Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween at Las Manos Gallery!

Hundreds of parents and children took to the sidewalks of Andersonville on Saturday afternoon to take
full advantage of the candy available at the local businesses. Las Manos Gallery saw costumes ranging
from super heros to living iPods. Great weather lead to a great turn out...

A gaggle of tiny trick-or-treaters pose with artist Lisa Whiting's
work titled "Synapse."

A family of adorable gnomes posed outside the gallery during trick-or-treating.

Gallery Assistant Jay Fernandez gives out candy to a trick-or-treater in the gallery.

Photographs and Posting by Mieke Zuiderweg

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Colossal Blog!


Check out this week's postings on the incredible art blog called "Colassal."
Michelle Peterson-Albandoz's artwork is featured!

Click here to view the Colassal blog.


Click here to view the Trendland blog.

Monday, October 24, 2011

New Works by Michelle Peterson-Albandoz

Pilsen Photo Shoot

Tommy J. Reyes, Director of Las Manos Gallery continues his
photo project capturing life as a Mexican-American living in
Chicago with a series of new images titled "Nessesicto Otro 

His first project titled "Memorias Mediadas y el Archivo"
explored the clash between his classical education, life in the
Midwest and his traditional Mexican upbringing. This new 
series, which takes place in his Pilsen (Chicago) neighborhood,
explores a magical realm and the reality of people's lives once
they come to live in America. A bus stop near Reyes' home 
inspired the series after he watched many people step foot onto
American soil for the first time, holding suitcases and a lot of hope 
with them...

A clash of culture. Sensible shoes slip into a traditional hoop skirt,
its size over-exaggerated to create a more dramatic visual.
Abdi (in costume) walks past a few onlookers on the way to the photo shoot location on Ashland
Ave in the Pilsen area of Chicago.

Tommy shows Rebecca how she needs to hold an embroidery hoop for the photograph. Embroidery
is often passed down through generations of women as part of family life and adds to a sense of
tradition in the image.

Tommy looks through his camera's top-down-viewfinder to compose the image of a couple
arriving in Chicago after a long bus trip from Mexico. The couple looks past Tommy as if to
catch a glimpse of their future. The two traditionally dressed women to the couple's left
represent the history and culture they leave behind. Their expressions are of hope as well,
but apprehension is prevalent because they can see the future and the struggles it will hold.

To follow Tommy's project please click HERE for his blog.

Post and photographs by Mieke Zuiderweg

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Process

Tricia Rumbolz

Rumbolz writes quotes on tissue paper. These sentences are gathered over the years. Scientific facts,
books and conversations all add to her notebooks of ideas.

Each quote is cut down and layered on top of pre-existing words. The piece has taken several years
and is still in process.
Stop by the gallery this month to catch Rumbolz in process. Hours are Wed/Thur/Fri from
12:30-5:30 and Sat/Sun from 11-5pm.

Post and photographs by Mieke Zuiderweg 

Artist Linsey Greer at Las Manos Gallery

Lindsey Greer

Performance Artist Linsey Greer brought her piece 
"Augustine's Hysteria" to Las Manos Gallery's
opening as part of Chicago Artists Month.

Greer set up several multi-media slide shows and
short films outside the front entrance. The 
Augustine piece reflected old images of female
hysteria. Greer did "mimic dances" to each image, 
catching passerby's and gallery patrons off guard. 
Some were photographed with the "hysteric," a 
stethoscope provided for added drama...

Post and photographs by Mieke Zuiderweg 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Michelle Peterson-Albandoz Opening!

 Opening in D.C.!

Las Manos Gallery Owner
and Artist Michelle Peterson-
Albandoz will be having her
second solo show at Long
View Gallery in Washington
D.C. on Thursday, October

If you're in the D.C. area
please stop by!

Click HERE for more

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Las Manos Gallery Opening!

"Synapse" by Artist Lisa Whiting made of wool pods
filled with rice. The piece drew visitors into the space 
during the gallery's Chicago Artists Month Exhibition.

Artists Nathan Vaughn, left, and Robert
Burnier chat during the opening. Burnier's
sculptural piece made of Yupo paper is
in the foreground of the photograph.

Work by Michelle Peterson-Albandoz. The pieces are
reclaimed wood on panels.

Peterson-Albandoz used pieces of an old church organ
to create these rhythmic patterns. 

Work by Tricia Rumbolz titled "723 Colors," made of
paper paint samples and glue on wood panel.

