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December 9 , 2011 through January 2012

In Gallery 1
Handler
a series of collaborative sculptures presented by John Riepenhoff
images | press: Time Out Chicago
In Gallery 2
John Riepenhoff
Plein Air Paintings
images | press: Time Out Chicago
featuring
Peter Barrickman
Nicholas Frank
Richard Galling
Michelle Grabner
Greg Klassen
Jose Lerma
Scott Reeder
Tyson Reeder
 

In Gallery 1, John Riepenhoff presents HANDLER, a series of collaborative figurative sculptures, papier-mâché legs outfitted in Riepenhoff’s pants and shoes holding large-scale paintings by Peter Barrickman, Nicholas Frank, Richard Galling, Michelle Grabner, Greg Klassen, Jose Lerma, Scott Reeder and Tyson Reeder.

A painting walks into a gallery and hangs out on the wall. The gallerist says "move up a little". The painting moves up a little. The gallerist says "looks great". The painting doesn't say anything, it's legs walk away to do something else.

In Art Stand Series, pairs of papier-mâché legs outfitted in Riepenhoff’s pants and shoes hold large-scale paintings by other artists. These unconventional easels simulate the perspective of the art-handler, making visible one of the unseen laborers integral to exhibition making. By ascribing equal value to handler and artist, the artwork suddenly renders the social boundaries within the art community permeable.

Slipping into the role of impresario, John Riepenhoff has developed a strategy that enables an examination of the many positions within the art community. In his praxis he is an artist, curator, installer, gallerist—even an art fair director. Each role is adopted as a means to locate and make visible the greater framework in which an individual participates. Projects are not limited to a specific format or medium; they overlap in their aim to facilitate community on one hand, and enhance a viewing experience on the other.

From the Catalog Essay from The Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships for Individual Artists
Written by Piper Marshall, writer and assistant curator at Swiss Institute New York


John Riepenhoff is an artist, curator, gallery director, art fair co-organizer and inventor of artistic platforms for the expression of others. Riepenhoff opened The Green Gallery while still an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His first solo show, Group Show, took place in 2010 at the Jackpot Gallery in Milwaukee, and his work and projects have been presented at the Tate Modern and Frieze Art Fair (London); Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and the Swiss Institute (New York); Angstrom Gallery and Ooga Booga (Los Angeles); Tokyo 101 Art Fair (Tokyo); Kölnischer Kunstverein (Cologne); Karma International (Zurich); Fredric Snitzer Gallery (Miami); The Suburban (Oak Park, Illinois); Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Western Exhibitions (Chicago); Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; Milwaukee Art Museum, Inova, Lynden Sculpture Garden, Dean Jensen Gallery, Small Space, nAbr gallery (Milwaukee). Most recently, he opened a meta-gallery at Pepin Moore in Los Angeles, where he is regularly programming a John Riepenhoff Experience.

 

In Gallery 2, John Riepenhoff presents a series of plein air paintings -- large images of the night sky, painted by the light of a solitary lantern while camping in the Nicolette National Forest in northern Wisconsin

Plein air or “open air” painting situates the artist outside the controlled environment of the studio and in the field. This often limits aspects of painterly process: time, immediacy, and a certain control over the medium, become pressing elements implicit in the process. Working from one lantern amidst the dark night sky of Nicolette National Forest in northern Wisconsin, Riepenhoff reconsidered plein air painting. In a way the artist is willingly blind to his process. He is never completely aware of what is being painted until the following morning. The night sky becomes a framework in which to hang various abstract marks and gestures. Subtle shifts within the atmosphere offer an opportunity to layer various washes reminiscent of strategies utilized in abstract, impressionist painting. Clusters and individual stars allow for marks of varying impasto to situate themselves across the surface.

From the exhibition essay for Riepenhoff's 2010 show at nAbr Gallery in Milwaukee
Written by Richard Galling, 2010

When we create we document not only what is at our attention, we also archive the resources that have been used to tell our story. Though this latter aspect of expression is often obscured, its limitations can tell us a lot about an individual's condition and subsequently about the position of his or her culture. This series acknowledges the limits of an individual's range in an attempt to shift the outer conditions of creating into the subject of the medium.

-John Riepenhoff on his Plein Air paintings


 

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