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2156 West Fulton Street
Chicago, IL 60612
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773 278 1664
Artists Represented:
Morris Barazani
Margot Bergman
Peter Brötzmann
Brian Calvin
Emilio Cruz
Dominick Di Meo
Hedwig Eberle
Ed Flood
Christina Forrer 
Gabrielle Garland
Magalie Guérin
Philip Hanson
David Hartt
Arturo Herrera
Charline von Heyl
Carol Jackson
Thomas Kapsalis
Gina Litherland
Robert Lostutter
Josiah McElheny
Rebecca Morris
Albert Oehlen
Joyce Pensato
Christina Ramberg
Celeste Rapone
Arlene Shechet 
Rebecca Shore
Lui Shtini
Diane Simpson
Cauleen Smith 
John Sparagana
Karl Wirsum
Christopher Wool
Jimmy Wright
Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

 

 
Installation view, Christopher Wool. Courtesy Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. Photo Credit: Robert Chase Heishman, 2019


 
Current Exhibition

Celeste Rapone

Celeste Rapone: Controlled Burn



October 16, 2021 - November 13, 2021
Corbett vs. Dempsey is delighted to present Controlled Burn, an exhibition of twelve new paintings by Celeste Rapone. At CvsD, Rapone has been the focus of an eponymous Big Dig virtual presentation in 2020 and Everlast, a two-person exhibition with Betsy Odom in 2018. Controlled Burn is her first solo show at the gallery. In a group of brand new canvases, Rapone opens up the space in her detailed compositions, situating figures in an architectural or natural scene. Still figurative and populated by a range of evocative characters, they are now less claustrophobically compressed, the settings providing a theatrical context for morphological feats, sly mass-cultural references, and luscious paint application. Rapone started work on the paintings in this exhibition in what she candidly calls "the clusterfuck of January, 2021" with no specific trajectory in mind, but over time they revealed themselves to be more about painting itself than anything thematic or topical. Where she has often approached painting as a chain process, a finished piece suggesting the direction for the next one, in this case each canvas took its own journey and gradually became its unique, monadic self, feeding less off its predecessor than off the intense energy of the time and formal and technical problems gyrating in Rapone's head. Among the diverse, dazzling results are the largest paintings she's ever made, a trend upward in scale that continues at present, as well as some of the most daring and hilarious images in her opus. Celeste Rapone (b. 1985, New Jersey) received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007 and her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, where she is now an adjunct professor in painting and drawing. Her work has been exhibited at Josh Lilley Gallery (London), Marianne Boesky Gallery (NYC), Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery (Luxembourg), Roberts Projects (LA), Steven Zevitas Gallery (Boston), Julius Caesar (Chicago), The Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago), the Georgia Museum of Art (Athens), and Monya Rowe Gallery (NYC). In addition to her upcoming solo exhibition with Corbett vs. Dempsey, her work will also be included in ICA Boston's exhibition, A Place for Me: Figurative Painting Now on view from March 30 - September 5, 2022. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings, Newcity, The Chicago Tribune, The Georgia Review, and she is a 2018 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. She lives and works in Chicago, IL.

