Fermi National Laboratory

Perfect: a group exhibition

featuring works by
Susie Brandt, Ben Butler, Cat Chow, Vincent Como, Anoka Faruqee,
Teo Gonzalez, Amy Honchell, Matt Irie, Marci Rae McDade, Mark Murphy,
Timothy Ripley, Michael x. Ryan, Chris Uphues

The concept for Perfect began to take shape in 2001 when "Deathstar" by Chris Uphues first appeared in Chicago, IL USA. Featuring a lone planetary sphere covered with colonies of stars, spirals and smiling faces, "Deathstar" was a tour de force of whimsical obsession. Uphues brought this work to its final form through meticulous, time-consuming modes of construction using ordinary imagery from everyday life. Perhaps because such obvious care and concentration had been exerted in its production, "Deathstar" appeared precise and complete in its nature, achieving a unique kind of perfection. This combination of elaborate process, common materials and unexpected imagery became the prerequisite for selecting all of the works of art in this exhibition.
Amy Honchell, Cat Chow, Susie Brandt and Mark Murphy are enchanted with the qualities of texture and color that they discover in ordinary objects like rubber toys and fabric remnants. For these artists, the physical manipulation of their chosen materials is what fuels the creative process. Adding an unexpected twist to the socially responsible act of recycling, Mark Murphy uses the paper packaging from products that he buys and enjoys as a consumer each day, such as breakfast cereal and soda pops. Using the jigsaw puzzle motif as his template, Murphy carefully transfers, cuts and shapes the identifying outer layers of each cardboard box to form his abstract collages. The final image is a field of interlocking fragments that obscures their origins while playfully communicating a sense of memory and desire for childhood delights.
Michael x. Ryan,Vincent Como, Teo González and Matt Irie are captivated by the making of a mark. Whether it is made with a pencil or a paintbrush, the repetition of this mark produces a tactile satisfaction and allows for the development of different artistic processes. These processes evolve over time into physical forms of meditation, grounding each artist in a deeper sense of self. Using plagiarism as an element of design, Matt Irie maps out each piece with grids which he then systematically fills with text. This text gradually loses its meaning as the scope and complexity of Irie's patterns begin to emerge through an orchestration of shades of black achieved by using several different brands of ink pens.
Timothy Ripley, Ben Butler, Marci Rae McDade and Anoka Faruqee have chosen to develop new forms of visual language to describe various aspects of life that fascinate them. Through experimentation with design and technique, Anoka Faruqee is able to pursue an understanding of how the human eye perceives color. In her diptychs, Faruqee reproduces, mark for mark, one of her own paintings using a totally different palette. In and of itself, this would be a feat; but the challenge is heightened by the fact that each image she duplicates is carefully rendered with thousands of tiny, interlocking shapes. Each pair is an exercise in contrast and comparison. By placing bright tones against dull ones, dark shapes within light, both pieces are designed to present the viewer with a comparative mosaic of color interactions.
Whatever the individual motivations may be, it seems clear that these objects are more than a mere product of process. Each piece represents a sincere attempt to manifest the complexities of a vision as well as a desire to make it perfect.

Marci Rae McDade Curator/Organizer
www.perfectexhibition.com ©2005

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