May 16, 2008


May 16—June 21, 2008
Maleonn: Days on the Cotton Candy (in the Main Gallery)
Brian Yates: you ruin everything (in the Project Room)
Atmospherics - A site-specific installation of 3D animated projections by the School of the Art Institute graduate and undergraduate students (Lower Level)
Opening reception May 16, 2008, 6-9 pm

Maleonn, Days on the Cotton Candy # 4, ink-jet print, 53 x 35 inches, 2006

Maleonn is both a photographer and a director, and these identities influence one another in his work. His photographs manifest his interests in manipulation and dramatic reappearance. Maleonn manipulates the objects he photographs, setting them in a created atmosphere, so they become an instrument to narrate the real beauty of life. His work is dramatic and cinematic; although the images are still, they reveal and expressive content and strong feeling by holding a mirror up to his viewers. He calls his work a “labyrinth, a huge one, lots of entrances, lots of exits as well. The viewers can walk around and realize the existence of themselves by getting through it.”

For Brian Yates, the present is awkwardness and uncertainty. This may be the one fixed feature of the present; the past meanwhile might hold charm while the future asserts unnamed potential. The imagery Yates uses has its origins in the nostalgic charm of his past, but there is none of the attachment and fondness that might be expected. Subjects are distant, half-remembered, full of false romanticism—but they are purposefully isolated, depopulated and stripped of their sentimental power to the point of impotence. This is the spot at which Yates finds these objects and locations at their most beautiful, with their most potential in their independence

Maleonn was born in Shanghai in 1972. He graduated from the Fine Art College of Shanghai University with a degree in graphic design. Until 2003 he worked as an art director and director of commercial films, and in 2004 he began his creative art practice. Since then he has exhibited widely, including in group shows in Australia, Canada, China, Holland, Germany, the US, and the UK, and in solo shows in Canada, China, and the US.

Brian Yates lives and works in Chicago. He graduated with an MFA from Ohio University in 1996, and since then has had numerous solo, two-person and group exhibitions in the US, including a 2007 solo show The New Anomie at kasia kay art projects gallery and a 2006 solo show, Future Perfect, at the Charles Allis Museum in Milwaukee.