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Gordon Matta-Clark:Circus
3/13/2015 - 4/18/2015





Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Gordon Matta-Clark’s Circus – The Caribbean Orange Cibachromes and drawings. Curated by artist’s Estate co-directors Jessamyn Fiore and Jane Crawford, this is the gallery’s sixth solo exhibition with Gordon Matta-Clark.

In February 1978 Matta-Clark was invited by the Museum of Contemporary Art – Chicago to cut through an adjacent brownstone acquired by the museum to be converted into additional galleries. The resulting “building cut,” Circus or The Caribbean Orange, infused the otherwise dark space with light and energy and transformed the building into sculpture. The project’s title alludes simultaneously to the cutting’s “three-ring” form and its making: Gordon Matta-Clark peeled three 20-foot diameter spheres from the building to create a collective performance space where the artist, visitors, and museum guards responsible for leading public tours were all equal participants.

Young Hoffman Gallery first exhibited work from The Caribbean Orange in conjunction with the Museum of Contemporary Art in spring 1978. It was tragically Matta-Clark’s last building cut project because of his premature death of cancer in August of the same year. The related Cibachromes have rightly been acclaimed as some of the most visually complex in his photographic practice. Collages of cut photographs and color tape, the works mirror the multiple-perspective of the building deconstruction and serve as a lasting document to an impermanent project.
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One of the most experimental and influential artists working in the 1970s, Gordon Matta-Clark worked in the boundaries between architecture, sculpture, and performance art while dealing with issues of modern-day urbanism. Matta-Clark studied architecture at Cornell University primarily to be able to create sculpture out of buildings. An active community catalyst, he also co-founded the artist-run restaurant FOOD and group Anarchitecture, which included Laurie Anderson, Tina Girouard, Suzanne Harris, Jene Highstein, Richard Nonas and others. Gordon Matta-Clark participated in many international exhibitions including Documenta, the Paris Biennale, Museo de Bellas Artes, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville Paris, and others. The first posthumous retrospective of his work, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art – Chicago in 1985, traveled to over a dozen museums worldwide. In 2008 the Whitney Museum of American Art organized the retrospective exhibition “Gordon Matta-Clark: You are the Measure,” which traveled to MCA – Chicago.

Opening reception
Friday, March 13, 5-7:30 pm
Chris Garofalo
Edaphology of a Superterrestial Panmictic Population
3/13/2015 - 4/18/2015

Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Chris Garofalo’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery, The Edaphology of a Superterrestrial Panmictic Population.

Edaphology is the study of the influence of soils on living things.
For thirty years, ceramicist Chris Garofalo has worked with clay to create porcelain creatures inspired by the flora and fauna of the world’s oceans, deserts, and jungles. Garofalo applies multiple glazes to render authentic-looking skins or shells, so palpable that the creations appear to have grown themselves. Garofalo’s forms and patterns might appear to be modeled directly from life, but all the sculptures are born out of her imagination and transcend standard scientific classification. Theories of evolution and metamorphosis have been fundamental to Garofalo’s studio practice, and as such, the clay beings seem to interact and build upon each other. A distinction in this newest collection of ceramics is the presence of openings and cutouts in the surfaces that allow light to emit from within. This visual element connects the creatures’ earthly foundations to something more celestial or otherworldly.

A panmictic population is one where all individuals are potential partners. There are no mating restrictions, either physical, genetic, behavioral, environmental, or social and therefore all recombination is possible.

Garofalo’s works are hybrids of animal and plant. As Garofalo describes, “there may be leaves and stems and fruit and flowers, but also fins or legs or wings or horns, all growing from a body.” Several of the works on view appear entangled within a tender embrace; fingers reach towards branches, bulbs emerge from orifices. The sculptures are presented on “slice of earth” pedestals that allude to an archaeological dig, leaving the audience to wonder if Garofalo’s works are fossils from a prehistoric past or a glimpse into a future, post-human ecosystem.
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A native of Illinois, Garofalo has lived in Chicago since 1980. She has been exhibiting her sculptures since 1991, including a highly acclaimed installation at the Garfield Park Conservatory in 2005; the group exhibition La Carte d’Après Nature curated by Thomas Demand at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco in 2010 and Matthew Marks Gallery, New York in 2011, and recent solo exhibitions at the Muskegon Museum of Art, in Michigan and the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, Illinois. In 2007 she received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painter and Sculptor Grant Award.

Opening reception
Friday, March 13, 5-7:30 pm
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