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Material Topologies


09.06.2019 - 10.20.2019

For this three person show, EXTRA Projects invites the viewer to contemplate their relationship to place through works by Gwendolyn Zabicki, Benjamin Medeska, and Adrienne Elyse Meyers.

Madeska’s landscapes diverge from his more typical practice of objective still lifes in order to explore the textural possibilities of trompe-l’oeil, playing with those effects for his abstract landscapes. Zabicki, in contrast, uses that tradition to amplify perspectival play in her compositions with mirrors, avoiding figures and the traditional readings of subject and objecthood. Meyers picks a third direction, and pulls from real estate imagery of distressed housing. Her description of those images in a spare manner, with a muted pastel color palette, evokes an interest in not-quite articulated histories that can be very powerful.

While the works are still based on real-life locations, these artists’ related, almost geometric construction and cropping methods create fascinating abstractions. Their choices in detail show multiple approaches to the urban landscape and the effects it has on the viewer’s gaze, understanding, and experience. They push the viewer to find hidden narratives and question their interpretations, and suggest fleeting moments of voyeurism, nostalgia, and dislocation.

Gwendolyn Zabicki is a painter from Chicago. She earned her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2005 and her MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012. Her work has shown at Slow Gallery, Roman Susan, Comfort Station, the Hyde Park Art Center, Gallery 400, Morton College, the Riverside Arts Center, Northern Illinois University, North Park University, and the Bauhaus­ Universität in Weimar, Germany. Her work has been favorably reviewed in the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Tribune, and the Bad At Sports podcast. She has curated exhibitions at Heaven Gallery, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, the Riverside Arts Center, the College of DuPage and the Illinois State Museum. Currently, she teaches painting and drawing at the Hyde Park Art Center.

Benjamin Madeska is an award-winning artist who has been included in more than 80 regional, national, and international exhibitions. His work primarily engages the traditions of still life and landscape painting with a focus on the formal qualities of the subjects. These paintings feature realistic renderings and stripped-down compositions that explore the relationship between abstraction and representation. He received his bachelor degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his master’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in Chicago.

Adrienne Elyse Meyers was born and raised in Texas, and currently lives and works in
Chicago. She earned an MFA from the University of Chicago, and her work has
included painting, photography, bookmaking, and writing. She has exhibited at
Lawndale Art Center, BLUEorange Contemporary, Alabama Song, and Mission Hill
Gallery, among others, and has participated in multidisciplinary projects with Harvard
Medical School, the Lost Ward Gallery, and the Arts, Science & Culture Initiative at the
University of Chicago.

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