In a spacious loft flooded with natural light, Alderman Exhibitions is nestled in the West Loop’s cutting edge gallery district. The gallery provides artists, architects and designers with a place to show their work, collaborate and foster dialogue.
Alderman Exhibitions presents a new exhibition of weavings by Chicago artist Christy Matson, The Sun Doesn’t Show Through the Mist Until Noon. The exhibition is organized around a series of small, framed weavings, four larger works on black and a collaborative video produced with Chicago artist Ken Fandell.
The intricate weavings are colorful, geometric shapes in patterns of meandering lines, reflecting modernist aesthetics and ethnographic patterns. Matson’s process begins with colored marker drawings on paper, using self-inscribed systems of pattern. She then converts the drawings into grids she uses for the loom, weaving in cotton, linen, cashmere and tencel. In order to replicate the drawing’s hand strokes and irregular marks, she stitches the inconsistences into the weavings by hand. By inserting the casualness and honesty of the sketches into the weavings, Matson shows the importance of the idiosyncrasies and variations in her process.
In the weaving series, frayed edges and rippled surfaces suggest that the pattern continues beyond the woven field, a reminder that the work is both a surface and an object. The four larger works on black are visually striking, stitched onto a Belgian linen ground on stretched canvas.
The accompanying video, a collaboration between Matson and Fandell, is a psychedelic collage in which the original drawings for the weavings are looped over footage of turtles filmed in El Salvador, who are stacking up on one another.
Christy Matson is a Chicago artist and assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her recent exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Arts Houston, The Milwaukee Art Museum, The Knoxville Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR, and The San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design. Her work is in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s Renwick Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland, OR.
Ken Fandell is a Chicago artist with work in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Art Museum, the MCA Chicago and The US Embassy in Bulgaria. Fandell shows with Tony Wight Gallery.
Emmaline Niendorf is an Integrated Marketing Associate with Otherwise Incorporated.