Kruger Gallery Chicago has announced its move from Chicago’s River North to a new 1,300-square-foot space in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood, located at 3709 North Southport Ave. The Gallery will open on Friday, January 16, 2015.
According to Mikelle Kruger, the gallery’s owner and director, “The Lakeview gallery offers a smart, casual space that aims to make art exciting and accessible to all art lovers, at different price points, meeting the objectives of both the novice as well as sophisticated collector.” Kruger also hopes to work with neighborhood schools, allowing students to exhibit their works in between gallery-sponsored shows.
Expressing its commitment to an avant-garde ideal that art can be an agent for social and political change, Kruger Gallery represents emerging artists working in a variety of media and design, opening with Victims & Villains (January 16 -February 28, 2015) a solo exhibition of new works by Chicago-based artist Heather Green.
“The portrait is the central motif in most of Green’s work,” says Kruger. “Painted with strong, deliberate brush strokes, her portraits achieve an expressive style of realism with great attention to her subject’s expression. The large-scale of her paintings dwarfs viewers and challenges them to initiate change on both a political and social level.”
Victims and Villains explores two bodies of work. The first body of work is based on the mug shot—an archival image used by law enforcement, but disseminated to the public as a dehumanized portrait of a “criminal,” often before being tried in a court of law.
Compelled to pursue justice, Green analyzes and re-imagines the mug shots of Marissa Alexander, George Zimmerman and others, searching for the raw emotion behind each person’s eyes as representation of their inner experience. Kruger explains, “While the external signals villain, the disquieted, poignant expression of each mug shot also alludes to an internal paradigm of victim.”
The second body of work, #yesallwomen, scrutinizes rape culture, specifically looking at the Steubenville rape case of 2012 and the subsequent conviction of Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond in 2013. Blurring the portraits of people who hide behind social media to judge and criticize, Green cuts from the page-stenciled dialogue from twitter feeds that were posted in the aftermath of the Mays/Richmond trial. The negative spaces of each cutout letter give pause to the undercurrent of misogyny and rape apologism that is pervasive in our society.
Kruger Gallery Chicago will announce new exhibitions the third Friday of January, March, May, July, and September and the second Friday of November. Shows will run 5-6 weeks. Curatorial focus will be on artists working outside of conventional commercial concerns and whose work is influenced by current events and the cultural climate.
The gallery’s January 16, 2015 opening will host a public reception from 6-9 p.m.
For more information about Kruger Gallery Chicago or Victims & Villains, visit www.krugergallerychicago.com or call 312.995.0776.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Heather Green, Zimmerman, Oil on panel 48" x 72" - Victims and Villians (photo courtesy of artist Heather Green).