Packer Shopf Show Review

Packer Shopf Show Review

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I recently went to my first exhibition since moving over to the city. The experience was awesome. It was amazing being able to go to a show in Chicago without having to factor in four hours of commute time. The show that I made it to was at the Packer Schopf Gallery. It was a mixed media show featuring work from four different artists: Lauren Levato, Andréa Stanislav, Bruce Riley, and Deborah Baker.

I was informed about the show from one of the artists who happened to be an applicant to the Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts MFA program at Columbia. Side note: if any of you guys reading this are in upcoming shows, feel free to let me know and I will do my best to make it out.

The show itself was very interesting. I can honestly say that I haven’t seen that much glitter in a gallery space before. Andréa Stanislav‘s portion of the show, entitled “Wilderness of Mirrors,” greeted you as you walked into the gallery space. According to the Packer Gallery’s website:

Andréa’s work for this exhibition confronts the idea of non-places—interchangeable nodes of hyper capitalism dedicated to consumption and transit. Each non-place is disturbingly similar, whether in London, Dubai or Tokyo—airports—duty free shops—chain restaurants and similar interchangeable spaces devoid of ties to community or locale.

To me, the work, which made use of lots of reflective surfaces including Glitter with a capital G, seemed very satirical and critical of capitalism and the ambient art that is often on display in these types of locations. There were also a couple of pieces that included taxidermied animals, which seemed extremely morbid with the artist’s dog hanging out in the space.

My favorite part of the show was Lauren Levato‘s portion, entitled “Wunderkammer”. Slightly biased with my background in figure drawing, I found her drawings to be captivating. From the Packer’s website:

Levato’s newest work comes from the intersection of wonder and memory and how the body itself becomes a Wunderkammer, amassing all manner of mysterious and confounding issues, dramas, revelations, and dilemmas that either touch us as a fleeting corporeal moment or take up permanent residence in the body’s collection.

The figures were very well rendered in a very minimalist style. This minimalism helped the overall composition by not allowing the figures to dominate but allowed them to become some sort of box designed to hold dreams and experiences. Very captivating indeed.

Though my intention had been to attend two shows this last weekend, I am glad that of the two I had planned on going to, I made it to this one. The show was full of a wide variety of work, and I am always super excited to attend a show featuring figure drawings. I also learned a valuable lesson: never drive to the Packer from Oak Park again. Take the green line. The Morgan station literally exits into their front door. Next time.