 
Upcoming Exhibition

Rachel Harrison

Rachel Harrison: Assorted Varieties



November 19, 2021 - January 8, 2022

 
Past Exhibitions

Moki Cherry

Moki Cherry: Communicate, How?: Paintings and Textiles, 1967 - 1980



September 3, 2021 - October 9, 2021
Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Moki Cherry, Communicate, How?: Paintings and Tapestries, 1967-1980. Following Blank Forms’ exhibition in New York, which took an in-depth look at the Don and Moki Cherry partnership, Communicate, How? places the spotlight squarely on Moki, concentrating on her masterful tapestries and playful canvases, never separating them from Don’s presence, but inviting a long overdue critical appreciation for Moki’s artistry on its own terms. This is the largest historical exhibition of Moki Cherry’s works to be mounted in the U.S. and will be on view September 3 – October 9, 2021. In Communicate, How?, CvsD has assembled a selection of Moki Cherry’s most significant works, all of them drawn from the schoolhouse in Sweden where the family archives still reside. These include major tapestries that were used in performance and several that functioned as announcements for Organic Music Society events or other performances. Among these is a banner from the first gig for which Moki made a tapestry, as well as a marvelous silken marquee for a weekend festival at Ornette Coleman’s loft. A group of modestly scaled paintings, some of them shown in early Swedish exhibitions, suggest Moki’s uninhibited, surrealistic use of imagery, often centering on the female figure. These smaller works offer a key to her later tapestries, showing how she constructed her Thangka-like compositions piecemeal out of iconic fragments. The show also includes a ceiling-hanging soft sculpture that was part of Utopias and Visions, 1871-1981, an exhibition at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1971, in which the Cherry family lived in a geodesic dome in the museum for three months; this extraordinary work has not been shown since that time. One of Don’s incredible Moki-designed shirts and several of her poster designs executed on paper round out the presentation. Moki Cherry (1943-2009) was raised and educated in Sweden, where she worked as a fashion designer in the early 1960s. In 1963, she met Don Cherry, the legendary free music trumpeter, and changed the trajectory of her artistic practice forever. As a couple, Moki and Don worked together on building a utopian vision of art and music, eventually establishing Movement Incorporated, also known as Organic Music Society, a troupe with variable membership that drew together music, image, and dance, with costumes and stage sets created by Moki. Her work in this fecund period included designing posters and flyers for events – sometimes made as increasingly elaborate tapestries – as well as inventing most of Don’s signature outfits, composing large textile works that hung as backdrops for their performances and making artwork for covers on many classic Don Cherry albums. Moki also created works that were independent of such happenings, stand-alone paintings and tapestries that brought her training in fabrics and materials together with her visionary imagistic vocabulary. Her early paintings and tapestries were the focus of key shows starting in the early 1970s, after the Cherrys had bought a schoolhouse in a tiny village in Southern Sweden, which they established as a base of operations and cultural arts center. Moki and Don were pioneers of multicultural, interdisciplinary performance. In their work, particularly in the period of this exhibition, they invited artists and other collaborators from a wide spectrum of international points of origin and backgrounds to participate in their unique, vividly imagined new world. Accompanying the exhibition, CvsD has made an extensive and copiously illustrated catalog featuring historical photographs, an essay by Moki-scholar Evie Ward, a travelogue from a trip to the farmhouse by John Corbett, appreciative notes from artists Lisa Alvarado, Christina Forrer, and Cauleen Smith, and a detailed timeline of Moki’s life. Corbett vs. Dempsey is honored to have collaborated with Naima Karlsson and Neneh Cherry (Moki’s granddaughter and daughter, respectively) on Communicate, How? The exhibition was delayed more than a year due to the pandemic. The gallery would like to express its deepest gratitude to the family for their patience and trust in this process

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung: Flim-Flam



June 25, 2021 - August 7, 2021
Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Flim-Flam, an exhibition of new work by Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and the artist’s fourth show with CvsD. In Flim-Flam, forms repeat and vary, introducing an underlying morphological rhythm that connects the pieces and plots them on a trajectory back into her earlier work. Zuckerman-Hartung ranges freely between expressive modalities, choosing materials as needed, sometimes in order to achieve a particular result and other times to throw a wrench into a piece that’s proceeding too smoothly. “Flim-Flam might have its etymological roots in ‘film,’ as in a thin skin,” says Zuckerman-Hartung. “It used to refer to a con artist or swindler, but everyone knows these days the swindler is no longer a one-man operation, it’s a corporate snow-job! Flim-flam is a linguistic reduplication like zig-zag or flip-flop. It implies a fold, an expressive acceleration, a gathering of energy. The paintings are part-language hybrid objects, in the tradition of Charles Olson’s Projective Verse: ‘…the poem itself must, at all points, be a high-energy construct, and at all points, an energy-discharge.’” A painter and drawer whose work has hovered in the rich nebulae between abstraction and figuration, Zuckerman-Hartung also works in three-dimensions – indeed, her paintings and drawings often feature relief or sculptural elements. Quilting has re-emerged as a key factor in her work. In this exhibition, draping textiles hang on a wall or sit on a plinth alongside stretched canvases, themselves often containing sewn elements with swatches of painting collaged together into new geometries that challenge rectangularity, the elements of which create unexpected continuities between their disparate parts. Among the 3-D works in the exhibition are a series of folded paper pieces, highly hybridized concatenations built around a basic accordion structure (something that dates back nearly 15 years in her work), forcing their alternating planes off the wall and out into the space, like a dollhouse scrim, privacy screen, or theater backdrop. “The folding has always been about the book,” says the artist. “About the gap, the enjambment, what’s missing or lost. What closes and opens. What hides.” Delicate and fragile – thin-skinned one might say – the folded paper pieces express an appreciation for the ephemeral, a love of the temporary, the makeshift. These are closely related to another group of floor-standing and plinth sculptures that are even more like stages; scale model setups, some with miniature artworks hanging within them, these continue Zuckerman-Hartung’s longstanding interrogation of the presentational context for painting. Three smaller folded paper works, for instance, are mounted on a large unprimed canvas, gridded in pencil. Having been brought together, they form a constellation, a new singularity gently brought into existence out of diverse uniquenesses. Molly Zuckerman-Hartung’s work has been the subject of many solo and group exhibitions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the UCR/California Museum of Photography, Riverside; MOCA Cleveland; ReMap4, Athens, Greece; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Later in 2021, the Blaffer Art Museum in Houston will present a mid-career survey of her work. She is a Critic in Painting and Printmaking at Yale University.

