Innies & Outies: Peter Drake, Adam Kurtzman, and Marischa Slusarski/Claire Barron
September 5, 2003 – November 8, 2003
Opening Reception: Friday, September 5, 2003, 6-9pm
Linda Warren Gallery is pleased to announce Innies & Outies, an exhibition of works by Peter Drake, Adam Kurtzman, and Marischa Slusarski/Claire Barron. Innies & Outies will feature a number of works that embody aspects of the carnivalesque. Innies & Outies can refer literally to the belly button, to one’s expression of their sexuality, or to what type of power relationships the viewer constructs around themselves. The works in this exhibition ask the viewer to inquire whether they position themselves passively, as spectators; or whether they position themselves as active participants. A portion of the proceeds from Innies & Outies will go to support the art therapy programs of BEHIV, Better Existence with HIV, a nonprofit organization located in Evanston that provides a range of support for Chicagoans with HIV and AIDS-related illnesses, including mental health services, counseling, financial, and housing assistance.
Innies & Outies marks the Chicago debut of Peter Drake, a prominent New York-based painter who has exhibited in a diverse range of venues over the past twenty years. Drake’s paintings in this exhibition fall into four distinct bodies of work, all portraying “a form of unreality, either by manipulating the real world to appear unreal or by looking for that unreality in the world as it is.” Drake uses both oil and acrylic paints and sands into the paint surface, creating the image by disrupting the medium.
His works often utilize film as a reference point. The series entitled “Play” draws images from Super 8 home movies to create “a place where children can morph into monsters and time can slow down to impossible speeds.” The “Coney Island” series draws upon digital movies of the amusement park, articulating the disorientation and celebration that lie beneath the mask of amusement. The “Pride” series is based on Drake’s observations of New York’s gay pride parade, evoking the heroism, defiance and theatricality of the promenade. The “Yard Art” series draws on traditions of photography to portray lawn statues as laconic human surrogates in a range of unconventional open-air locations.
Innies & Outies also marks the Chicago premiere of Adam Kurtzman’s sculptures. Renowned for his work in paper-mâché, Kurtzman’s works included in this show come from two different series, kewpies and masks. The kewpies are a variation on a doll form of the 1920’s and 30’s, popular as a carnival midway prize. Since Kurtzman began the series, the kewpies have undergone a gradual mutation in form and media, assuming qualities of fertility goddess statues and myriad beasts drawn from nature and myth. The kewpies are crafted in an array of media, including bronze, chrome, and glitter-covered paper-mâché. Kurtzman’s paper-mâché; mask series emerges from his interest in the dramatic and transformative. Donning one of these masks effectively child-sizes the wearer’s body, turning adults into children, and making outrageous behavior more likely.
Marischa Slusarski and Claire Barron’s collaborative photographs draw on traditions of sculpture and documentary photography to create fantastic dioramas of nearly-recognizable creatures in mysterious landscape tableaux. The photos depict “silver sand beaches, forests of sci-fi vegetables,” and scenes in or around London. The uncoordinated, troglodyte-looking clay creatures and taxidermy animal forms that live within these landscapes are engaged in odd rituals or power-struggles. Their world is simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic, evoking children’s playtime as well as a post-human evolutionary dystopia. The creatures struggle endlessly toward an obscure end. In their nameless rituals, these clumsy creatures “foreshadow the extinction of genetic diversification.” Slusarski and Barron’s collaborative photos have previously been shown in London, and they are making their American debut with Innies & Outies.
Peter Drake works and resides in New York City. His works have been featured in solo exhibitions around the world and are included in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Adam Kurtzman lives and works in Los Angeles. His sculptures have been shown extensively on both coasts and exhibited in the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Louvre, the Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, and the San Francisco Craft & Folk Art Museum.
Marischa Slusarski is a widely-known painter based in Los Angeles. Her works are held in numerous private collections and have been exhibited on the west coast, in Europe, and in Asia. Claire Barron has traveled the world producing an extensive body of work in the fields of journalism and documentary photography. She has exhibited in Europe, Australia, and LA, and is currently based in London.
The Chicago Fashion Foundation will be hosting an exclusive showing of Innies & Outies at Linda Warren Gallery on the evening of September 25th, from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Chicago Fashion Foundation and BEHIV.