EXHIBITIONS

PAST EXHIBITIONS

Second floor Exhibition Space

Hi-Point Contact
1976-Present

“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again…. One must imagine Sisyphus happy” The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus.

“I became an artist and have been making art for 4 decades. I didn’t think art would be my calling when I was growing up. Countless seemingly insignificant yet sincere decisions made me who I am now. It was not an easy process, but I am happy that I did what I wanted without compromise at the core.

For this exhibition at the Zhou B Art Center, I selected 23 works created between 1976-Present. I titled the exhibition Hi-Point Contact.

Hi-Point Contact” is an engineering term describing a momentary touching of two elements. I expanded it’s meaning and made a series of works under this title in the 1990’s. It was a section of my on-going questions about human existence in the larger context of the universe. I have been examining the human condition from different angles, from inside and from outside. The appearance of my work has been changing based on the particular focus, but my basic concerns have been consistent, always personal and humanistic.

In these compositions, using a fictional and symbolic space, in which I condense experienced and imagined multi-layered events, I am examining the connections between the body and the cosmos, flesh and technology, person and person, Individual and State, group and group, nation and nation, desire and choice, taboo and obsession, and so on. “Hi-Point Contact” is my fiction writing: incomplete, fragmented and under inquiry.”

Michiko Itatani 2016

Of, Around, and About Michiko Itatani
By Jason Foumberg

Who is Michiko Itatani?
Since the mid-1970s Michiko Itatani has contributed a solo show nearly every year to Chicago’s painting landscape, her long career outliving half a dozen galleries, with pounds of essays published on her work. Across four decades you can see Itatani’s pictorial style evolve from Minimalism to Mythology to Quantum Physics—yet always the picture is recognizably Itatani, what they call her “hand,” what they call having an “eye,” a deeply analytic and auto-biographic allegory.
In lifelong pursuit of a personal iconography, Itatani’s artwork has wrestled with being an individual in society, of being human among insects and oceans, of being alive between moments of not being. She is the protagonist of a story that she is writing in her mind, its plot a Self vs. Nature tragicomedy sprinkled with stardust. In that story she conquers distant lands and dimensions, along the way discovering an alchemy that turns trauma into poetry. She is obsessed with performing acts of philosophy and compassion, but rarely at the same time.

What is Michiko Itatani?
Eleven-foot stretcher bars, custom polygons, oil paint on canvas, monochromatic beings, hyperchromatic macrocosms, atoms arranged in a particular form, a sum of ancestors, a collection of wisdom, a liberated system for art-making.

Where is Michiko Itatani?
In a 1970s Chicago artist-run gallery in the Milky Way; in the Midwest and in utopia; in a classroom and dancing on a neuron; among Chicago Imagism and 1990s Expressionism but against style; in a snowstorm but warm inside with a book; in an encyclopedia that is also a painting; in a sketch and attending to sprits; in her studio and signaling across the room, across time.

When is Michiko Itatani?
In a lifetime you see a lot of war. You see a lot of suffering. Where do you go from there? Michiko Itatani the person was born in a certain place and lives in a certain time but her paintings are elsewhere, out there, in mythic time, in zodiac time, in the afterlife. It’s not a place to be; it’s a matter of being.

Why is Michiko Itatani?
As people we are the byproduct of our struggles. To feel free, Itatani has brushed aside the dominant styles of her time, survived the death of painting (several times) and the death of real people, chose to live in the Midwest and wrestled with self-identity, her mind a collage of knowledge, pouring herself into paintings.

Post-Script: How is Michiko Itatani?
“When I was young I thought I would live forever,” says Michiko. “Now I think the human species occupies such a tiny little portion of cosmic time; yet, we might destroy ourselves. But I am pathetically optimistic. We have this very precious, wonderful occasion to enjoy real time. I am aware this painting I’m doing is not going to last forever.” So let’s enjoy the paintings while we can.

Jason Foumberg is an art historian based in Chicago.