Cauleen Smith & Shannon Stratton

Cauleen Smith & Shannon Stratton: Twin Voids



June 25, 2021 - August 7, 2021
Corbett vs. Dempsey is thrilled to present Twin Voids, featuring recent work by Cauleen Smith and Shannon Stratton. From a basic starting point in drawing, Smith and Stratton both began by working into existing printed images, painting over them in watercolor. In Stratton’s case, this involved old books of images of furniture, compendia of Victorian chairs and beds, their intricate ornament interrupted – in many cases frankly violated – by a swirling dark vortex. In some of the works, all made as part of what she calls “The Book of Voids, 2020,” the painted form droops from a wicker seat, elsewhere clumping off center on a sofa or vibrating like a forcefield in front of a credenza. Smith sees Stratton’s highly intuitive works as “a form of journaling,” perhaps a sort of brace against or chronicle of their desultory year. Strangely emotional, they contain a panoply of resonances out of scale with the simplicity of their conceptualization and execution. "The voids were records of the strangeness of both presence and absence when negotiating relationships of all kinds during an extended liminality," says Stratton. Smith’s pieces are what the artist calls “shelf drawings” – a group of small-scale wall-hanging sculptural objects that function as little curated dioramas in which a page from an architectural/home interior/furniture magazine creates a backdrop for staged objects, which are placed on a shelf at the base of the frame. Fantastic biomorphic and crystalline shapes are drawn into the dehumanized scenarios of the magazine, akin to Georges Hugnet’s surreal Spumifers – abstracted sci-fi personages sitting in mid-century modern swivel chairs and leather loveseats. The physical objects that offset these drawn interior scenes include actual crystals and rocks, along with other items like a dried corn cob and sticks of bright pastels. Smith says the shelf drawings are “an attempt to contain a complex tension between defacement and desire.” They describe a kind of fetishistic machine in which the photographic image is brought to a higher level of sensuality through defilement, further heightened by its proximity to actual reference objects, which are placed like iconic physical-visual captions – a key of sorts – for the 2-D drawn image above it.

Christina Forrer

November Calls April



April 30, 2021 - June 12, 2021
Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present November Calls April, an exhibition of new work by Christina Forrer. This is the artist's second exhibition at CvsD, for which the gallery will present a selection of tapestries as well as ink and watercolor drawings on paper. Additionally, Forrer has made a special zine that will be available at the gallery. Figures within Forrer’s work are most often tangled together or caught in some bracing mode of discourse – hollering into another figure's ear or emerging from it as an aural emanation. There is give and take, but it's never super relaxed, it's agonistic, at times violent, always negotiated. In Forrer's latest tapestries, eight of which constitute November Calls April, some of the female protagonists are decapitated, or perhaps uncapitated, a trait that the L.A.-based artist links to a tradition of headless figuration in her native Switzerland. The large vertical tapestry "Regula" features a solitary woman carrying her own face, ferning vegetation sprouting from between her shoulders. In "Sunset Connection" vine-like figures, one of them two-headed (perhaps to make up for some of the headless ones), intwine tendrils, blurring the divide between flora and fauna. "I have been thinking about connections and ways of communication that are non-verbal," says Forrer. "Connections to past- and future-selves, conduits. Ourselves seeping into others and others seeping into us, ancestors and future relatives negotiating through time and space. Dead entities fertilizing seeds and mountains, Novembers calling Aprils, from Zurich to Chicago, from the middle ages to the industrial revolution. A piece of a skull from the ancient world, another piece from the middle ages, composited to form a relic." As always, the work is daringly composed and sensitively constructed. Forrer's penchant for explosive expressionism and painterly finish push against the mechanical feel of the warp and weft of the weave. A few parallel works on paper – ink and watercolor drawings that contain elements of the tapestries – hang alongside their larger textile counterparts. The tactile is of utmost importance in all these scenes where chronology can experience its polar reversal and the optimistic and pessimistic hunker down on a cozy mattress for an antic game of ‘second that emotion.’ Forrer continues: "My grandmother just called me to tell me that her grandmother called her last night to tell her about her grandmother and that she had a message to give to Chicago April 2021 and the message was November Calling April."

