"Mixed Baggage," Adriane Herman's
second solo exhibition at Western Exhibitions, the
artist packed both heavy and light. A series of beautifully
crafted clay-coated wooden panels re-create found lists from
anonymous writers: things to do, foods to buy, books to read,
and hints for improving a tap dance routine. These larger than
life-sized panels rub shoulders with "Missing Baggage",
a series of delicate ink drawings on frosted mylar that are
less about what is there than what isn't (and who wasn't). Framed
to allow clear viewing of certain layers of baggage while obscuring
others, "Missing Baggage" uses images drawn from vintage
luggage advertisements to represent familial relationships.
can permanently check pieces of their own baggage by applying
a series of three temporary tattoos entitled "Baggage Claim."
Each tattoo bears instructions regarding the type of issue to
meditate upon while applying the image, so that the need to
carry around that piece of baggage erodes along with the tattoo's
ink. A series of rubbings, "A Very Civil Union, Once Removed",
are born of Herman's urge to memorialize an ephemeral window
installation that is not included in the exhibition, but was
generated from a drawing among the "Missing Baggage"
series that depicts a healthy relationship.
earlier work focused on what we consume consciously while she
currently examines what we consume unwittingly and spend much
of our lives working to jettison -- namely physical and psychological
baggage. Herman tells us that she has "a high tolerance
for clutter and experiences discomfort in spare and orderly
spaces that reference only the present moment ... I instinctively
archive minutiae that others would likely toss out without a
thought or, even more likely, never accumulate in the first
Herman lives and works in Portland, Maine and is represented
by Adam Baumgold Gallery in New York. Her work is in the collections
of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Walker Art Center,
The Progressive Corporation, and others and has received critical
attention from The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Art on Paper,
New Art Examiner, and Sculpture. Herman is a founding member
of Slop Art: www.slopart.com
his show "Soft Prison" in our Plus Gallery, John
Parot draws pie charts and diagrams over large
archival inkjet print photographs of his living spaces. Essentially
self-portraiture, the works show, in a dazzlingly visual array,
not just where Parot lives, but also his thoughts, daily activities,
emotional states and the utter banality of life. These "soft
prisons" as Parot likes to call them, show the environments
where he retreats, wallows, regrets, rethinks and tries again.
This series is influenced by "Chained to a Memory"
as sung by Dusty Springfield in 1967:
Why am I chained to this memory
Why does the thought of you still torture me?
When will I find someone to set me free?
So I won't be chained to a memory.
John Parot is a Chicago-based artist who shows with Van Harrison
Gallery, soon to re-open in New York City, and has shown at
Bellwether in NYC, Mixture Contemporary in Houston, Jack Hanley
Gallery in San Francisco, Julia Friedman Gallery, Bodybuilder
& Sportsmen and Gallery 400 in Chicago. His work has been
written about in The New Yorker, Time Out Chicago, artnet.com,
Art on Paper and he is a 2004 recipient of grants from the Illinois
Art Council and Artadia.
Western Exhibitions will also
be exhibiting a selection of work by
Stan Shellabarger in our newly rechristened
Drawing Room Gallery to coincide with his 12 x 12 solo show
at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago that opens on December
2nd. Shellabarger, a Chicago-based performance artist, will
show photographs documenting his ongoing Bridge Walking Performance,
drawings from his 2002 Breathing performance, artist books,
as well as embellished photographs of his ongoing Crocheting
performance with his husband, Chicago artist, Dutes Miller.
Shellabargers 2004 solo show at Western Exhibitions was
written about in Art in America, artforum.com, Art US and 10