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Exhibitions

THE FUNK MACHINE

Group Exhibit

March 6 - May 3, 2020

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, March 6, 2020  6-10PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents THE FUNK MACHINE, its second group exhibition of 2020. The exhibition features 17 Midwest artists.  The artworks vary in medium from paintings to sculpture. The exhibition opens with an artists' reception on Friday, March 6, 2020, from 6-10pm. Admission is FREE to the public.

Literature, film, music, fashion and fine art have all been influenced by steampunk since the mid-20th century. However, the fundamental inspirations behind steampunk go way back to the late 19th century. Authors like Jules Verne and H.G. Wells wrote inspiring novels filled with steam powered alternative vehicles set in the Victorian era.  While using steam power and adopting the past in order to create a new dystopian future, current steampunk romanticizes the grit of history, while re-imagining these times with sleek sci-fi elements. Artists in all media were encouraged to submit work that pays homage to this once sub-culture, that has flourished into its own pop-culture ideology. THE FUNK MACHINE showcases artworks that takes the viewers into the world of steampunk. 

In this exhibition, the artists take the viewers down their own path of steampunk. Invoking Victorian fashion industrialized with grit and mechanical aspects, works like “Portrait of Ms. Rychter” by Karl Jahnke take the viewer into the artist’s world of steampunk. Jahnke states, “This painting was conceived with a steampunk aesthetic in mind. The reference photo for this painting was shot in the basement of my studio. I wanted dark rusty tones of the basement to compliment the beauty and complexity of the dress and, hopefully, create an exaggerated feeling of elegance set against a crude anachronistic background that is common in steam punk.”

Transitioning from the more Victorian aesthetic into the contemporary look, photographer and digital painter, Nancy Bechtol’s piece “Batty-fang-thrashthru” dives into the surrealist nature of the steampunk movement. Bechtol states, “The Victorian Era, had major problems with rampant drug abuse and alcoholism. Drugs like heroin, opium, marijuana, and laudanum were available and widely prescribed.” Pieces like Bechtol’s portrait of Batty-fang-thrashthru—a fictional steampunk character—exhibit an abstracted steampunk-inspired fashion.

Other works like, “Time for Tea” by Donna Koranek, are a bit more to the point with their steampunk references. Koranek explains the inspiration for this current piece here, “My father was a tool and die maker and I often helped out in the shop. I believe that’s where my love of machine parts came from, steampunk gave me a project for all those bits and pieces I couldn’t resist collecting. This piece began brewing in my mind when I picked up a porcelain doll head from the Evanston Reclamation Center. The teapot sitting on my wood stove seemed like the perfect body. She came together with various treasures I have collected over the years. She sits on top of an old burner and her tea cup contains a few lose watch parts floating in her tea.”

THE FUNK MACHINE, exhibits several different interpretation of steampunk. Brian Morgan, known for his portraits of political dietaries, tends to compare his portraits to the city’s flying rats. Morgan’s newest works, “Rocket Pigeon” (featured in the photo above) and “Steam Punk Pigeon” are comical portraits of post-apocalyptic pigeons. Morgan states, “Like the cockroaches and the rats, these beautiful doves—or pigeons—will out survive us all.”

THE FUNK MACHINE is a comical take on steampunk and each artist guides the viewer along their vision of a post-apocalyptic Victorian era joyride.

Artists: Aaron Wooten, Anna Wasilczuk, Audry Cramblit, Brian Morgan, Bruce Holwerda, Donna Koranek, Edita Birschbach, Gina Lee Robbins, Jake Buntjer, Karl Jahnke, Karina Llegro, K Smith, Laura Lee Junge, Mat Barber Kennedy, Nancy Bechtol, Tai Taeoalii and Tom Robinson


IN THE HOUSE OF COLOR

M Jackson

February 7 - March 1, 2020

OPENING RECEPTION: February 7, 2020 6-9PM

The Jackson Junge Gallery presents IN THE HOUSE OF COLOR, its first solo exhibition of 2020. This exhibition features paintings on both panel and paper by M Jackson, created at her studio here in Chicago. 

M Jackson, also known as L Lee Junge, has been hailed as an ‘intoxicating' new talent on the American artistic front.

A fascination with movement typifies much of Jackson's artwork, which ranges dramatically from floral and inanimate renditions, to the worlds of musical expression or evocative, often jaded bar scenes.  No matter what the depiction, the fluidity of her work channels an energy that seems to defy the very nature of a one-dimensional canvas.  In this exhibition Jackson has altered her “In the House of” mindset to focus on “The House of Color,” or the theory that different colors, lines and shapes provoke a range of different emotions in an audience. 

Over time, her paintings have become more eclectic, in a style that critics have described as ‘surrealistic expressionism'. Jackson, herself, remains a bit skeptical of any attempt to label her in a specific category.  Not one to be tied to a single form, Jackson has been experimenting with new mediums such as air brush and spray paint. Incorporating found objects as stencils, some of her favorites include pieces of gates and objects that she has been collecting for years. The “shadow” remains from a spray paint stencil are also of particular interest to an artist who practices fluidity and motion.  In her search for artistic excitement Jackson has embraced texture by layering thick areas of impasto on panel before picking up her paintbrush, thus creating a more tactile painting. Additionally, in her search for further depth and dimension Jackson has brought in other found objects such as a deconstructed clock to accentuate her fascination with three-dimensional painting.

The inspiration for IN THE HOUSE OF COLOR stems from a passion for new artistic horizons. Experimenting with fresh forms of abstraction, Jackson has explored a new approach to her paper pieces. Allowing for a more flexible and oftentimes smaller surface than her usual large compositions these works challenge Jackson in a new way.  Fascinated by color theory, Jackson’s focus lies with two of the primaries, blue and red. She is interested in the way that people are drawn to certain colors and the way those colors create energy and set a mood.

In her own words, “When one asks why or what it is that I paint, the answer is very simple. I paint because I must and I paint what I feel. My inspirations are energy and movement and I strive to capture these as I explore various subject matters; it is my goal to touch the emotions of the human spirit.”

Both panel and paper works will be on display and available for purchase during the exhibition.


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