a narrative of their own. “Fabricated Landscapes” are self-referential sculptural snapshots of the cultural zeitgeist. They play on the dichotomy of opposites and are heavily wrapped up in the American Dream and where it may have gone wrong.
Excerpts from a Fading Bloom runs September 11 – November 1 and is curated by Assistant Director Scott Renfro.
Jason Hawk is a Chicago based sculptor who was born and raised in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. After years spent working in paint and intaglio printing, he enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Early in his pursuit of a BFA, he found that he had an affinity for sculptural metal work and devoted his studies to gaining technical proficiency. In 2010, Hawk and a few colleagues started Red Gate Studios, an artist’s collective and fabrication space in the heart of Logan Square. Jason Hawk has shown extensively throughout Chicago and the Mid-West, in such venues as Art Chicago, Expo Chicago, The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria and the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh. Hawk has also shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Colorado and has work in the permanent collections of the Anderson Center for the Arts, the Peoria Public Library and the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
POWER, POLITICS AND PAVEMENT
The Men Behind the Streets
September 18, 2015 - November 1, 2015
OPENING RECEPTION: Friday September 18, 2015 6-10PM
The Jackson Junge Gallery proudly presents Power, Politics, and Pavement, an exhibition by local Chicago artist, Brian Morgan that reveals Chicago’s history through portraiture. The exhibition opens to the public with an artist’s reception on Friday, September 18th from 6-10PM.
From its early days when powerful politicians and wealthy landowners surveyed a swamp to lay out a grid on roughly one-square mile, Chicago has grown to encompass diverse neighborhoods and deep cultural heritage. We are a city with a population of more than three million people who walk, bike, drive and bus on over 3,600 miles of streets. Every day we traverse upon those immortal pioneers of business and fortune from centuries ago, who built this city and left their names to forever remind us of their legacies. For most of us, we have no idea who they are.
“Gallery Director Chris Jackson approached me with an idea to highlight Chicago’s history in portraits. I accepted the challenge by choosing to uncover and reveal some of the more well-traveled and popular streets whose namesakes may or may not be remembered. While working on this project, my wife, Marianne Mather Morgan, was also working on her own bit of Chicago history. As a photo editor at the Chicago Tribune, she uncovers and researches historical Chicago photographs. A collaboration was born.”
Roads were usually named for where they led. However, when the developers of Chicago created their map of this soon-to-be metropolis they threw that practicality aside and named the streets after themselves, their friends, the politicians whom they owed favors, the women they adored, and the investors who made the city possible.
In these eight portraits you will find early settlers, doctors, fur traders, politicians and wealthy real estate men. What you won’t find are women and minorities. The few women who have been immortalized on a street sign, most often were the daughters or wives of the powerful and had very little information left about their lives. The one exception to this exclusion of minorities is Black Hawk, whose tribal land is now called Chicago.
Power, Politics, and Pavement runs September 18 – November 1 and is curated by Gallery Director Chris Jackson and Assistant Director Scott Renfro.
Brian Morgan lives in Chicago’s west-side neighborhood of Humboldt Park, where he creates rough and humorous images of life and politics in America. His work discusses the economic divide between the rich and the poor, heavily draped in humorous satire. Morgan ventures beyond politics by delving into the maniacally diverse society of cyclists in the city of Chicago. Blending india ink, thin monochromatic oils, and dramatic splashes of vinyl paint on wood panels, his signature style creates a motley cast of characters. From bike messengers, street vendors and fast flying track racers, to fat cat politicians, these paintings present the energy and love of a big city and a simple machine.