Continuing through March 7, 2015
Value and materiality are the basis for a collaborative exhibition by Chicago-based Margaret Welsh and Vienna-based Marcus Geiger. In her first new body of work after several decades of artistic hiatus, Welsh sources rejected or “wrong”-colored latex paint from home improvement stores, applying it directly to paper bags that have been deconstructed and rearranged into formalist, wall-bound compositions. Geiger, known for his works that use “cheap” materials to create dialogue with architecture and the institution, divides the space with a freestanding installation work made with giant sheets of interlocking cardboard.
The artists present their own take on the conflation of “low” materials and “high” art. Welsh and Geiger do not try to physically transform their mediums into something they’re not. They each embrace the unique properties of these vernacular, functional materials. Welsh’s simple treatment highlights the creases and the crinkles of her bags, which feel delicate and precarious compared to the structural soundness of Geiger’s light yet sturdy cardboard. The crucial change here is a conceptual one. These humble materials have been subjected to the rigors of thought-based practice, coming out the other side elegant, lofty and intellectualized.