Thursday, September 4, 2008

Blog Installation No. 4: Ossia Fine Arts Space

This blog installation is part of Chicago Connection: The 5 Artists Project, showing through November 1, 2008, at Ossia Fine Arts Space in the Fine Arts Building. For the duration of the show, anyone coming into the gallery on Fridays from noon to 4 p.m. will be part of the blog.

Deirdre Fox, installation artist, stopped by for a visit. This is what she had to say about The 5 Artists Project: "There are two things that tie the show together. The textures are similar in how they affect the space and the eye. And the other thing is that there is a sense of the discovery process. You feel the artist working with the materials and discovering their piece out of their materials. You have the sense that you can get inside the artist's head."

I first become acquainted with Deirdre's art through the Cool Globes project, for which she created a globe called Tapping Geothermal Energy. With a degrees in painting and animation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and materials science and engineering from Northwestern University, Deirdre specializes in drawing-based installations, using a wide variety of materials such as paper, window screen, yarn, and recycled items.

Deirdre Fox. Perish Into Being(Caro D'Offay Gallery). 2006. Drawing installation.

"I organize my artwork around drawing and painting conventions, expanding from the surface or the wall into physical space or virtual space. My installations are compilations of elements, some or all of which are mutable. Lately, I’ve been finding ways to re-imagine old materials like old wallpaper and newspaper. I am interested in identity, translation, transition, and in-between states, intentionally trying to have my work hover in the in-between, bridging representative elements and abstraction, 2D and 3D, and temporariness and permanence."

She is influenced by rock and cave art imagery, such as the animals in the Lascaux caves, and other art historical references, such as Celtic forms, re-engaging these old forms, which carry cultural and historical meaning in a contemporary context. "I draw structural ideas from Cezanne and from analytical Cubism, Kandinsky’s Point, Line and Plane, and Klee’s Thinking Eye, among others, as well as crystallographic structures.

Deidre Fox. Ponder Re-assembly (Evanston Art Center). 2007. Drawing installation.

Recently participating in New Life Visuals in Berlin and the City of Chicago Open Studio Program, Deirdre is currently involved in an exhibition at the Swedish American Museum (opening October 3rd with a panel discussion on October 5th) as part of Chicago Artists Month. The artists were each commissioned to make a piece of art inspired by an item from the museum's collection. She is creating a drawing-based installation out of balsa wood, depicting horse forms moving up a wall.

Her latest project involves miniature installations made of acrylic boxes containing human forms and imagery from rock art, showing the dialogue of humans and images in a spatial and historical timeline.

For more information on Deirdre and her art, go to her website

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