Elizabeth Ferry

Past Times of a Future Stranger



April 30, 2021 - June 12, 2021
Corbett vs. Dempsey is excited to present Past Times of a Future Stranger, an exhibition of new paintings by Elizabeth Ferry. This is the artist’s first show with CvsD. Inspired by a drawing titled “Life Clock” that Ferry made twenty-five years ago, Past Times of a Future Stranger unveils a new process for the New York based artist, utilizing pigmented wax that is covered with black acrylic paint, then etched and scraped away. “It’s a tip-of-the-hat to ‘90s scratchboard art,” she says. “I wanted to collaborate with my seventh-grade self by remaking a selection from an old sketchbook. And I wanted to remake ‘Life Clock’ in an attempt to let my former self know it’s working out all right.” In “Life Clock,” the work that inspired the series, a clock face’s numbers are swapped for symbols signifying different phases of a life. Ferry’s paintings are imbued with a hefty dose of adolescent affect, displaying the naive openness of youth and a smirk that gently pushes against the utopian impulse. “I found it entertaining that the drawings in the sketchbook took themselves so seriously,” she says. “But I guess it makes sense since I was sheltered and hadn’t been around long enough to give over to life’s dark humor and simple pleasures." In these canvases, Ferry’s imagery is daring and doodling, fantastic and familiar, from “Tongue YinYang,” in which a French kiss turns into the perfect Zen intertwining, to “Human Volcano,” which depicts a cross-sectioned figure seated on (and penetrated by) an erupting volcano while beatifically sniffing a flower, some spasmodic embodiment of a Gaia fantasy. Ferry’s paintings are incredibly vivid, almost phosphorescent, some with paint inlayed into lines carved into the wax, a couple containing a glow-powder/wax mix, effectively making them glow in the dark, allowing the artist to conceal a second image that is revealed when the lights go out. Sparked by the original sketchbook drawings, Ferry has elaborated and extrapolated on them, incorporating new imagery that mingles with those of her as a middle-schooler – reckoning with a once-familiar, now-alien identity.

Sun Ra

The Substitute Words: Poetry, 1957-72



March 26, 2021 - April 24, 2021

Rebecca Shore

Green Light



March 26, 2021 - April 24, 2021

Charline von Heyl

Charline von Heyl: New Paintings



January 15, 2021 - March 13, 2021
Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to present Charline von Heyl, New Paintings. This is the gallery's third solo show with the artist. A genuinely fearless creative force, Charline von Heyl has emerged as one of the most consistently surprising painters of our time. This exhibition features fifteen fresh paintings all made at her studio refuge in Marfa. Von Heyl began to gather steam on these canvases, ironically, just as the world ground to a halt, and she worked on them alongside the ups and downs of the emergent global pandemic. As always in von Heyl's oeuvre, each piece carries its own set of working propositions, making for a wildly diverse collection of pictures. There are different stylistic currents, a variety of ways of painting, of constructing a composition, of thinking about an image, of relating object and atmosphere, and of negotiating the concepts of abstraction and representation, but they all come from a single powerful visual intelligence. Commonalities between works exist, of course; there’s a suite of three identically sized, closely linked paintings on raw linen, for instance. Von Heyl's approach to color is as daring here as ever, a number of the works specifically exploring a yellow palette in multiple modalities. And there is a rich set of lurking topical elements to be uncovered in these works, some deeply submerged, some more immediately recognizable. California's horrific summer wildfires are referenced in the fleeing hares of "The August Complex," while powerful small painting "Simplicissimus" takes its title from Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen's baroque novel based on the atrocities of Germany's Thirty Years' War, the main character of which was so simple-minded he didn't know his own name. Sensitive to the haywire, unbalanced times in which we live, von Heyl has produced an aggregation of paintings that nevertheless continues the undercurrent of joy and play that is a distinctive feature of her work.

Alan Shields



February 28, 2020 - April 9, 2020

Gabrielle Garland



February 28, 2020 - April 9, 2020

Lui Shtini

Lui Shtini: Three Summers



January 17, 2020 - February 22, 2020
It is with great pleasure that Corbett vs. Dempsey announces Three Summers, an exhibition of new paintings and sculpture by Lui Shtini. This is the artist’s third show at the gallery. Born and raised in Albania and based in New York, Shtini has approached surface as an intimate part of the construction of image. A substantive series of “portraits,” consisting of small and medium-sized works depicting heads and sometimes shoulders, introduced his oblique version of the imaginary figure, their features articulated or supplanted by sublime and unusual textures; subsequent paintings and drawings complicated the compositions as they upped the scale dramatically, landing on a group of large paintings with multiple figures, highly abstracted and incorporating even more kinds of surface, often locked in agonistic, even unsettling interaction. Shtini’s new paintings, executed on Dibond aluminum panel, return to an intimate scale, retaining the intense compositional ingenuity and unfettered love of surface, but in place of their predecessors’ anxiousness is a sense of peace. Organic forms – perhaps botanical, perhaps animal, perhaps alien – unfold and open, standing still, vibrating; their opulent energy is stored up and beamed outward rather than released as a torrent aimed from one figure at another. Made in Sardinia, where Shtini spends part of the year, these paintings are accompanied by a series of sculptures, the first three-dimensional work exhibited by the artist. Constructed around a very particular flotsam that washes up on the Sardinian beachscape, Shtini’s sculptures are hardly readymades. The meticulously shaped works consist of three materials familiar to Shtini from his childhood – commercial polystyrene, stucco, and Posidonia, a Mediterranean seaplant. Although they utilize a very reduced palette, basically white, the sculptural works are immediately identifiable as cousins to the paintings and are unmistakably Shtini. Weirdly topographic, with a delicate mottled surface, they stage a kind of tensile interaction between objects, a dance of disabused industrial and vegetable matter, in which the oval-shaped seaweed is often suspended between two immaculately anthropomorphic stucco forms.

Barbara Kasten

Barbara Kasten: The Crown Hall Project



January 17, 2020 - February 22, 2020
In the North Gallery, CvsD proudly presents The Crown Hall Project, an exhibition of photographs and sculpture by Barbara Kasten. Kasten generated this body of work after spending the summer of 2018 composing temporary, site-specific sculptures inside the Illinois Institute of Technology’s S.R. Crown Hall, an iconic building designed by Mies van der Rohe that functions as a studio space for the architecture school. She co-opted the students’ desks and paired them with pieces of fluorescent acrylic, some which were constructed to resemble the beams that are integral to the building’s structure. In addition to composing these multidimensional sculptures, she made a group of six photographs, shooting the same materials from uncanny angles. These compositions suggest challenging new versions of Mies’s hyperorderly architectural space. For CvsD, Kasten will show the six Crown Hall photographs alongside a new acrylic and steel sculpture that further compresses the hard angles and potent atmospheres of the original project. Over the last two years, Kasten has expanded and deepened the original project, creating increasingly complex sculptures. In 2018, she created “Intervention,” a related piece that was first exhibited as a backdrop for Chicago Humanities Festival Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon, conducted by Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Next month, “Intervention” will be included in Frieze L.A.’s Frieze Projects 2020 on the Paramount Studios famous backlot.

Caragh Thuring

Builder



September 6, 2019 - October 12, 2019

Carol Jackson

End World Music



September 6, 2019 - October 12, 2019

Omar Velázquez

Miracle Fruit



June 28, 2019 - August 17, 2019

Small Painting



June 28, 2019 - August 17, 2019

Karl Wirsum



April 5, 2019 - June 22, 2019

Christopher Wool



February 8, 2019 - March 30, 2019

Robert Lostutter

Kyōsei



November 2, 2018 - December 19, 2018

Celeste Rapone & Betsy Odom

Everlast



September 21, 2018 - October 27, 2018

Josiah McElheny

Cosmic Love



June 1, 2018 - August 4, 2018

Brian Calvin



April 27, 2018 - May 26, 2018

Barbara Rossi



April 27, 2018 - May 26, 2018

Christina Forrer



March 16, 2018 - April 21, 2018

Margot Bergman



March 16, 2018 - April 21, 2018

Thomas Kapsalis

Black + White, etc



January 26, 2018 - March 10, 2018

Magalie Guérin

bunker



January 26, 2018 - March 10, 2018