Artist Tricia Rumbolz works on her piece
"Excepts from personal inquiries" which
hangs behind her.

Artist Nathan Vaughn, left, talks about his piece titled
"You're in Crop Circles" at the opening on Friday.

Work by Peterson-Albandoz is seen behind the crowds
attending the event.

Artist Steven Green stands with his work titled "City
Lights II" made with charcoal on paper.

Attendance was brisk- the event was part of 
Andersonville's Arts Weekend.

Friday was Andersonville's Night of 100 pARTies.

Performance artist Lindsay Greer poses with a passerby
as part of her "hysteric" piece.

Two men take a close look at one of Tricia Rumbolz's
pieces. Rumbolz takes quotes and sentences she 
hears and reads about in her daily life, writes them
on tissue paper and adds them to the work.

"Synapse" by Lisa Whiting.

The Gallery celebrated its 18th Anniversary with a
sugary cake. Thanks to all the artists that keep the
space going!

Tommy Reyes, right, the director of the gallery, walks
the cake over to owner and artist Michelle Albandoz-
Peterson. Happy Anniversary all!

Post and photographs by Mieke Zuiderweg 

Celebrating the gallery

Las Manos Gallery's 18th Anniversary Show!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Las Manos Gallery party tonight!

Las Manos Gallery turns 18

Join us to celebrate the Chicago Artists that keep the
space alive!

Tonight 6-10pm

Part of Andersonville's Night of 100 pARTies
Wine, snacks, food, good music and people...

Work in foreground by Artist Lisa Whiting. "Synopse" is
made of wool filled with rice.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chicago Artists Month at Las Manos Gallery

Opening - Friday, October 14th, 2011. 6-10pm

Andersonville’s Night of 100 Parties

Las Manos Gallery celebrates its 18th Anniversary and Chicago Artists Month by featuring work by a variety of the city’s artists.

Featured artist Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, owner of Las Manos Gallery, grew up in the forests of both Connecticut and Puerto Rico. Her first-hand experience with the pristine quality and balance of the ecosystems made her hyper aware of the effect humans have on the environment. Living in a big city like Chicago alerted her to the constant construction and destruction. Planks and beams that would systematically be dumped into landfills instead make their way into Michelle’s studio, where she removes nails and cuts them down. She reassembles these shapes into reclaimed wood constructions, using rhythms and patterns as part of the process. By harvesting and reusing these discarded elements, Michelle not only devises an aesthetic object, but also creates a small but significant step away from the wasting of this incredible material.

Artists in this month’s show:

Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, Michael McGuire, Tricia Rumbolz, Ben Rosecrans, Robert Burnier, Steven Green, Lisa Whiting, Lindsey Greer, Ben Bauman, Doug Reyes and Nathan W. Vaughn.

Show runs October 14th November, 2011.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Conceptual Artist Tricia Rumbolz

Tricia Rumbolz with her piece "Excerpts From Personal Inquiries"
- Archival Ink on tissue paper
(piece is still in process and will be on display at Las Manos Gallery in October)

Time and Being: Conceptual Artists

Roman Opalka and Tricia Rumbolz

By Susan Thomas

Purity of intention and physical, focused energy are components essential to great conceptual art. Without them, a concept is merely visual, with results that range from cold or no connection with the viewer to something so intellectualized the audience feels stupid not to “get” the message. Alienating indeed. Successful conceptual artists use art as a means to relate to the world and to experience existence rather than simply express themselves. And they invite us to join their exploration.

The death this past August of Polish conceptual great Roman Opalka sparked recognition of a kindred artistic spirit, Chicago artist Tricia Rumbolz. Like Opalka, Rumbolz seeks an experience of time as a point of transformation for her art; the results visually rhythmic, organic and often mesmerizing.

Opalka died at age 77, after spending the greater part of 46 years painting the succession of numbers on canvas. This effort to document one to infinity in order to express and define the meaning/passage of time became his life’s work. Rumbolz shares Opalka’s obsession with time, albeit reflected with more variety of process. Rumbolz (who exhibits at Las Manos Gallery in Andersonville, and the now closed David Weinberg Gallery) is a conceptual artist worthy of note; her work continually underscoring and exemplifying her chosen themes.