Group Exhibition

Second floor Exhibition Space

“CENTERLINE” is the official annual showcase for the Zhou B artists, the spotlight shines on them and their talent. The over 100 artists affiliated with the center represent diverse styles and medium that includes traditional forms such as painting and photography; there will be sculpture, printmaking, encaustic painting and anything you can imagine.
If you are interested in a big show of very different work put this in your calendar.

Solo Exhibition

Second floor Exhibition Space

Sergio Gomez is an established Chicago-based artist and curator. In It Feels Like I Was Already Here, Gomez presents his largest solo exhibition to date featuring painting and drawing works at the Zhou B Art Center where Sergio first established his studio and currently is curator and Director of Exhibitions.

“When first entering an exhibit of Sergio’s work, it is experienced that the temporal world is his mental metaphor. The embodied qualities of visual language are there for broader interpretation and encouragement for the viewer. There, the artist enlists participation with the mysterious transcendental journey” Laura Frazier.

It Feels Like I Was Already Here combines Gomez’s figurative abstraction paintings often reflecting on the human condition along with large-scale charcoal drawings exploring social issues such as immigration, poverty and the environment. Gomez’s richly worked surfaces tracing the essence or impression of personhood provide a visual reminder of our corporal presence while evoking a sense of spiritual transcendence.

This exhibition presents Gomez as both an artist and curator simultaneously. His career for the last 11 years has been closely associated with the rise of the art community in Chicago’s south side. Starting with Bridgeport Third Fridays, which Sergio established for the first time in November of 2004, to his many curatorial exhibitions that bring hundreds of visitors to the Zhou B Art Center each month, Gomez continues to push art forward in Chicago and abroad. He is also known for his entrepreneurial spirit and his continued efforts to build a sense of community wherever he goes.

“Sergio Gomez has played an important role in the development of the Zhou B Art Center. The Center started from nothing, bare bones to one of the most important art institutions and Sergio was instrumental in this development. He came in with a belief and the vision of what the Zhou B Art Center could and would be. He is the Director of exhibitions at the Zhou B Art Center and has curated hundreds of important shows, amon
g them is the National Wet Paint MFA show and the Self Portrait show. He is a dedicated artist and sets an inspirational example for many young, aspiring and established artists through cultivation of his dedication, passion and love for art.” Zhou Brothers.

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PRESS

 

 

Picture Of A Man

Aug 22, 2016, 06:20 PM EDT | Updated Dec 6, 2017

This is an extraordinarily difficult problem. Most solutions to it feel like a put-on, with something pretentious or puerile about them. And yet it is an image which sometimes I think we need to see.

KNOW MORE

GROUP EXHIBITION

Second floor Exhibition Space

“You can tell a true artist from their palette.” -Ed Paschke

Dr. Stephen Sheldon began photographing artist’s palettes after noticing they represented a microcosm of their finished work. The large scale, high-resolution documentary photography on view represents over 5 years of shooting these “subconscious signatures” in intimate detail.

Presented here alongside the artist’s painting and palette, La Palette traces artistic production from the palette’s

process to the canvas’s finished product. By exposing their color choices, pigment arrangement, and brushwork, Dr. Sheldon’s photographs reveal the working methods and creative processes of these artists.

La Palette also pays homage to the Parisian bistro of the same name, which Paschke frequented after exhibitions at Galerie Darthea Speyer, his French gallerist. Other notable clientele included Picasso, Cezanne, Hemingway and Jim Morrison, earning La Palette the reputation of a gathering spot for creative working across generations and media.

La Palette: The Chicago Palette reflects a similar spirit, featuring a select handful of prominent Chicago artists. The roster evolved organically, as one artist introduced Dr. Sheldon to another, and so on. Not only are the artists connected to each other, many were also friends, colleagues, students and mentees of Paschke as well.

Dr. Sheldon’s artistic sensitivity and scientific precision marry in La Palette. By transforming tools of the trade into artworks in their own right, his photographs make a new understanding and appreciation of these artists work possible.

