Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Coming Full Circle in Chicago

View from the street

If you're in Chicago between now and October 27, head over to the newly reopened Melanee Cooper Gallery in River North to see Coming Full Circle, an exhibition of work by Alicia LaChance, Arno Elias, and me. Cooper has installed the work so that it reads as three solo shows, the common thread being color. This is not a review, or even a report, since I'm in the show. Walk through it with me 

Left: You're invited
Image from the Melanee Cooper Gallery Facebook page

More information on the gallery website 

My section is just to the right when you enter the gallery. Here, a grid of 16 Silk Road paintings, all 12 x 12 inches), and several larger ones shown and identified below

As you know if you follow this blog or my work, I think of my painting as lush minimalism. While the initial inspiration for the series came from silk fabric, it quickly evolved into an exploration of hue and surface. These newest paintings channel the atmospheric with translucence and texture.

Silk Road 357, 18 x 18 inches; all the paintings encaustic on panel

Silk Road 421, 2018, 18 x 18 inches

Installation view with a peek at into the next gallery. I love that the walls allow these sitelines

La Chance's painting on the far back wall is shown below

Alicia LaChance, Arthur Avenue, 2018; fresco secco, acrylic, casein, spray paint on canvas over panel; 36 x 36 inches

LaChance, who is based in St. Louis, looks to the grammar of ornament, folk tradition, and graphic design for her mesmerizing mashups of pattern and geometry. A materially based painter, she incorporates everything from fresco to spray paint to oil or acrylic in her work.

Alicia LaChance installation view, with painting on the outside wall shown below
The three paintings are Slipstream 1, 2, and 3; each fresco oil, spray paint, acrylic on canvas over panel, 29 x 36 inches

Crossroads, 2018; fresco secco, acrylic, casein, tar, spray paint on panel; 60 x 48 inches

Alicia LaChance, New Village; fresco oil, spray paint and acrylic on canvas overpanel; 60 x 60 inches

Alicia LaChance, Homecoming; fresco oil, spray paint, and acrylic on canvas over panel; 36 x 36 inches

Alicia LaChance
Left: Monument for a Remembered Landscape; fresco oil, spray paintm and acrylic on canvas over panel, 36 x 36 inches

Right: Tantra, fresco oil, spray paint, and acrylic on canvas over panel; 36 x 36 inches

The open wall allows you to catch a glimpse of Arno Elias's work in the distance

Arno Elias installation with Holy Bath, left, and Pushkar Lake

Elias's painted photographs resonate with the color of a culture overlaid with a saturated palette of markings. The works in this exhibition are from his travels in India and Myanmar.

Arno Elias, Holy Bath, painted photograph, 30 x 41 inches

Arno Elias installation view, with The Power of Spirit, left, and The Walk

Arno Elias, Power of Spirit, painted photograh, 40 x 40 inches

In the Office: Martina Nehrling
Consider this a preview. The artist will have a solo show with the gallery in the spring

Big thanks to Melanee Cooper and her gallery assistant Sam Bean for curating such a great show. You can follow the gallery on Facebook


  1. This is a brilliant show. The strong color of works by all three artists really wakes up all the senses. Congratulations, Joanne, on your sensuous use of color and texture. Your works look like jewels. What an outstanding launch of this elegant gallery! Melanee Cooper has returned to Chicago in high style!

  2. Wonderful Joanne you do the best walk thru I know. Congratulations just exquisitely laid out. Beautiful work.