Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wandering Cloud -- The Photography of Debbie Carlos

For our fall show we are hosting an exhibition titled Wandering Cloud, featuring the photography of Debbie Carlos. With her uncanny eye for light and detail, Carlos is able to capture the ephemeral beauty in moments of quiet. This exhibit features a poetic series of photos that focus on a hand--covered in fur, holding an egg, or subtly stained with beet juice. Also on display will be a range of Carlos’s work that transports the viewer to a variety of places including an orange field of flowers, a rock carved river gorge, and a train station in Kyoto. It is our pleasure to host the first solo exhibition of Carlos’s work, featuring over 20 of her photographs.

Please join us on October 26 from 6-9 p.m. at Lula Café for a reception celebrating the opening of Wandering Cloud. This exhibition runs October through December.

Hand Fluff, 2009
Taroko Gorge, 2009

Tokyo Flowers, 2009

Sprout 1, 2007

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Engine Manual

We made a little catalog for the Car Engine show, featuring images of each of the artist's work. Proceeds from sales of the catalog will go to benefit Tommi Musturi and Marijpol, whose work was damaged in the flood at Lula a couple of weeks ago (see left to order). Below is the first spread.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Laura Park

I'm not sure exactly how I came across Laura Park's amazing and beautiful sketchbooks on Flickr. As a Chicago cartoonist I knew her, vaguely, as friends of friends, and had seen and admired her mini-comics. But they didn't prepare me for the breathtaking and playful color comics and drawings in her sketchbooks. It felt like peering down a rabbit hole in the woods and realizing it's filled with gold. Several of these will be on display in the bar cases at Lula through December, installed in time to be featured along with the Car Engine Show for Lula's first proper art opening (Tuesday, August 24th, 6-9). In the months that follow, pages will be turned now and then as the mood strikes us.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Amanda Vahamaki and Michelangelo Setola

Concurrent with the Car Engine Drawing Show this Summer is a show of pencil drawings by Finn Amanda Vähämäki and Italian Michelangelo Setola both of whom are connected to the italian comics collective Canicola. The drawings are partially collaborative, many have appeared in their artists book Souvlaki Circus, published in the U.S. by the late, lamented Buenaventura Press. The drawings are little gems of narrative image making. They are mysterious, understated and dreamlike. They are being seen in the U.S for the first time (Lula's show follows on the heels of a show at Home Gallery in Hyde Park), and it may be a while before these artists work will be seen here again. Reception with wine and food August 24th, 6-9.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Car Engine Invitational Drawing Show (and a flood)

The Summer show has two parts. The first is made up entirely of drawings of car engines. I draw comics for a living, and so I occasionally attend small press comics expos. There's a funny phenomenon that happens at these things. Fans go around to different artists at the show with blank sketchbooks and ask for drawings of a favorite subject. Batman, say, or Bart Simpson. It occured to me that it might be interesting to ask people to draw something that was sort of impossible, something no one really knows how to draw, but that might lend itself to interesting interpretation. So I asked a bunch of people to do drawings of a car engine. Amazingly 23 people contributed work. Following are some installation shots of the show and then a few individual pieces.

Shown above are pieces by Marc Bell, Dan Zettwoch, Jeffrey Brown, Chi-Hoi Lee, Jay Ryan, Gabrielle Bell, Esther Pearl Watson and Andrea Bruno. Also in the show are Marijpol, Tommi Musturi, Jordan Crane, Sammy Harkham, Mark Todd, Anders Nilsen, Peter Thompson, Luke Ramsey, Doublenaut, Michelangelo Setola, Sonnenzimmer, Justin B Williams, Nick Petersen, Doug Shaeffer and Ron Rege.


So, it's been a rainy summer in Chicago. Two trees on my street have been blown down over the last month or so, and the strange colors of the sky and the lightning shows have been frequent topics of conversation this year. Last weekend it rained and stormed for a solid eight or nine hours, all night long, very unusual for Chicago, who's storms generally come and go fairly quickly. And the basement of Lula flooded. Like, 3 1/2 feet, with freezers picked up and dumped out, computers and files and wine bottles floating around in an apocalyptic mess. Among the casualties were a number of pieces of art--from past shows and a few pieces waiting to be hung for the opening reception. Of these, most have proved more or less salvageable, a number have spent several days pressed between layers of newsprint and under stacks of heavy art books in my living room, and early indications are that they might make it. But two pieces in particular, by Marijpol and Tommi Musturi (shown above) having been stored in rolls which collapsed, were torn in places in addition to being swamped. Prints by Jay Ryan and Jordan Crane were also affected. My intention is to hold a silent auction at the opening, or perhaps online to benefit Marijpol and Tommi, possibly for a private commissioned drawing from them or something. More on that as details are ironed out in the next few days.

There is also a concurrent exhibition of small pencil drawings at Lula right now, by Amanda Vahamaki and Michelangelo Setola. More on that show, including images, also soon...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring Show 2010

Spring Show 2010
Alysia Kaplan, David Schalliol and Alyssa Miserendino

In the new spring show at lula we are featuring 3 artists whose work addresses the issues surrounding the economy and housing. In the bar you will find work by Alysia Kaplan including her Million$House series that calls into questions the true value of a home in this fluctuating market. The dining room will feature two photo series; David Schalliol’s Isolated Building Study focuses our attention on one building whose neighboring buildings are missing, clashing the urban structures with a seemingly suburban setting, and creating a strange and poetic tension. Alyssa Miserendino’s series Our World Inside Out takes us into homes that are in foreclosure. Each house is in a different state of emptiness with small details left behind that hint at the stories of the former occupants.

David Schalliol
Selections from Isolated Building Studies: Revealing Meaning Through Recontextualization (2006-Present)
Alyssa Miserendino
Harper Attic
Check out this short segment on Chicago Tonight that features Alyssa and her project Our World Inside Out...

Alysia Kaplan
HalfMillion$House, Happey Valley, OR