Opalka’s main body of work, 233 canvases of the same dimension, were paint-brushed numbers. Started in 1965, all of these works are titled the same, “Opalka 1965-Infinity,” (infinity represented by a sideways 8). His goal was to visualize the irreversible passage of time. Year after year the disciplined aesthetic stood at the canvas painting numerals in succession, in later years, photographing himself next the to canvas or “detail” at the end of each session (passing 1,000,000 in the early 1970’s). He would recite each number aloud as he painted it. The only variance in Opalka’s process was to lighten his background from black to gray, adding 1% more white to it every year. Ultimately, because his acrylic numbers were painted in white, the background and the subject meshed almost indistinguishably into approaching invisibility.

Opalka did not stray from his concept since its inception, pursuing a singular vision with awe-inspiring discipline. “A single thing, a single life,” he said. Rumbolz prefers differing her approaches to illustrate time, place, energy and physicality. In “187 Vertical Lines,” (acrylic paint, paint pen on wooden panel) Rumbolz describes the physicality and immediacy of her process: “My hand performs like a sensor, a point of convergence between time, space, energy and my body; the drawings are visual imprints/recordings of the activity itself.” She works with intense precision. “I do this to infuse the work with authenticity: This is what my individual body/mind is capable of producing at this given moment,” says Rumbolz. The line drawings are sequential, “the preceding line always and only informs the following line, therefore the drawing reveals itself slowly and methodically,” Rumbolz explains. A sensual scrim of undulating lines is the end result of her initial conceptual question: What is the simplest mark a hand can make?

"4,221 Lines"

"10 Color 60 Second Marker Bleed" - Marker ink on typing paper

Most of her works take hundreds upon hundreds of hours to complete, certainly less obsessionistic (and some would say less masochistic) than Opalka’s quest. And no less dramatic are Rumbolz’s work chronicling just seconds in time. In “1/4 Teaspoon of Powder, Blown with One Breath,” for example, particulate white powder’s time/space journey is captured starkly on black paper exactly where it lands: the powder’s movement documenting the energy and the time it takes to blow one breath. “10-Second Marker Bleed,” is just as scientific in execution and titled just as obviously. The process is fundamentally part of the art, the literal title also a form of purity of intention.

"1/4 Teaspoon of Powder, Blown with One Breath" - Flour on velvet Paper
(detail of piece at right)

Rumbolz, 42, grew up in the steel-mill town of Sterling, Illinois, with very limited exposure to contemporary art. She credits the BFA program at UIC for instilling in her a strong conceptual foundation. “The faculty really pushed us to take accountability for every choice we made,” she says. She shares the ideology of other great conceptual artists such as On Kawara, Hanne Darboven and Lee Ufon in their quests to find the meaning in simply “being.”

Lee Ufon sought interrelationships between material space and viewer, acutely aware of the immediacy of the body’s role in the act of creation, which is central to how Rumbolz physically approaches her work. Darboven used texts from authors exploring “being.” Rumbolz also utilizes words and their symbolism in her art. Kawara’s work indicates specificity of time and place, though with more graphic toughness than Rumbolz. Central to all of these artists is their search for the deeper meaning of consciousness through creative process.

The intensity and purity of process also unites these artists in their quest. “Before I begin the physical work, I distill a mental concept down to its basic aesthetic components,” Rumbolz explains. “My style is straightforward and systematic so the steps involved in making the work are apparent to the viewer. I reveal the structure of the act which shows how beauty can be achieved through the simplest of means.”

Like the aforementioned artists, Rumbolz is a minimalist with her self-expression and has no desire to create “agreeable” art. These artists rebel against society’s endless manufacturing, production and consumption. “I do feel tribe-less at times,” Rumbolz says. “The hours and intensity involved in my art can definitely be isolating and I have to make an effort to compensate for that. We live in such fast-paced society that craves consumerism and instant gratification. My work is antithetical to that.” In a case of life imitating art, Rumbolz is simplifying her life now as well, downsizing her space and possessions considerably. Her next path of artistic exploration will incorporate data and technology into her process.

Opalka almost lost consciousness when he embarked on his journey, painting the number 1, then uttering it verbally. The enormity of the task he set before himself, like infinity, too great to comprehend. The final digit he painted on his canvas before he died was eight: Ironically, it is the symbol for infinity when turned on its side. His work of time and timelessness shared experientially on canvas is finished. As he said, “It is creation that inhabits the space between experience and understanding.” Now reminding us to continue such inner journeys is Tricia Rumbolz. Her work makes us pause deeply with thought and wonder, an offering of time accepted by contemplating the focus and energy of her work.

--Susan Thomas is a freelance writer .

"Excerpts from 'Clay, the History and Evolution of Humankind's Relationships with Earth's Most Primal Element' " -Ink on painted wooden panel (details at right)