Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Renovation Creep: Joe Cassan, Dan Bruttig and Erin Thurlow

Renovation Creep: Joe Cassan, Dan Bruttig and Erin Thurlow

Opening Friday August 5th from 6pm-10pm
August 5- September 3, 2011

Three artists, Daniel Bruttig, Joe Cassan and Erin Thurlow will be sculpting, painting and directly intervening in the space of Antena gallery for their show, Renovation Creep. Simultaneously material and ephemeral, the work here resembles the haunted, transitory nature of urban apartment dwelling.

Renovation Creeps
History: We are, many of us, temporary occupants of someone else's property. For most people who live in cities, in fact, it represents the reality of the American Way of Life far better than the well-branded American Dream of home (house) ownership. It will most likely be an apartment, a collection of rooms 'distinguished' by a patchwork of occupant-renovations, handyman quick-fixes, cheap fixtures and bad paint jobs. The typical rental is a way-station for young up-and-comers, or a mortgage-free house for the lifelong renters. From the Victorian-era railroad, to the condo-style mod flat, each is home to a succession of denizens who leave behind a particular residential stain.

Palimpsest: A raw spot remains on a surface when a thing fixed there for a long time previously, is removed. It is anti-residue; clean space on an aged plane that has evaded the ruin of time. Move a picture frame that has hung for years on the too-long-unrepainted wall, and you will expose a lighter, brighter rectangle. This sort of mark shows along a floor after walls have been torn out, fixtures have been removed, and carpets pulled back. The minor spirits that remain, remind us that the apartment has had a history prior to our brief residence. Conversely, there is an organic quality to the gradual accumulation of paint, wall paper, and hole-filler that covers the walls, obscuring the details left from a more meticulous era. It is like a moss on the forest floor, covering the duff in a soft, uniform carpet.

Patina: The cabinets, some sort of revival in nineteenth century, frontier design, now just look anachronistic; plywood and melamine surfaces tarted up with Gothic drawer pulls and moulding. Worse, the details, narrow clefts and dimples, are caked and filled with a residue of dust (90% dead human skin), cooking grease and tobacco resin. Who knows how many Marlboros, fondue parties, cut fingers and splatted Yoplait Yogurts it took to create such a
(Also note: The jerry rigged wiring and fixtures that follow a succession of handymen, do-it-yourselfers and building supervisors resembles the growth of benign tumors.)

Labyrinth: Pull back the carpet or linoleum, scrape the wallpaper, remove a cabinet hung during a cheap renovation. What do you see? Another, older pattern of wallpaper? Pristine hardwood flooring, or urine-soaked, rotting press-board. Rip open a wall and you find a door behind it. Rather than unpainted drywall, the hole in the wall reveals another wall, floral wall paper graffitid with a handwritten grocery list. 'Your' flat is a labyrinth of histories, wandered by the ghosts of those who became lost there.

-Erin Thurlow

1765 S. Laflin St.
Chicago IL 60608
antenapilsen (at) gmail.com
(773) 340-3516
Hours: by appointment only

Monday, July 18, 2011

Closing Reception: PLUGGED OUT: New works by Salvador Jiménez Flores

PLUGGED OUT: New works by Salvador Jiménez Flores

Closing Reception Friday July 22nd from 6pm-10pm

This experimental mixed-media installation highlights the reliance of modern humanity on technological innovations. In this digital age, we have become wholly dependent on devices that can be plugged in. Our jobs, our social lives and even our food production—all aspects of our existence rely on technology.

We are so intertwined with our iPhones and Androids it is as though we are becoming like them. This hardwiring of our hearts and minds will surely rob us of our humanity.

1765 S. Laflin St.
Chicago IL 60608
antenapilsen (at) gmail.com
(773) 340-3516
Hours: by appointment only

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Is this thing on?: The art of comedy"

"Is this thing on?: The art of comedy"
Guest Curator: Miguel Cortez from Antena

Opening Friday August 12 from 6pm-10pm
August 12-28, 2011

"If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses."
- Lenny Bruce

Contemporary art is too serious sometimes. This show will focus on the lightheartedness and humor in art. Most of us are part of the system and work 40+ hours a week and by the weekend we just want to unwind and be entertained. Then this show is just for you. These artists use irony, goofiness, satire, and sarcasm in their work. 

Andy Detskas
Ben Pederson
Catie Olson
Chris Silva
Darrell Luce
David Leggett
Lauren Feece
Meg Duguid
Nick Black
Nicole Marroquin
Paul Shortt
Rick Huggett
Sarah Perez

Born June 3rd, 1975, Andy Detskas grew up hopping around the Midwest, deep South and East coast. Like many artists, Andy began to work at a young age exploring drawing, painting and sculpture. Since graduating from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2000 Andy's work has varied as much as the places he grew up; exploring themes of human scale, urban ruin, defacement, landscape, ghosts, robots and typography. Andy's current body of work is focused on using discarded motel landscape paintings as a canvas for hand-drawn typography and strange comedic characters. http://andyandyandy.com/

Ben Pederson was born in 1979 in Grand Rapids Michigan and received his B.A. in Studio art from Aquinas College in 2003. He went on to obtain his M.F.A. in Sculpture from the University of Massachusetts, which he received in 2007. After graduate school, Ben moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he worked as an art handler and continued to make and show work. Now residing in Madison, WI, he has shown in Chicago and throughout the midwest as well as staying involved with shows and screenings on the east coast. http://benforceblog.blogspot.com/

Catie Olson is multi-disciplinary artist born in Decatur, Illinois, the pleasant home of two chicken cars. She received her BS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1995 in Agriculture, ventured to Chicago and received her BFA at the School of the Art Institute in 2000. Catie organizes SpiderBug, a mobile short film festival, along with her husband, EC Brown. The pair also run Floor Length and Tux, an apartment art space. Catie has an animation that will be shown in the International Pancake Film Festival in Boston upcoming in July. She has shown work in Chicago including Heaven, Swimming Pool, antena and minidutch galleries. http://www.catieolson.com, http://www.floorlengthandtux.com, http://www.spiderbug.org

Christopher Tavares Silva is a multi-disciplinary artist who has been cold rockin' shit since his little monkey feet touched down on Planet Earth. Having recently returned to Chicago from a 4 year vision quest in the jungles of Puerto Rico, Chris is splitting his energy between creating collaborative and heart-warming works of art and music with his expansive band of misfit slackers - and charging ever onward with his tireless passion for data entry. Chris's work has been exhibited and published in places that would make you shit your pants, and since most of us prefer to shit our pants in the privacy of our own homes (I know - there's nothing greater) the details will be spared. It's simple - buy one of these reasonably priced pieces of supreme quality visual funk...or live a life full of regret. Pussy. http://chrissilva.com/

Darrell Luce, b. circa 1963, probably in San Francisco. Luce is the wild man of the workshop, which he joined in 1996, at the request of Alma de la Serra. He either refuses to discuss his past or concocts sly stories that in retrospect cannot possibly be true. A realist in more ways than one, Luce paints in an expressionistic style that borrows freely from old masters, publicity stills, and cartooning. His sarcastically entitled 'Life of Ignotus' series documents his skepticism with regard to Ignotus's ideas--which Ignotus fully shares. His series of paintings of de la Serra apparently documents his relationship with her, though no one has yet figured out exactly what that relationship is, since Luce never gives a straight answer and de la Serra limits herself to saying "you either trust Darrell completely or not at all."

David Leggett was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1980. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design (2003), and a Masters of Fine Arts form the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). He also attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2010). His work is influenced by relationships, both personal and cultural. Popular culture and imagery are often used in his work. He has shown his work throughout the United States and internationally. He received the visual artist award from 3Arts in 2009. http://www.davidleggettart.com/

Lauren Feece
I have always loved making things and I have spent most of my life happily tucked away in my beloved studio. It helped to make me a bit unprepared for real life but completely comfortable with life in my sketchbooks and paintings. In my youth I struck out for success in the city of Chicago. Waitressing and pursuing a career as a working artist kept me very busy. One night on my way to an art opening with friends I met a very interesting musical and visual artist named Chris Silva. I like to think in hindsight that at that moment I knew I was meeting my future husband, but even if it wasn't entirely clear back then I knew instantly I was meeting someone very special. We were hardly apart and soon we had combined our lives, our living and studio spaces. We made our first attempts at collaborative work. Life was beautiful and full of art making.

For years we put art making first and "real jobs" second. Living simply and working hard we happily enjoyed life as full time artists. Over time, our energies focused on making and selling art work for years, began to run down. We wanted to recharge so in 2006 we moved on to a new opportunity. The Silva Family property in Moca, Puerto Rico was without a caretaker and we left The Windy City to take on that job.

From December 2006 to September 2010 we learned more than we had planned on. We encountered many trials as the abandoned house became a home. We got to be more green as the well was dug and the solar were panels installed. We learned how hard it is to grow a garden in the tropics. We learned to listen to the birds, bugs, and frogs, and to see the stars again. This was a life with many new challenges, but through it we got back to art making with a recharged and refreshed perspective.

In the fall of 2010 we returned to our sweet home in Chicago. Continuing to make a life full of love, we are wiser from our travels, and more committed than ever to our human responsibility to the earth, the animals, and especially to one another.

