Sunday, April 29, 2018

Charles Gniech - Hofheimer Gallery

Charles Gniech, Untitled, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 50"

Charles Gniech | Julia Katz | Deanna Krueger | Rebecca Moy 


Yesterday, I dropped off a series of recent paintings at the Hofheimer Gallery. The paintings will be presented in the upcoming exhibition titled, "Perceptions". This group exhibition includes some of my most recent work—including an “Untitled” painting [shown above] utilizing a combination of my established multi-layered surface technique with a new element of smooth transitional color. The contrasts—tactile and hue—add a more dramatic spatial component to the imagery. This painting seems to be a evolutionary moment in the work that I've been producing over the past decade.

I’m excited to be included in this exhibition. Although I’ve exhibited with Deanna Krueger and Rebecca Moy on numerous occasions, this will be my introduction to the work of Julia Katz. I have no doubt that “Perceptions” will be a beautiful array of surface, pattern and color with content that deserves both joyous and introspective engagement.

Please join me at the Opening Reception of “Perceptions” this Friday from 5-8pm at the Hofheimer Gallery. Hofheimer Gallery is located at 4823 N. Damen, Chicago, IL. 60625—on the north side of Chicago in the Ravenswood area at Damen and Lawrence. The gallery is dedicated to introducing contemporary fine art in painting, drawing and sculpture from established and emerging artists. Through the year the gallery will feature provocative, engaging, solo and group exhibitions.

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, May 4th  5-8pm
The exhibition continues through May 29

HOFHEIMER GALLERY  |  4823 N. Damen  |  Chicago, IL. 60625  |  847.274.7550

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Charles Gniech, Aqua III, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 20" x 20"

Join me at the Hofheimer Gallery
Friday, May 4 from 5-8pm for the Opening Reception of:

Charles Gniech | Julia Katz | Deanna Krueger | Rebecca Moy

In the middle of the country, surrounded by flat plains, towering skyscrapers and seemingly endless water, these artists explore abstraction in a vision of their own. Their work references landscape, geology, and meditation, through color and texture.

Hofheimer Gallery is located at 4823 N. Damen, Chicago, IL. 60625—on the north side of Chicago in the Ravenswood area at Damen and Lawrence. The gallery is dedicated to introducing contemporary fine art in painting, drawing and sculpture from established and emerging artists. Through the year the gallery will feature provocative, engaging, solo and group exhibitions.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Paintings by Charles Gniech acquired for the Fine Art Collection of Purdue University

Charles Gniech "Inner Circle" 1996, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60"

Purdue University - Northwest/NorthCentral in Westville, Indiana—has recently acquired a number of my large-scale paintings for their eclectic and edgy contemporary Fine Art Collection. Eight canvases were chosen from three bodies of work—spanning more than twenty years. Five of the selected pieces come from the “Sanctuary” series of 1996-97.

There are more than four hundred stone circles found throughout Great Britain. The Sanctuary series was inspired by my time spent exploring some of these monuments. The prehistoric structures became a bit of an obsession during that period of my life. I would travel to the UK two or three times each year... spend a few days in London and then hop a train to—what seemed like—the middle of nowhere. Some of the sites were relatively easy to come upon while others were so far removed from civilization that I would find myself on top of a mountain or in a secluded meadow, only to be visited by an occasional herd of sheep. There was a feeling of peace and tranquility at many of these locations—something more than the power of the beautiful surroundings on which the structures were erected. The body of work titled "Sanctuary" was the result of these experiences. And the people that I met were life changing.

I define the paintings produced during the late 90s as “Structural Abstraction.” Although I would render realistic depictions of the structures on location, they were reinterpreted in my studio with exaggerated angles and dramatic lighting. The monuments were translated through planar analysis resulting in faceted structures of mass within dramatic landscapes.

Charles Gniech "Geometric Sarsens" 1996, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48" 

As of April 2018, the “Sanctuary” paintings will be presented at Purdue University - Northwest /North Central Campus’ in Westville, Indiana. The collection can be seen scattered throughout the two campuses. I’ve been told that the presentation looks nothing like a typical “Corporate Fine Art Collection.”

Purdue University Northwest is located at 1401 S. U.S. Highway 421 in Westville, Indiana 46391

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Betty Cleeland at the Hofheimer Gallery

Betty Cleeland "Arabique" 2015, Oil on Linen, 48" x 38" 

An exhibition of brilliantly colorful paintings by Betty Cleeland opened Friday night at the Hofheimer Gallery, 4823 N. Damen in Chicago. When I arrived, I found myself greeted by a crowded, energy-filled gallery­—filled with patrons excited by the unique imagery being displayed.

A quick review of the exhibition statement highlighted Cleeland’s journey of vibrant pattern—inspired by a love of global textiles. The statement also referenced the influence of the German born artist and teacher, Josef Albers. Albers—who had a major influence on American Mid-Century Modern Art—believed that color, rather than form, was the primary medium of pictorial language.

After greeting a few friends, I moved in to take a closer look at the work. The Albers reference seemed pertinent. I found that Cleeland’s imagery explores a strange game of perception—playing with spatial relationship and simultaneous contrast. The beauty of the work is the obsessive complexity of the imagery—the layering of organic and geometric forms. The viewer is presented with a series of constantly changing canvases, were the eye shifts back-and-forth from a linier composition to organic… Cleverly intriguing with a scientific twist.

If you missed the opening reception for Betty Cleeland at the Hofheimer Gallery, the show continues through May 4th. The Hofheimer Gallery is located at 4823 N. Damen, in Chicago. Gallery hours are 11am-6pm Tuesday through Saturday… and by appointment. 847.274.7550


Sunday, February 4, 2018


Paula Kloczkowski Luberda "Anticipation" 

Art vs. Fascism

Fascism: A political philosophy, movement, or regime that praises nation and often race above the individual… that stands for an autocratic government headed by a dictator, with severe economic and social restrictions, and forcible suppression on all the oppose.

