Tuesday, May 27, 2014

things thrown upwards-- A solo show by Claire Ashley

Lula Café Summer Show
June 3 - September 9, 2014
Opening Reception June 10, 6-9pm

In Things Thrown Upwards Ashley presents a cross section of her work as sculptor, painter and visual slapstick artist. The show features painted panels, stuffed forms and fabric wall hangings, all marked with Ashley's exuberant neon spray painted mark making. Ashley's work is a playful exploration of the intersection of painting and sculpture, many of her hand made inflatable sculptures begin as two dimensional silhouettes, sewn together and then inflated or stuffed cartoonishly into buoyant, quivering, misshapen forms. Paint sprayed on the objects' surfaces in their various states retains a record of its peculiar dimensionality in the way it skips over wrinkles and drips along fault lines. In shape, color and gesture the work toys with the overlap of, on the one hand, goofy, cartoonish exuberance rendered in industrial materials, and on the other a sublime, unexpectedly beautiful play of color and shape that draws you up short and exemplifies the most profound possibilities of contemporary painting. 


Artist Bio:
Claire Ashley grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. She received a BFA from Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen and her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she currently teaches. She has exhibited her work widely in North America and in the UK. She lives in Oak Park, IL.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lula Spring Show 2014 - Cut Fold Crumple Paste

Lula Spring Show 2014
Cut Fold Crumple Paste
Artists Working with Paper
March 11 - June 3, 2014
Opening Reception: Tuesday, March 11, 6-9

The show is an exploration of paper as a medium beyond its usual role in art as a support for drawing or painting. In perhaps the exhibition's most straightforward approach German cartoonist and sculptor Marijpol cuts a remarkable variety of evocative bat faces from textured brown paper.

cut paper
24" x 30"

France's Emilie Plateau begins by drawing tiny cityscapes in a traditional way, then cuts them out, installing the pieces in little boxes like miniature stage sets. Chicago shadow puppeteer Sara Drake has taken her medium of light projected through cut paper figures and fixed the cast light in giant blue cyanotypes. The late Cheryl Weaver created minimal, abstract, geometric 'drawings' simply by making careful folds in her paper support. A similar approach leads to markedly different results for Kayla Risko, who takes large scale black photocopies and crumples them in a hug-like embrace, leaving fine spidery white lines in the inky black toner. Stephen Eichhorn and Diana Guerrero-Maciá use found printed or colored paper in new takes on the 100 year old tradition of collage.

Stephen Eichhorn  

Floral Burst (Feel the Light)
54" x 44"
Collage on archival inkjet print

Diana Guerrero-Maciá
o. Ophelia
14 ¾” x 17
collage & enamel on paper


Lastly, the uncategorizable Lilli Carré uses paper in a variety of ways from hand-made paper embedded with string to create images, to photocopied, hand-cut pop-up books.

The results and themes in these artists' work varies widely, but each is in some way defined by a thoughtful, direct approach to what might be the humblest, most foundational material in any artist's craft.

An opening reception with several of the artists will be held Tuesday, March 11th from 6-9 with a cash bar and complimentary hors d'oevres.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Here are a few more images

From Todd Baxter's Astoria Project. Up now through March 18th, 2014.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Winter Show 2014: Todd Baxter

Lula is pleased to announce its 2014 Winter show, Project Astoria: Test One, photographs by Todd Baxter. Opening reception with the artist will be held Tuesday, December 17th, 6-9.
Project Astoria is an exploration of an imagined new planet and its moons, discovered hidden within our Sun's system by an amateur astronomer in Astoria, Illinois, in the 1920's. The moons, named for his daughters, are found to be habitable and are colonized by a co-operative multinational expedition from our own world in the mid 1970's. The images follow the moons' immigrants as they explore, adapt and create a new life in their strange new worlds. Moving between the surreal feeling of a fairy tale and something more comfortable and deceptively mundane, the Astoria Project takes Baxter's unique visions to an ambitious new level. Trained as a painter and collagist, Baxter creates lush, atmospheric, intricately constructed narrative scenes that feel at once strange and familiar. The images from Astoria are painstakingly and seamlessly assembled from location shots taken in places as close by as Kentucky and Washington and as far afield as Morocco, Hawaii and Guam. Astoria's inhabitants are shot in the studio with hand made costumes, or in the case of one giant snow creature, constructed from clay with a dog's fur applied seamlessly by digital means. The characters and stories are fleshed out by Baxter and collaborator Aubrey Videtto.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fall Show: Katie Loomis and Carrie Gundersdorf

For the Fall show we are excited to pair the work of two Chicago based artists, Carrie Gundersdorf and Katie Loomis. 

Gundersdorf is both a painter and collagist. Following an interest in imagery of astronomical and weather phenomena she builds collages that play with repetition and pattern using the found images of sunspots, lightning strikes and the Aurora Borealis. The familiar imagery is abstracted and reframed through repetition and patterning in a way that touches on a long history in art from traditional crafts to high modernism.

Also pulling inspiration from scientific imagery of the universe and geologic formations, Katie Loomis' paintings investigate the line between control and spontaneity. She uses careful manipulations of paint to create perfect edges of color paired with a more random, dye-like staining technique where paint is applied into un-sized canvas. She achieves phenomenal effects and vivid colors evoking a tension of opposite aesthetic impulses. 


A reception with the artists will be held Tuesday, September 17 from 6 to 9. Hors d'oeuvres will be served