I continue to be motivated by the challenge of being present in the moment. The paintings and drawings I make are thoughts about the nature of things, musings on the everyday, and studies of the layers of meaning just under the surface. In my work I continue to be inspired by the connection of the artistic process to ritual, myth, and meditation. My work is a dance of brushstroke, line, swirls, drips, explosions and movements of paint. As I dance, I remember life, birds, clouds, color, flowers, trees, light, lace, pattern, people, blooms, webs, waves, vines, twilight, leaves, sunrise and sunsets... http://laurenfeece.com/

Meg Duguid was raised in Columbus, Ohio, and received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in from Bard College. She has performed and exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, the DUMBO Arts Festival in Brooklyn, and 667 Shotwell in San Francsiso. Duguid has screened work at Synthetic Zero in New York, Spiderbug in Chicago, and at the Last Supper Festival in Brooklyn. Duguid lives and works in Chicago, IL where she runs Clutch Gallery, a 25 square-inch white cube located in the heart of her purse. http://megduguid.com/, http://clutchgallery.blogspot.com/

Nick Black was born in Chicago in 1958. He has attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Massachusetts College of Art. Recent exhibitions include Byron Cohen Gallery, Kansas City, Uncle Freddy's Gallery, Highland, IN, and Joymore, Buddy Space, and Klein Art Works, all in Chicago. Nick has had key works at Art Chicago, the Stray Show, Version Fest, and the New Chicagoans. http://www.flickr.com/photos/nbtoy/sets/72157607672560085/

Nicole Marroquin is an interdisciplinary artist whose creative practice includes collaboration, studio art, research, teaching, and strategic intervention.  As a classroom art teacher in Chicago and Detroit, Marroquin taught and collaborated with youth on art-based action research projects.   She makes art, exhibits and writes about participatory cultural production with youth and in communities.  Marroquin recieved her MFA from the University of Michigan in 2008 and is now living in Pilsen in Chicago.  She is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  nicolemarroquin.com

Rick Huggett
Raised in shrimpy Chagrin Falls, Ohio, the starting place for plenty of jokers including; Tim Conway and Tom Watterson (Calvin & Hobbs), I graduated from high school there and then attended Kent State University for a degree in Graphic Design.  Four weeks before graduating I took a job in advertising and never completed my degree.  I worked in advertising for two years before it dawned on me that I was both starving and penniless.  Moved to Canton, Ohio after taking a job selling material handling systems to the steel and aluminum industries and did the 50-60 hour work week grind for the next 20+ years.  During that time I acquired a wife, a house, 3 children, a dog, and a business degree from Malone University in Canton, Ohio. Now retired from sales I am currently pursuing a B.A. in Arts at Malone University with an emphasis in painting.  In other words, I am a 52-year old undergraduate who will graduate in December of 2011, so long as I pay off all of my parking fines.

Paul Shortt (b. 1981) received his BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2009. He has been in numerous group shows in Chicago, Nebraska, Kansas City, and Minneapolis. From 2009-2010, he directed a monthly, year-long series of performance art at the Fishtank Performance Studio in Kansas City, Missouri, called The Paul Shortt Invitational Performances. He has participated in the Charlotte Street Foundation residency program in Kansas City, and spoken about his work at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Shortt currently is pursing his MFA in New Media at The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and expects to graduate in 2013. http://www.paulshortt.com/

Sarah Perez
Born in the suburbs of Chicago, I lived for most of my childhood in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment with my mother, father and younger sister.  My entire family relies on love and humor to get through tough times, which has been a continued inspiration.  I feel this evident in my work, in addition to the combination of real and surreal that creates a delicate balance in our day-to-day lives. http://www.sarahperez.net/gallery.html
Miguel Cortez is an artist/curator living in Chicago and born in Guanajuato, Mexico. He has studied filmmaking at Columbia College and art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He currently runs Antena, an alternative art space located in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. His artwork has been shown at Gallery 414 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Krannert Museum and at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. Other shows include exhibits in Dallas at Mighty Fine Arts Gallery, Glass Curtain Gallery and at VU Space in Melbourne, Australia. http://www.mcortez.com/

Cobalt Studio is an artist run space. Studio artists, Adriana Baltazar and Antonio Martinez work separately and collaborate on occasion to produce thoughtful public art that is meaningful for it's communities. As a project/exhibition space, Cobalt's key purpose is to provide exceptional artists, established and emerging, with an opportunity to showcase their work in a gallery-like atmosphere minus the commercial pressures and b.s.

Cobalt Studio
1950 W. 21st St.
Chicago, IL 60608

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011


*THE TRANS FORMIDABLE* is a collaborative project that aims to establish links and intersecting connections with international art spaces, through the structure of an exhibition.

Saturday, July 23 at 7:00pm - August 14 at 7:00pm
The Workhouse Test and Bridge Street, Callan, Co Kilkenny

A number of artist-led initiatives have been invited to present lens-based work by associated artists. These works will be installed by The Workhouse Test in Callan for the duration of the project.

Participating spaces include;

// Antena Pilsen (US) //

// 98Weeks (LBN) //

// Vox Populi (US) //

// New Jerseyy (CH) //

// Y3K (AUS) //

// The Flux Space (US) //

// The Future Gallery (DE) //

The show seeks to open a dialog about curatorial roles and representation, self-organisation, location and the significance of technology in sharing and disseminating contemporary art.

A number of events and discussions will run in tandem with the show, which itself runs alongside The Abhainn Ri Festival, COMMONAGE, and The Kilkenny Arts Festival 2011.

For any inquiries please email theworkhousetest@gmail.com