Nathaniel Mary Quinn:Back and Forth
9/11/2015 - 10/24/2015

Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present "Back and Forth," the first solo exhibition with New York-based artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Fractured features, spliced patterns, and shrunken or distended proportions merge together to create Quinn’s abstract-figurative works on paper. While seemingly assembled from collage, each of the ten artworks in the gallery is meticulously created directly on the flat plane of the paper surface to achieve the illusion that they are formed from exterior sources. His working methods are rooted in free association and intuition, evident in his use of color and pattern to either emphasize or recess certain facial feature.

Quinn’s works are highly autobiographical and the genesis of each figure emerges from an intimate vision that reverberates with unresolved memories, feelings, or associations from his past experiences. A Chicago native, Quinn’s upbringing in the Robert Taylor Homes public housing was deeply impactful; violence, abandonment, and poverty were familiar obstacles in his personal narrative. In combining that history with an exhaustive range of source materials into his practice, his figures balance between grotesque and beautiful- threatening and alluring. Through this amalgamation, the regenerative human nature of surviving trauma, thriving against opposition, and fostering an identity are made palpable on the rendered bodies and faces.

The figures also enliven topics and issues in his contemporary socio-cultural moment. There is a dialogue in the contorted and collaged figures that places Quinn in a constellation of artists such as Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, and Neo Rauch. However, Quinn’s practice and artistic intention remains oriented in his present day, where the specters of the past collide with the present context.

An interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York, Nathaniel Mary Quinn (b. 1977, Chicago, IL) received a MFA in Painting and Drawing from New York University and a BA in Art and Psychology from Wabash College, Indiana. Quinn’s work was first introduced to the public in a group exhibition with Artists Space Gallery in 2002 and through the Bronx Museum of the Arts in 2004. In 2014, Quinn had a critically acclaimed solo exhibition, “Past/Present” at Pace London Gallery. He is the recipient of the Lorraine Hansberry Artistic, Performance, and Fine Arts Award and a two-time winner of the National Arts Club Prize. Past exhibitions have included the Museum of Contemporary and African Diasporan Arts, New York; Rush Arts Gallery, New York; The Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Reception for the Artist: September 11, 2015, 5:00 - 7:30 pm
James Wines
SITE Specific Architectural Drawings - 1979 to 2012
10/1/2015 - 10/24/2015

“A building should be an environmental sponge, nurturing itself on the most interesting fragments of information that come from within.” – James Wines

In honor of the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present James Wines: SITE Specific, an exhibition showcasing Wines’ distinctly original and conceptual approach to architecture. Wines’ drawings, sketches, and watercolors are not linear or geometric architectural renderings, but rather storyboards that incorporate buildings within their surrounding topographical and cultural context.

After studying sculpture and art history, Wines made public sculpture and participated in the 1970s environmental art movement with fellow artists Gordon Matta-Clark, Alice Aycock, and Robert Smithson. However, he felt the art exhibition context was not public enough for his work and expanded to the field of architecture, founding SITE [Sculpture in the Environment] in 1970. Throughout the 70s, SITE’s clever and provocative designs challenged architectural complacency, provided playful solutions, and pioneered an emphasis on ecology and environment.

SITE Specific includes Wines’ drawings for the deconstructionist BEST department stores; original Shake Shack in Madison Square Garden; Ross’s Landing Park and Plaza in Chattanooga, TN, a project which coalesced the flowing riverfront landscape with the city’s urban grid; and Highrise of Homes, Wines’ conceptual proposal to stack independent private homes in a steel and concrete urban high rise. Wines approaches even humble architectural projects like box department stores and franchised fast-food restaurants with creativity and regard for natural environment. For him buildings are a sculptural form to be infused with life and artistic vision, and his drawings are platform to execute creative ideas.
James Wines studied art history, sculpture and literature at Syracuse University. He is the founder and president of SITE, the former Chair of Environmental Design and Parsons School of Design, and currently a Professor of Architecture at Penn State University. His book DE-ARCHITECTURE was published in 1987 by Rizzoli International and, in 2000, Taschen Verlag in Germany released his book GREEN ARCHITECTURE. During the past decade, there have been twenty-two monographic books and museum catalogues produced on Mr. Wine’s projects for SITE and their related models and drawings. He has received twenty-five art and design awards including the 1995 Chrysler award for Design Innovation, and fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Kress Foundation, The American Academy in Rome, The Guggenheim Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Graham Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and the Pulitzer Prize for Graphics. A pioneer in green architecture and constant innovator, Wines was awarded the Cooper-Hewitt Lifetime Achievement Design Award in 2013
Susan Hefuna
10/1/2015 - 10/24/2015

Concurrent with the exhibition James Wines: Site Specific the gallery will feature an installation of Susan Hefuna’s large scale sculptures, Afaz.

Over the last 30 years, Hefuna has worked across the media of drawing, installation, film, performance, and sculpture; each one becomes a different structure through which she views and investigates similar concepts.

Afaz continue Hefuna’s practice of repurposing quotidian objects and elevating them to monumental stature. The forms that comprise Afaz are based on the traditional palm wood boxes made by craftsmen outside of Cairo, Egypt; the multi-functional crates are used to transport goods and display wares in the street. The craft of palm wood crate construction possesses an inherent history and pure aesthetic, and Hefuna honors both by collapsing the form and function into autonomous yet contextually engaged artworks. The one meter cubed crates are stacked and held together by string. The wooden towers, visible from different angles question the politics of the space they inhabit.

Afaz has been iterated in a variety of ways since 2001 including the exhibition Celebrate Life at the National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa (2001), the interactive installation in Hyde Park London for the exhibition I Love Egypt organized by Serpentine Gallery and Townhouse Cairo (2011), and the solo exhibition Susan Hefuna - Another Place, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE (2014).


Susan Hefuna studied painting from 1982 to 1987 and pursued postgraduate studies in New Media from 1990 to 1992. After her studies at German Art Academies, she developed her own method of art making. Over the years her works have been exhibited internationally and have been acquired by numerous museum collections. Career highlights include the exhibition of over 300 drawings (created between 2004 and 2009) in Fare Mondi curated by Daniel Birnbaum for the Venice Biennale in 2009; a 2010 exhibition Drawings in the 21st Century at MoMA, New York; and the award of the International Guerlain Prize for Drawing in Paris in 2013. More recently, Hefuna’s drawings were exhibited at Sharjah Art Foundation in a solo exhibition, Susan Hefuna: Another Place at Bait Al Serkal curated by HH Hoor Al Qasimi, March - June (2014)
Imagining Space: Constructions of Text and Geometry
The Gallery is closed from August 14 - 31, with normal hours resuming September 1
Featuring the Haas Brothers
Abstraction: A Visual Language


no future exhibits currently scheduled

© 2015 Rhona Hoffman Gallery