November 30, 2007

Winter Exposure - Gallery Artists Group Show (main gallery)

Jenny Kendler: Wunderkammer (project room)

November 30 - December 29, 2007

Opening reception November 30, 2007, 6-9 pm

kasia kay art projects gallery is proud to announce its upcoming exhibitions, Winter Exposure - a group show of the gallery artists, and Wunderkammer - an exhibition of new work by Chicago-based Jenny Kendler, which inaugurates the gallery’s FRESH series for emerging artists.

Winter Exposure will feature work by: Kristin Anderson, (art)n, Sandra Bermudez, Cameron Crawford, Kim Curtis, Kinga Czerska, Kim Dorland, Carla Gannis, D. Dominick Lombardi and Brian Yates.

Extinction Portraits, graphite on paper, black frame, ribbon, 2007

Jenny Kendler's work revolves around the theme of humans’ relationship with nature and the natural world. Her work explores how we perceive ourselves: either as animals that are part of our environment, or as beings that are somehow separate from and above nature. She is most interested in how these views affect our treatment and conception of our world and ourselves. Many of her pieces deal with the fall-out from the increasing schism between nature and culture while focusing on our estranged relationship with the other species that inhabit the space we consider our own.

In her show at kasia kay art projects gallery, Kendler re-imagines the Naturalist of the past through the lens of modern ecology and environmentalism. If the Naturalist of the 18th and 19th centuries sought to lay personal claim to the natural world and contain it in a specimen cabinet or book of prints, Kendler presents her room of intimate drawings and sculpture as a definitive counterpoint to the view of nature as something to be possessed. Her delicate work suggests instead that it is we who are possessed by nature.

In common with those early Naturalists, however, Kendler shares the delight in nature's myriad forms and countless wonders. Referencing specimen etchings, wunderkammern (wonder cabinets), and funerary portraits, Kendler creates her own collection, based not on ownership and categorization, but on connectivity and compassion for the natural world.

One series is graphite portraits of humans wearing animal masks, each one the face of an extinct species, each portrait drawn from a photograph taken in the year the animal became extinct. Shown in black oval frames, similar to those of 19th century funerary portraits, and hung with “prize” ribbons dyed black, these portraits question our complicity in the extinction of these species, and intimate that we may take upon ourselves these lost identities. A sculptural piece is presented, echoing the treasures of the wunderkammern, in which a deer skull under a bell-jar grows new life --- tiny hand-sculpted plants creep from bleached bone and curl towards the light, a suggestion that regeneration and new life too, are possible.

Please contact the gallery for additional information and high resolution images.