Jyl Bonaguro: Tabula Rasa InFlight

ON VIEW: November 4 – December 17, 2023

Images of marble sculptures by Jyl Bonaguro for her upcoming exhibition, Tabula Rasa Inflight

Jyl Bonaguro is a self taught sculptor and playwright, specializing in carving Italian marble by hand. Often working spontaneously, she has a modern approach to the ancient art of stone carving that diverges from the formal academic approach. Raw stone is revealed in select areas, leaving sections untouched and natural, reminiscent of fragments excavated by archaeologists. Her works have been featured in publications like CS Modern Luxury Interiors, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, New City Art, and Sheridan Road and are in private art collections throughout the United States. Select sculpture exhibitions include: Red Dot Miami, Scope Miami, Aqua Art Miami, “Nature in Motion” Lincoln Park Zoo IL, along with artist residencies in Pietrasanta, Italy and Athens, Greece. Her current carving project, a female figure at the scale of Michelangelo's David in marble - the Modern Athena sculpture, has received grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation.


The human desire to take flight and abandon this earth-bound state is timeless. Tabula Rasa InFlight explores the concept of a mind as a blank tablet by expanding how marble is perceived as sculpture. My new series of Wing sculptures are etched and carved into marble tiles using the intaglio technique and displayed alongside classical sculptures on pedestals. Working in such thin marble slates reveals the little known translucent nature of marble and transforms the heavy material into tablets of light. 

In present times, marble as a medium has suffered a decline in the art world. Until the pandemic forced the world to slow down, it was quarried at an unprecedented rate for cladding effects on homes and buildings instead of for fine art sculpture. The beauty of ancient marble sculptures is their ability to last for thousands of years exposed to the elements, and slowly return back into Mother Nature without harming it. In order to preserve this precious material, I have converted my studio into a zero waste environment by recycling the carving waste rubble into casting material for other sculptures.

My sculptures are simple hand carved pieces of marble that will also someday be reclaimed by nature. I have only just borrowed a piece of the earth. I do not use chemicals or toxins, so that eventually, they may be returned the way they naturally arrived. There is nothing more timeless than the ability to let go and absolve yourself of the insistence or forcefulness of humanity on nature. We can coexist.


This exhibition will be held in the Second Floor Atrium Gallery of the Evanston Art Center (EAC). Masks are optional but strongly recommended for students, visitors and staff.

Gallery Hours

Monday–Thursday: 9am–6pm

Friday: 9am–5pm

Saturday–Sunday: 9am–4pm


Artwork sale proceeds benefit both the artist and the Evanston Art Center. If you are interested in purchasing artwork on display, please contact Audrey Avril, Manager of Exhibitions, at [email protected] or (847) 475-5300 x 107.

This project is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and EAC's general membership.

Artwork Shown: Jyl Bonaguro, Wind, 2022; Jyl Bonaguro, Ascension, 2018.