“Desolation Row” at Good Weather, Chicago
Good Weather is pleased to present “Desolation Row”—an exhibition dealing with the subjectivity of visibility with work by Inga Danysz, Ron Ewert, Amy Garofano, and Matt Siegle, sited in two abandoned offices (#122A and #114A) at opposite ends of the hallway in Chicago’s Midland Warehouses (1524 S. Western Ave.). The show is on view from September 15, 2019 until November 10, 2019 with gallery hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11 am–6 pm, or by appointment.
That which cannot be seen—either intrinsically, extraneously by societal biases, or by self volition, for whatever reason—creates a disguised state where the collective mind perceives an absence. The tool of observation is warped when the observed is invisible, but the work in “Desolation Row” contains a material layer, a facade that serves as a tangible link to this absence. Furthermore, the crisp facture of each of these artworks gives contour to their subjective furl: layers and recesses that orchestrate a dramatization of the contemporary d.rive.
In Siegle’s work, imagery is sourced from advertisements that use coded language to point to concealed spaces and “alternative” communities from the 1980s and 90s. The corporeality of these calling cards (their texture and slight misregistration) is adroitly recreated with a tactile treatment of paint, each detail precisely enlarged to emphasize a necessary indirectness.
Garofano’s upholstered velvet paintings draw their imagery from the architectural designs of gates, with subtle material shifts that rely on light and shadow to reveal their image. This fluctuating space creates an unstable positioning experienced literally in passing: only through the physical movement of the viewer can every detail of the image be apprehended in relation to the ambient light direction.
Ewert’s paintings use a variety of indexical makeshift printing processes that fix objects and actions into a graphic visual language, opening up and confusing the pathology of painting. Like Dylan’s lyrical folk-Dada mashup (from which this exhibition co-opts its title), these works speak to an accelerated pace of physical and psychic change, finding emptiness in a surplus of cultural noise.
Danysz’s glass sculptures are transparent demarcations, barely visible and easily broken, citing the fragility and conditionality of visual experience. These inadequacies are highlighted through the multiplied, anachronistic forms, shifting the transience of the physical object into the false objectivity of language. Down the hallway, Danysz’s sound piece rattles through the empty chambers of the building, revealing an uncanny link to the physicality of her other work and the current body (building) in which it resides.
Ultimately, what inhabits these spaces wants to be disguised—or rather left alone, found only by the key holder. “Desolation Row” conjures the tension between conditions of passive observation (scrolling) and active sociality (strolling), wherein the flaneur is invited to take a garden-path, a rambling detour in lieu of a direct route, towards the abyss. (Ron Ewert and Haynes Riley).
At Good Weather, Chicago
until 10 November 2019