GROUP EXHIBITION
CURATED BY JENNY LAM

ZHOU B SECOND FLOOR EXHIBITION SPACE
A picture’s worth a thousand words. Or one. Or a multi-volume series of novels with no end in sight. A single piece of art may take on vastly different meanings to different people. Even a work that wasn’t made with some sort of intended deeper meaning might stir a storm of thoughts and emotions within its viewer. Such is the power of art.

Opening on 17 June 2016 in the newly renovated 7,000 sq. ft. gallery space of the internationally renowned Zhou B Art Center, LEXICON is artist and independent curator Jenny Lam’s long-awaited successor to her I CAN DO THAT show, which was named the audience choice for “Best Art Exhibit” in the 20th anniversary edition of NewCity’s Best of Chicago issue.

 

 

There will also be a designated wall for visitors to create and display their own artwork, which will in turn be interpreted by other visitors. The exhibition will always be changing and growing. Keep coming back to see what each piece is conjuring in people’s minds.

Each artwork thus becomes its own entry in a new lexicon, a new vocabulary created by an entire community.

Forget artspeak. Let the art speak, and let it speak through you.

GROUP SHOW
CURATED BY NOOR BLAZEKOVIC

ZHOU B SECOND FLOOR EXHIBITION SPACE

La Palette also pays homage to the Parisian bistro of the same name, which Paschke frequented after exhibitions at Galerie Darthea Speyer, his French gallerist. Other notable clientele included Picasso, Cezanne, Hemingway and Jim Morrison, earning La Palette the reputation of a gathering spot for creative working across generations and media.

La Palette: The Chicago Palette reflects a similar spirit, featuring a select handful of prominent Chicago artists. The roster evolved organically, as one artist introduced Dr. Sheldon to another, and so on. Not only are the artists connected to each other, many were also friends, colleagues, students and mentees of Paschke as well.

Dr. Sheldon’s artistic sensitivity and scientific precision marry in La Palette. By transforming tools of the trade into artworks in their own right, his photographs make a new understanding and appreciation of these artists work possible.

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GROUP SHOW
CURATED BY SERGIO GOMEZ AND DIDI MENENDEZ

ZHOU B SECOND FLOOR EXHIBITION SPACE

Brush off your platform shoes and Hustle on down to the Zhou B Art Center for FREAK OUT! Chicago, an exhibition curated by Didi Menendez and Sergio Gomez.

Freak OUT! is an exhibition of the arts expressing the boldness, liberation, individuality, coming of age and decadence of the Disco era. The works will include visual arts in various mediums and styles including poetry, video, sculpture, and performance. The exhibition will take place in the 13,000 sf second floor gallery of the Zhou B Art Center.

For this exhibition, Didi Menendez (PoetsArtists Magazine) and Sergio Gomez (Zhou B Art Center Curator) will collaborate to bring together a careful selection of talented artists celebrating the spirit of the Disco era. Through this exhibition, curators Menendez and Gomez will bring a unique celebratory experience to Chicago. There will be a disco ball!

GROUP SHOW CURATED
BY SERGIO GOMEZ

ZHOU B SECOND FLOOR EXHIBITION SPACE

The National Wet Paint MFA Biennial Exhibition 2016 is an outlook and an overview of top MFA painting programs in the United States. Wet Paint refers to the idea that this is a fresh group of artists. They are MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) candidates and recent MFA recipients working primarily in the medium of painting. Now on its fourth edition this growing and highly competitive juried exhibition will bring to Chicago some of the most talented emerging artists in the country. Wet Paint 2016 is fully funded by the Zhou B. Art Center which makes it possible for graduate students to submit works for consideration at no cost. The National Wet Paint MFA Biennial 2016 takes place from January 15 to February 13 in the spacious second floor gallery of the Zhou B Art Center. Wet Paint is juried by the Zhou B Art Center’s selection team and curated by Sergio Gomez, MFA. The National Wet Paint MFA Biennial 2016 seeks to highlight traditional and experimental ways contemporary artists incorporate and embrace painting as their primary medium.​