LARISSA BORTEH & JAN CHRISTOPHER BERKSON

November 9 - December 18, 2019

Larissa Borteh was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. She received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2010, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Recent exhibitions include Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago; Minotaur Projects, Los Angeles; EXPO Chicago; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills; The Union League Club, Chicago; Skylight Gallery, New York; 1708 Gallery, Richmond; and the Visual Arts Gallery, New York. Borteh has been a recipient of the George and Ann Siegel Fellowship; Leon Levy Foundation Grant; Dave Bown Projects Award; and was a MacDowell Colony Fellow. Larissa currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois where she is an instructor in painting and drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I work to create a series of narratives that teeter on the brink of collapse. Fragmented, repressed, and impotent forms are forcefully pushed together and pulled apart. The familiar collapses into the unfamiliar, negated and disjointed into the surrounding space. I embrace the crevice where form dissipates and construction is possible. I wish to confuse the viewer by what I refuse to reveal. Thematic strands such as the notion of polarity and the act of recalling the visceral path of the body in time and space hold the fragmented narratives together. My process is deeply rooted in the personal, the interior, the hypothetical, the embarrassing, and the cried. I work to create a narrative space that encompasses these past and future events as a single moment in time.


Jan Christopher-Berkson has an MFA in Painting and Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois. She has taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Painting and Drawing Department and in the Continuing Studies Program. Her work has been recently exhibited at The Clemente in NYC, The James R Thompson Center in Chicago, IL, The Highland Park Art Center, Highland Park, IL; also at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, including The Sullivan Center and The Betty Rymer Gallery; The Marshall J Gardner Center for the Arts in Gary, IN, and the Lucky Street Gallery in Key West, FL. Her work can be found in corporate collections including the Kemper Group and JX Nippon Oil and Energy, USA, Inc. Jan has been awarded artist residencies at Ragdale, Lake Forest, IL in 2015 and again in 2016; and Ox-Bow, Saugatuck, MI in 2016. She currently serves as Board President for Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, IL.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My practice is anchored in the image-making process and invested in generating relationships with and between images. Mobilizing the historical function of drawing and painting as reservoirs of marks and gestures on a plane, my work attempts to slow down the process through which images come into being—opting for the two-dimensional surface as a site for abstract representation rather than as an indexical location for a pseudo-realistic construction of the world. Using basic materials like canvas, wood and paint, my work often takes on a distinct spatiality as a point of departure to bring into focus sharp edge geometric shapes, and occasional representational images, interplayed with color.

Landscapes, interiors, the built environment, and the various objects and subjects that construct them, become the basis for the visual language in my work. Through installations, assemblages, painting, and site-specific pieces, my practice attempts to bring focus to the specificities of objects, shapes and places that are often rendered invisible as they exist overwhelmingly in images that saturate our everyday lives through their mass circulation. In bringing focus to this fleeting economy of details and gestures, my work attempts to return to the image an integrity and autonomy that allows it to make a fantastical analogy between a real place and the myths and remnants of the real events associated with that place.

Date: 
Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 9:00am to Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 10:00pm