Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Alex Chitty, Soft Chatter, 2014 (photo courtesy of Hyde Park Art Center).
Artist Alex Chitty Elevating the Ordinary in Solo Show at Hyde Park Art Center
Artist Alex Chitty liberates ordinary objects from their mundane life in her upcoming solo show, Turning Spoons into Folks, on view from January 17 until April 3, 2016 in the Cleve E. Carney Gallery at Hyde Park Art Center (5020 S Cornell Ave). A public reception with Chitty will take place in the gallery at 3 p.m., Sunday, February 21.
Muted elements of the center’s complex and vibrant physical surroundings will be intentionally amplified in Chitty’s work. Through the studied placement of objects, photographs and sculptures, she assembles artworks-as-physical-invitations that ask viewers to regard detail and quirk. Her solo exhibition at the Art Center highlights new and recent conceptual work in sculpture and photography that draw from historical furniture design and commercial storefront display.
According to Chitty, “It wouldn't take much to turn a spoon into a fork. You could cut away the center of the spoon bowl, and leave two prongs remaining. You could simply label it as a fork, or just use it in exactly the same way a fork is used. Is a spoon still a spoon if it is used like a fork?”
This association between objects and their use inform assumptions that direct the way we approach and value an item. Additionally, the comparison of elements and textures in Chitty’s work—combining porcelain, steel, digital photography and fabric, among other materials—help construct new narratives that transcend the object and offer it up for new interpretations.
Born in 1979 in Miami, Alex Chitty is an interdisciplinary artist based in Chicago. Her present work is characterized by a strong sculptural quality that brings forth a reservoir of memories onto new contexts through methods of collection and interpretation. She received a Bachelor of Fine Art from Smith College (MA) and a Master in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is a professor in the Sculpture and Printmedia departments. Her works have been exhibited in galleries across Chicago, and across the United States.
Turning Spoons into Folks runs at the Hyde Park Art Center January 17 through April 3, 2016. A public reception with the artist will take place in the gallery at 3 p.m., Sunday, February 21, beginning.