In Radical Natural, Liz Gadelha, Wolfie E. Rawk, and Nora Renick-Rinehart explore moments of tranquility, intimacy, and reflection that transpire during periods of intentional pastoral respite.
Each body of work arises through ritual studio practice and deals with themes and imagery from the outdoors. The artists construct narratives around intense connections with the natural world and their personal histories and mythologies.
Liz Gadelha’s series of haunting, powerful photographs depict the artist and her mother alternately wearing custom-made garments that exaggerate the subjects’ relationships to the rural environments in which the images are taken. Her photos act as a stage where the garments and nature inform one another as past, present, and future intersect.
Wolfie E. Rawk’s multisensory and site-specific assemblage explores the cultural construction of the terms radical and natural as applied to racist, misogynist, transphobic, ableist, classist, and speciesist forms of oppression. Their installation features pamphlets, Ox-Bow remnants, sounds, ceramics, nineties nostalgia, secret dioramas, smells, quilts, apocalypse aesthetics, and more.
In a departure from her traditional practice as a fiber artist, Nora Renick-Rinehart utilizes sky-referential colors to execute large-scale infographics applied directly to the gallery walls. The resulting paintings explore differences between perception and reality, the nuances that separate emotional response versus scientific analysis, and visual data as a study in color and context.
The ritual, habitual modes of daily production embedded in these works provoke questions of contemporary selfhood in relation to urban versus rural environments.
Radical Natural will feature public programming on Saturday, June 14th, from 2-6pm featuring artists' talks, performances, screenings, and workshops. Renick-Rinehart presents an overview of the Blue Is the Sky project and leads a demonstration of Josef Albers' color theory exercises; Gadelha invites performers from Renegade Dance Company to perform a response/intervention; and Rawk screens a video which is a compilation of their favorite horror movie scenes, utilizing the quilt walls of their installation as a projection screen.
Curated by Erin Toale.
Liz Gadelha has lived in Chicago since childhood. She graduated with a BFA in Photography from UIC in 2011. Her photographic practice is influenced by a decade and a half of extensive dance training and performance. She dresses female subjects in custom-made garments to produce photographic series and performances with underlying narratives rooted in fiction in order to reveal fact. Her work is motivated by the notion that fabric and skin, enclosures for the human body, as well as the objects these enclosures brush against are components of a performance-based language, structures with which we communicate.
Wolfie E Rawk hails from the shopping malls, under-21 y2k raves, cemeteries, immigrant mash-ups, and greasy spoon diners of the bustling suburbs of Northern New Jersey and New York City. While creating their work, Wolfie enjoys thinking about things in limbo, animals with big eyes and floppy ears, fog, bubbles and other trans embodiments, finish fetish, fetish fetish, animals that snort, long roads, cornfields and coyotes howling, june, july and especially august, reading against the grain, dessert before breakfast, marginalization and the intersections of oppression, weeping willows, ren & stimpy and marrying the wind. They received their BA from the radical think-tank known as Hampshire College in the bucolic hills of Amherst, MA and their MFA in the Gates of Horn and Ivory Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the City of Broad Shoulders.
Nora Renick-Rinehart has a BFA in Fibers from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her conceptual work, which includes sculpture, textiles and photography, has been exhibited all over the US and is included in private collections in Philadelphia and Chicago. For ten months of 2013, she determined the color of the sky by finding the perfectly matching commercial paint swatch and documented the match with a photograph. She is currently working as a freelance/studio artist in Chicago and has been teaching all things textiles at the Lillstreet Art Center since 2010.
Erin Toale is an artist, administrator, writer, and curator. She earned Dual MAs in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, and a BFA in 2D and 3D Fine Arts from Moore College of Art and Design in 2006. She has worked for a variety of non-profits, galleries, and research centers including the Seattle Art Museum, the Rebuild Foundation, the Social Impact of the Arts Project, and the Sullivan Galleries at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She makes art about buildings, words, and people.