Gallery Y: Nicole Gordon, “magnified”
Gallery X: Jennifer Presant, “Lost and Found”
March 18, 2016 – April 30, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, March 18, 2016, 6-9pm
Artist Remarks: Saturday, April 9, 2016, 2-5pm
Linda Warren Projects is pleased to present two solo exhibitions by Chicago-based artists, Nicole Gordon and Jennifer Presant. For both of these painters autobiographical elements morph fluently into meditative and surreal scenes. Juxtapositions within idyllic sanctuaries dominate their landscapes. Gordon’s imagery leans towards the absurd and the grim with scenes of disarray that mimic our own everyday life, whereas Presant’s iconographic and tranquil paintings provide a safe, contemplative haven during periods of transformation.
In “magnified,” (Gallery Y) Nicole Gordon’s large-scale oil paintings and gouache studies depict fairy tale-like environments that stand as metaphors for the physical and emotional depletion of personal space. Each timeless setting has been infiltrated by out-of-place imagery representing the chaotic disruptions we often confront. These two opposing forces, along with bright and vibrant colors, result in absurd and sometimes disturbing scenes that cannot possibly exist in nature and become an alternate reality. Elements that disturb the serenity ultimately animate the setting and breathe new life into the space, highlighting the tension between the artificial and the real. While many of the paintings in this new series contain overt personal references, some contemplate the tumultuous state of our current world and our individual, yet universal, need for escapism. Central to Gordon’s exhibition stands a three-dimensional installation that expands and borrows from the artist’s paintings. Perch suspends a womb chair from the ceiling that hovers over a five-foot diameter moss rug littered with hundreds of little wooden mushrooms, creating an intimate yet fantastical world. Each handcrafted element is meant to seduce the viewer and transport them to an idyllic and serene habitat – one that we all crave.
In “Lost and Found,” (Gallery X) Jennifer Presant explores the complexities of memory, transformation, and identity. The artist turns to her archive of personal photographs for inspiration by layering images that reanimate ambiguous dreamlike landscapes. The results are original and bold – compositions that transcend time and space. Presant’s work exhibits a strong graphic quality, but it is her interest in performance and video art that gives her paintings a sense of theatrical construction. Unlike Gordon’s disruptive landscapes, Presant’s juxtaposed images live untroubled…serene within the shared canvas. These artificial introspective landscapes, composed of calming shades of blues and white, invite viewers in to sense, think, and reflect. It is their enigmatic qualities that allows us to develop and formulate our own narratives.
Nicole Gordon has exhibited in venues throughout the United States, including exhibitions at the Cultural Center of Chicago; the Elmhurst Museum; Lois Lambert Gallery in Santa Monica, CA; Miller Block Gallery in Boston, MA; and the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI. She received a BFA from the University of Michigan and studied at Lorenzo DiMedici University in Florence, Italy. She has completed public art projects for the CTA, sponsored by the Chicago Public Art Group and New England Biolabs, in Ipswich, MA. This is her third solo exhibition at Linda Warren Projects.
Jennifer Presant has shown at many galleries across the United States and abroad, including Blank Space in New York, Eden Rock Gallery in St. Barths, Six Summit Gallery in Ivoryton, CT, and Rose Contemporary in Portland, ME, amongst many others. Her work has been featured in numerous publications, including New American Paintings, American Art Collector, and Flavorpill. Presant received her BFA from Washington University in St. Louis and her MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2002. She also studied at Lorenzo DiMedici University in Florence, Italy. This is her third solo exhibition at Linda Warren Projects.