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Art Mon Jun 06 2011

A Sense of Place Brings a Little Italy to Chicago

baratta.jpg

Carl Baratta: "The Hills Click & Wave, the Lake, Still, Creeps", 2009; Egg tempera on board


The Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago celebrates the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy and the long-standing friendship between the U.S. and Italy with a new art exhibition, A Sense of Place, presented in conjunction with the 2011 Venice Biennale, Italy@150 and the AIC's Highlights of Italian Art exhibit.

A Sense of Place, curated by Kate Zeller, Assistant Curator of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Sullivan Galleries within the Dept. of Exhibitions, features works by seven Chicago-based artists:

  • Carl Baratta: Baratta has been hailed by Chicagoist as having garnered "accolades and positive reviews for his artwork ... especially for his masterful use of color, which stays with the viewer long afterward." His large egg tempera painting, "The Hills Click and Wave, The Lake, Still, Creeps" colorfully clicks, waves and dances around, leaving us nostalgic for the psychedelic world it portrays. In regards to his connection with Italian art, he states: "I often returned to Sienese painting and its ability to convey a painted world that is simultaneously of the here and now, but also somewhere else. Though Sienese works portray specific narratives, their spatial construction and visual language extend the scenes beyond the story and into a more uncertain and unknown space."
  • Antonia Contro: This mixed-media artist uses various techniques to explore themes of journey and transformation inspired and informed by her Venetian heritage. She received the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in 2002 was recently invited to create a solo exhibition for the Philadelphia's renowned American Philosophical Society Museum.
  • Stefano Cossu: This internationally renowned photographer, installation artist, and sculptor has had major shows in Italy, the U.S., Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic with his visual art projectLe Industrie Invisibili. Cossu splits his time between Chicago and his homeland of Sardinia. He is currently working with low-fi photographic imagery produced from his custom designed, handmade pinhole cameras.
  • Marco G. Ferrari: Ferrari uses film and video as a vehicle to research and express personal, social, and political commentaries. He has performed live video projections at numerous area venues including Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Ravinia Festival and the Chicago Symphony Center. Screenings of his films have been exhibited at Verona, Italy's Galleria d'Arte Moderna-Palazzo Forti and Grafiche Aurora. A recent film of his will be included in the exhibition. He is also the artist that will be making the film to represent the exhibition at the Venice Biennale.
  • Virginio Ferrari: Born in Verona and based in Chicago since the mid-1960s, Ferrari is an internationally acclaimed sculptor whose current work has been described as lyrical abstract work in bronze, stainless steel, bronze and granite. He has had more than 50 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 150 group shows. His work has been exhibited in Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and throughout the U.S. He and his son Marco create their critically acclaimed work in their Chicago-based gallery.
  • Sung Jang: This South Korean born mixed-media artist completed his Masters of Design from the Domus Academy in Milan and refers to Italy as the "birthplace" of his current series of work. Sung will also participate in the inaugural exhibition for the new Chicago Korean Cultural Center in Wheeling, IL this summer.
  • Lou Mallozzi: Mallozzi is a sound artist who creates audio installations and performances, works for CD and broadcast, improvised music, sound design for cinema and media installations, drawings, visual installations, and other projects. He has received a number of grants and awards for his work, including a residency at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center in Italy and is the Executive Director of Experimental Sound Studio and teaches in the Sound Department of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


  • A Sense of Place runs through September 16, and may be viewed free of charge by the public Monday through Friday from 9am to 1pm and then from 2 to 5pm. For more information about the exhibition and other Italy @150 events, visit the Italian Cultural Institute's website or call 312-822-9545.

     
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