Double Exhibition: Fleeting / Aftermath
The double exhibition Fleeting / Aftermath was presented at the Durand Art Institute of Lake Forest College, September 2-26, 2021.
Fleeting was a multi-media exhibition that included video, photography, watercolor, sculpture, and sound installed with close attention to the Sonnenshein Gallery’s architecture, color and lighting. It was accompanied by a full-color catalog with essays. Fleeting was paired with Aftermath, a series of 30 watercolors presented in the adjoining Albright Gallery. The exhibition was in preparation in 2019-2020 and was originally scheduled for fall 2020, but was postponed one year due to the pandemic.
Three years in the making, Fleeting was an installation of artworks in dialogue that explore and celebrate experiences that are fragile and ephemeral, that inspire perseverance, and that leave lasting emotional imprints. Each artwork has its own individual background and resonance within this overall theme. For example, the two-channel video Blue Tarp frames a tattered tarp blowing in the wind whose delicate undulation is inseparable from its time-worn deterioration; the sculpture Root renders a hydrangea root unearthed from a family garden in bronze, a medium with a long history of memorialization; and the large-scale photographic diptych Woman on the Rue Chapon presents glimpses into the life a woman living estranged but steadfast in a disarrayed Paris apartment. These and the other works in the exhibition were amplified by two vitrines placed just outside the gallery. Originally from the Field Museum, they were subtly returned to their didactic and natural history origins: one contained objects poetically tracing my influences and research for the exhibition; the other was completely filled with grasses from a regional prairie. The watercolor series Aftermath interweaves delicate mark-making and erasure in eccentric minimal compositions. Executed in 2017 during a residency in Tuscany, they accentuate an intense and intimate engagement with natural elements on the verge of decay and disappearance.
The exhibition was further extended with three musical events presented free to the public. Three women improvisers from Chicago presented solo concerts in the atrium of the Durand Art Institute that opens onto the galleries: vocalist Carol Genetti (September 11), taiko drummer Kioto Aoki (September 18), and cellist Katinka Kleijn (September 23). These performances took full advantage of the wooden atrium’s warm and reverberant acoustics, which -– like the exhibition -– gave material presence to an ephemeral experience.
A 68-page catalog accompanied the exhibition and is still available, with essays by Domietta Torlasco (Northwestern University), Linda Lappin (University of Rome), and Lou Mallozzi (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) designed by Chicago graphic designer Sam Silvio. The artist’s book version of Aftermath is also available.