CARL HAMMER GALLERY

740 North Wells Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654 312.266.8512  fax 312.266.8510
info@carlhammergallery.com

We invite you to join us for these art fairs! 

 The Metro Show

Metropolitan Pavilion

125 W 18th – NYC

January 21 – 25, 2015

 

The Outsider Art Fair

548 W 22nd, NYC

January 29 – February 1, 2015

 

 

KAHN & SELESNICK

Truppe Fledermaus

&

The Carnival At The End Of The World

 

Exhibition Dates:  October 31 – December 31, 2014

 


Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick are back at Carl Hammer Gallery with their usual seemingly limitless bag of tricks.  As photographers, storytellers and sculptors, they build substantive, sprawling narratives spiced with magic and oddity.  Truppe Fledermaus is visual pictorial storytelling at its best, with a storyline which revolves around  a troupe of traveling entertainers trying to cope with present-day environmental disasters set in an era which aesthetically recalls Germany at the end of the Weimar Republic and into the Third Reich.  Through their use of dozens of staged photographs, posters, costume designs and imposing sculptures, Kahn and Selesnick paint a bleak scene through the efforts of this batty troupe’s engagement with the environment. 

Structured to be read as photographic diaries, the images created by this collaborative team transport us to intriguing places non-existent in each of our own lives except in our wildest fantasies.  We become captive to the adventure, danger, and survival that secretly propel us through the hum-drum of daily regimentation.  The photos are filled with a lyricism both playful and serious.  Often intentionally over-written, whimsical, tongue-in-cheek, campy, and purposely self-conscious, Kahn and Selesnick’s characters make no concession to the absurdity of their out-of-sync encounters. The storytellers also make no concessions to straightforwardness, leaving the viewer feeling like the protagonists, led on forever, continually tantalized with small clues, and snatches from this or that linked together by the immensity of the preposterous situations in which the characters are photographically captured.
 

 

More images from the exhibition.




Our Next Exhibition:

KEITH KOSTECKI

LIMNED: Found and Invented Words

 

Exhibition Dates:  January 9 – February 14, 2015

 Artist’s Reception:  January 9, 6:00 – 8:00 P.M.

 


Pencil, colored pencil and crayon shavings in jars of individual word drawings



LIMNED: Found and Invented Words

 The work of Keith Kostecki demonstrates a passionate intrigue for weird nonsense words; words the artist has been exploring for many years. In the past, he included them as small elements of complex, abstract drawings, but more recently he has focused on them as primary subject material. What Kostecki has found so compelling about these words is their inscrutability, suggesting a myriad of mysterious possibilities. Historically, they could have possibly represented anything from insidious corporation identities to absurd brand names, obscure European villages, intangible concepts beyond language or just pure nonsense. Recently, the artist’s passion of word scrutiny has evolved, taking him in a totally different direction into the realm of abstraction. From that time since, Kostecki now invents his own words, keeping exhaustive lists of them complete with definitions which are either whimsical or sinister, or otherwise interesting to him.  

 

In this, the artist’s recent pursuit of word invention, words are rendered with a rigorous, graphic meticulousness that results in a finished product which could, at first glance, appear to be the work of a computer. Upon closer examination they reveal the subtle inconsistencies and irregularities of hand­made images. In a world of ubiquitous machine printed text, they represent a form of anti­printing.  Drawn in uniquely stylistic form, the artist regularly invents visual ideas, compiling lists of them as well. The end product, a process result when executing a new drawing, is compelling.  Consciously avoiding making public the meaning of his invented words, his complicated process blends mathematics, color studies and drafting techniques in rendering the letters and background as well.  Uniquely, these interests and methods have resulted in a body of work with aspects that reference Ed Ruscha, Op Art, graphic design, sign painting, graffiti and Dada, with inklings of Karl Wirsum, Jim Nutt, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, and Frank Stella as well. The painting process brilliantly employed by Kostecki in  LIMNED: Found and Invented Words demonstrates not only an evolving genius but opens up new territorial potential for continued exploration and invention of new words/ new forms of abstraction as well.

More images from the exhibition:



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