Please join the Honors Program and the Fine Arts Department of Joliet Junior College for a panel discussion featuring an prestigious group of speakers on the topic Art vs. Fascism. Our panel is comprised of:

PETE OLSON, Assistant Director of the Northern Illinois University Art Museum
CHERYL JEFFERSON, Executive Producer of Breaking Criminal Traditions and Author of “Death of a Raks Star”

Thursday, February 8, 2018 from 4-6pm
Joliet Junior College
U Building Auditorium U-1024
1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, IL 60431

Pete Olson: will be delving into the historical context to the phenomenon of Art Against Fascism by discussing the work of Honore Daumier, whose lithographs appeared in Parisian newspapers in the 19th century. He was particularly critical of two rulers with fascistic tendencies, first King Louis-Philippe (who had him jailed) and later Napoleon Bonaparte’s nephew, Napoleon III. The audience will likely find a lot of resonance with contemporary dissent even though the particulars of 19th century French culture may be unfamiliar to them.

Fine Artist, Paula Kloczkowski Luberda will discuss corporate fascism as seen through the arts. Luberda will present a visual journey that includes some contemporary references as well as her own personal creations.

Kimberly Luthen will talk about the artistic response to modern Fascism—listing the behaviors that hallmark Fascist behavior while taking a look at Degenerate art juxtaposed against artistic satire.

Cheryl Jefferson, Writer and Executive Producer of “The Art of Influence: Breaking Criminal Traditions” will present on the related topic "From Creation to Impact." Jefferson will define how the arts are key in the fight against fascism. She will discuss what to do once you’ve completed that brilliant painting, sculpture, novel, script, composition or choreography—to assist your work in achieving the goal of reaching the ideal audience for political impact.

Admission is Free

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Roland Kulla ~ "Industrial Strength" at ZIA Gallery

This past Friday, I drove up to ZIA Gallery in Winnetka to see the current exhibition of paintings by Roland Kulla. Unable to attend last week’s opening reception, I was excited to see Kulla’s latest work on the gallery walls.
Roland Kulla, Calumet Double Lift II, 40x53"

Roland Kulla has created a new series of large-scale acrylic paintings under the title of “Industrial Strength”. With a long history of utilizing the bridge as subject, Kulla begins to move past the cropped detail of abstraction to full-framed recognizable industrial landscape. But Kulla hasn’t totally discarded the abstract-complexity of industrial pattern; he has included it as a way to frame the scene. He presents a secondary subject—a speeding train or the yellow line of an unoccupied road—and surrounds it with patterns of steel. In a refreshing twist, the identifiable works are often flanked by canvases depicting just abstract pattern. Both versions offer the viewer an abundance of detail to explore.

ZIA|Gallery is located at 548 Chestnut Street in Winnetka, Illinois. The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-5pm and by appointment. The exhibition continues through November 11th.

Monday, September 18, 2017

"From Here – Desde Aqui" work by Pedro Javier Palacios and Rodrigo Montoya Ortiz at the Laura A Sprague Gallery of Joliet Junior College

Rodrigo Montoya Ortiz "Huitzil" Mixed Media

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 21st, 6:30-8pm

After I finished Grad school in the late 80’s—earning a terminal degree in Painting—I moved to Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. It was actually Buena Park but Uptown was just across the street to the north. I lived in a secure high-rise building with a twenty-four hour doorman. It was a “changing” area. On most weekend nights, the sounds of gunshots were a substitute for the crickets of my suburban upbringing. As I explored my new surroundings, I was intrigued with the graffiti-filled walls of the neighborhood. The paintings I had been making were nothing remotely related to Graffiti, but I was fascinated with the style, or maybe just the fluid shapes, use of color and dripping paint. And then there was the rush from the implied danger. 

Living blocks from the lakefront, I had this fantasy of publishing a “call for graffiti writers”—having them meet at Montrose beach park. I would supply them with all the required materials including stretched and primed wall-sized canvases to paint as they wished. When completed I would arrange for the canvases to be exhibited in one of the high-end Chicago Galleries—elevating the perception of graffiti from vandalism to intellectual social commentary. Well, I never brought that idea to fruition but someone did. Unknown to me at the time, graffiti-inspired work had begun showing up in New York galleries—beginning in the 1980s.

As I entered the Laura A Sprague Gallery of Joliet Junior College, memories of my past were triggered. The current exhibition presents mixed media works created by Pedro Javier Palacios and Rodrigo Montoya Ortiz under the title “From Here – Desde Aqui”. The pieces range from relatively large graffiti-covered canvases to smaller digital graphic explorations that seem to reference the timely subject of immigration reform. The objects within the exhibition include ornately decorated spray-paint cans and numerous wooden found objects laced with digitally reproduced drawings of religious iconography. This sort of found and re-purposed imagery is incorporated into most of the work on display. 

Rodrigo Montoya Ortiz "Emojis" Image Cut Out, spray Paint on Spray Can

A quick read of the artist statements highlights the influences of graffiti, faith, nature and cultural heritage. The unique combination of these elements—within a single show—offer the audience an unusual challenge… attempting to decipher disjointed and fragile through-lines. The exhibition is an interesting collaboration with some beautiful—and unique—pieces. It should be explored unhurriedly.

The opening reception of “From Here – Desde Aqui” will be held on Thursday, September 21st from 6:30-8pm at the Laura A. Sprague Art Gallery of Joliet Junior College. The Gallery is located at 1215 Houbolt Road, Joliet, Illinois 60431. The exhibition will continue through October 16th. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm.