Function+Art - ConTEXT

Daydreams - acrylic on canvas

Rosie Hooters Stack - 35 x19 x High-fired Stonewear

"Untitled" 2006 - 78" x 78" - pigmented inks on photo rag

The Rooms - 10 x 14.5 x 8 - Borosilicate glass - flameworked & sandblasted, lusters, intaglio images, waxed linen

Erode - 8 x 10 - Borosilicate glass - flameworked & sandblasted, lusters, intaglio images, waxed linen


1046 w. fulton market, Chicago, il 60607
312.243.2780 / www.functionart.com
EMAIL us for more information

ConTEXT: Symbols & Language

OPENS: Friday May 4, 2007
public reception 5-8 pm
continues through June 16.

While it can be argued at all visual art is intended to convey meaning, it is especially true of text art. All too often however, the art consists solely of the text itself. In this exhibition, each of the works communicates on multiple levels; the 5 featured artists incorporate text into their works, but as a supplement - adding additional layers of meaning.

Take for example the work by Mike Rollins (NY). Rollin's work is composed from stock ticker symbols from the NYSE, presented in the long thin format we're all used to seeing. Each symbol, with its attendant value, has meaning - that is, the selling price for that particular stock at a given moment in time. But stringing them together, as Rollins does, to form phrases ranging from the pithy and familiar to obscure literature, presents known information in a new way, asking us to ascribe new meaning to the visual language we understand. Additionally, his use of color and distortion “enables me to subversively communicate a highly personal content. I want to see how far I can push the system before it turns into something new.”

Similarly, Steve Hansen takes snippets of text and bits of images we recognize from advertising, and combines them in ways that tell additional stories. Beyond evoking the nostalgia of Route 66, Hansen’s works ask that we consider a social issue such as our appropriation of Native American icons and phrases (“Indiana Indian”), or artificial stereotypes of females in society (“Rosie Hooters”).

For Greg Milne (IL), the approach is more one of documentation. Milne endeavors in his works to record every “something”, and present it in a way we can wrap our collective mind around. For example, “Family” illustrates the interconnectedness of family members and their relationships to one another – while recording every hour each member has been alive. The resulting work appears as a tapestry, furthering the message of interweaving.

Another family-related effort comes from mother-daughter team Elizabeth R. and L. Lindsey Mears. Their glass “books” incorporate both text and images, combining with the overall sculptural form for a compelling, cohesive representation of human interaction with and stewardship of Nature. While the text in these works is perhaps the most forthright in the exhibition, that by no means diminishes the impact.

Finally, the most subtle-use-of-text-award must go to Megan Murphy who painstakingly lays down layers of text and imagery in her works, only to reduce them to faint ghosts, illegible yet with a strong presence.

ConTEXT will open with a free public reception on
Friday May 4, from 5-8 pm
and continue through June 16.


1046 w. fulton market - Chicago IL 60607
312.243.2885 / www.functionart.com