Opening reception: Friday, June 7, 6-8pm
Jessica Silverman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings by Autumn Ramsey. For this exhibition, Ramsey chose to pair her work with that of self-taught American artist Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910 – 1983) whose work revels in many of the same complexities of the body that Ramsey is interested in.
The pairing of artists in this exhibition makes viscerally apparent their mutual appreciation of the sensual and fantastical body. These themes are often most insightfully celebrated and seen through ideas of identity, beauty, imagination and gratification. For example, Ramsey’s Léandre, 2014, (lion man) plays with mythology and its many allegories and reversals as well as the leonine theme that is pervasive throughout her practice. Ramsey has situated herself as predator and prey, seducer and seduced. The psychological complexity of the relationships between these characterizations and the desire that they make visible is at the core of her practice. Similarly, Von Bruenchenhein is positioned as voyeur and object, adoring and in need of adoration. In Untitled, 1940s, his wife Marie is posed as a real and imagined princess, including the literal crown that frames her head and gives the image much of its psychological complexity.
Both artists’ work examines the role of tradition in the shaping of contemporary myths and builds on a Western cultural inclination – that the body is simply one more object among others. Both artists reveal the social construction of difference that developed from a sense of distrust and has correlations in ideas of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. Ramsey and Von Breunchenhein’s work use an intentionally symbolic style, often with mythological subjects and fantastical treatments. Taken together their work evokes an almost ecstatic feeling coupled with a respect for the individual as a free agent representing fulfillment, openness and humor.
Autumn Ramsey (American, b. 1976) received her MFA and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: Chapter, New York; Galerie Crèvecoeur, Paris, FR; Park View, Los Angeles, CA; Lyles & King, New York, NY; Tanya Leighton, Cologne, DE; Bodega, New York, NY; What Pipeline, Detroit, MI; Night Club, Chicago, IL; Actual Size, Los Angeles, CA; Julius Caesar, Chicago, IL; The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, WI; Southfirst Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; and Rowley Kennerk Gallery, Chicago, IL. Ramsey lives and works in Chicago, IL.
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (American 1910 – 1983) Lived and worked in Milwaukee, WI. Von Bruenchenhein is recognized as an important self-taught artist who used everyday situations and objects to explore real and imagined realities. Over the course of fifty years he produced an expansive oeuvre of poetry, photography, painting, drawing and sculpture including fantastical landscape paintings, sculptural thrones made with chicken bones, revealing but not explicit photographs of his wife, as well as numerous books of poetic and scientific musings among other expressions.