By Hand

At Carrie Secrist GalleryHFonda_abface1_BINDER

835 West Washington Blvd.

Chicago, IL

‘By Hand’ the group show currently on display at Carrie Secrist Gallery is a collection of wall hung objects (paintings, drawings, embroideries and one wall drawing) seeking to display multiple interpretations of artistic ‘skill’.  While there is a great deal of variation in the works subject matter and execution all artists are united by process, they work with their bodies unassisted by digital processes.

Shot of various work included in the show

This is somewhat of an anomaly in the current fine art climate and has been for some time.  With so many fabrication-based possibilities to explore the focus for many young career artists is to become as versatile as possible rather than specialize and build a sophisticated understanding of one medium.  Neither approach is superior, art is a vast landscape of practices and this show is a reminder that there is value to be found in slowness.

Skill is not the ability to bluntly impress viewers and leave them unchanged, for an artist skill is the capacity to design experiences both overwhelming and feather light that hopefully facilitate analysis and reflection.  The work in this show is small scale for the most part, but very precise.  There was clearly a fastidious eye overseeing its creation, these artists understand what they want and more importantly they understand how to communicate that with an audience.  This is they type of work that runs the risk of being passed by in the contest of more involved installation work  but it now has a chance to exist in a sparse but rich space.

The show will be up until April 30th and all work is for sale.  Work on the lower end of the price spectrum sits at $1,500 and peaks at just over $9,000. This show is a reflecting pool for any veteran gallery attendee, questions of taste, trend and bias are addressed with work dealing with what is thought by many to be the antiquated processes of painting and drawing.  Do not miss your chance to form an opinion,


Ciar O’Mahony

E-mail, [email protected]

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2016