When all is said and done, 2016
Burlap, dye, wire, and yarn
10 x 25 x 3 feet overall
Body Language, 2015
Burlap, dye, wire
72 x 96 x 25 inches
About the Exhibition
Opening reception: Thursday, September 15, 6-8pm
Referencing delicately interwoven forms, artist Nnenna Okore’s large-scale installations seek to reveal the marveling entanglement and twistedness of skeletal lattices found within nature. Through her use of recycled materials, the artist references the social, historical and environmental interconnectedness of our collective experiences as humans. Okore employs reductive and deconstructive processes to expose elements of decomposition that are elevated by age, death and decay – transient experiences that befall anything that is living. She is keenly sensitive to the rhythms and contours of everyday life, as they signal both the transience of human labor and its inevitable mark on the material world.
For her on the wall installation, When all is said and done, Okore explores and exploits the inherent physicality and fragility of burlap and wire as form. The exhibition is comprised of undulating and drooping elements that dress the breadth of the wall space, while tumbling down at various points from the ceiling to the floor. The wall behind is laced directly with black line drawings complimenting the root-like forms of swooping, entangled threads in hues of red and black.
Okore’s project is presented in conjunction with Kate Levant’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, …Which’s Ploying the Fans, for which we’ve produced a fully-illustrated, digital catalog. The publication includes an interview with both artists and Karen Patterson, Associate Curator of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center (JMKAC) in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. View or download it below.
Nnenna Okore (b. 1975 in Australia, raised in Nigeria) has received international acclaim for installations in which she reconfigures organic or discarded materials into abstract, richly textured forms of extraordinary range and nuance. She earned her BA in 1999 from the University of Nigeria where she studied with acclaimed sculptor El Anatsui. Okore went on to receive her MA and MFA at the University of Iowa, in 2004 and 2005 respectively. At present, the artist is a Professor of Art at Chicago’s North Park University, where she teaches sculpture. She was a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award, and has partaken in artist residencies for Jean Paul Blachere Foundation, Apt, France (2010), Art Omi International Residency, NY (2006), and SFAI Residency, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM (2004). Her solo exhibitions include, Nkata, Krannert Museum of Art, University of Urbana-Champaign, IL (2015), On the Brink, Elmhurst Art Museum, NY (2015), and Akaraka: What will be, Art Twenty One, Lagos, Nigeria (2013). Okore has participated in group exhibitions at Evanston Art Center, Evanston, IL (2015), Museu Afro Brasil, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2015), Spelman Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA (2014), Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Art (MoCADA), NY (2013), and at the 29th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2010).
Generously funded in part by a grant from the Wicker Park Bucktown SSA #33, the on the wall series is a rotation of projects on the gallery’s 10 x 25 foot wall. It is viewable from Division Street 7 days a week, 365 days a year, through floor to ceiling windows.