Now through August 10, Loyola’s Ralph Arnold Fine Arts Annex is featuring artwork that not only rests upon the pale walls, but extends out into the room and occupies its own space.
The More Than Naked exhibition opened on June 28 and features unique 3D sculpture pieces from seven local artists—Betsy Odom, Karolina Gnatowski, Matthew Hilshorst, Jim Zimple, Nancy Lu Rosenheim, Hans Sundquist, and Chris Lin.
Christian Rieben, a painting instructor at Loyola and the School of the Art Institute, is the curator of the exhibition.
“I think the viewer approaches 3D work differently,” Rieben says, whose medium of choice is oil paint. “This thing is in your space, occupying space much like you do.”
He chose the title More Than Naked to illustrate the “explicit, yet transcendent materiality of the work;” basically, how each material component is its own, singular element, but also works with other elements to create a finished piece.
Odom, who will have her piece Handkerchief on display, elaborated on this notion of materiality.
“I start a piece with the belief that all materials have cultural meaning,” she says in an interview with the Department of Fine and Performing Arts. “I think this show succeeds in compelling viewers to see the stuff–the matter that composes the world around us–not as benign, but as a part of a vast political and cultural vocabulary.”
Rieben hopes More Than Naked will broaden the Loyola community’s understanding of the artistic process.
“I think many Loyola students have a pretty conventional idea of art-making; this exhibition shows that work can be conceptually and formally rigorous while using unconventional materials and/or techniques,” he says. “Funky doesn’t necessarily mean lazy.”
After seeing a sculpture by Paul McCarthy while studying abroad in England, Hilshorst realized he was meant to be an artist. He spoke to the Department of Fine and Performing Arts about the differences between a traditional paint medium and the materials featured in More Than Naked.
“I’ll use everyday items that I can transform in new ways such as yarn, electrical wire, tablecloths, fabric, bottle caps, hair, thread, etc. The materials have extra meaning already attached to them, and they enrich the work in ways paint cannot,” he says. “I even use reflective surfaces occasionally to literally pull the viewer and all the art around it into the work.”
With More Than Naked as his first exhibition at the University, Rieben says he is honored to be the curator and hopes it will “encourage some viewers to push the boundaries of their own art.”
The Loyola community can visit More Than Naked at the Fine Arts Annex, located at 1131 W. Sheridan Road, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The Annex is also open to the public on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. or by appointment.
To view photos from the exhibition’s opening reception, click here.