Lynn Basa | Christine Forni | Bobbi Meier
THICK-SKINNED

Chase Gallery

April 5, 2024 to May 25, 2024

Thick-skinned cuts both ways. It’s the build-up of imperviousness to life’s abrasions over time and lived experience, but it’s also a form of concealment. Without these protections, the human condition would be unbearable. Lynn Basa, Christine Forni, and Bobbi Meier each have their way of approaching material as a metaphor for this survival membrane between the external world and themselves.

Lynn Basa’s roots are in clay, so it’s not surprising that she was drawn to encaustic, a medium that requires fire as a catalyst and lends itself to layering, carving, melting, and other earthy treatments. Her process acts out the personal. She scrapes the faces off of paintings that took days to build up, not only to reveal the memory of what happened beneath but as an action of dissatisfaction with what she had accomplished. Alternately revealing and concealing, she is always searching.

In Christine Forni’s installation, Fragments, made of porcelain, paint skins, and minerals, attached to glass panels, her installation is an archive of unused and discarded elements from other more meticulously crafted bodies of work. Salvaged and mounted together like specimens, they form a “beautiful, but broken” material memory of where she was and what she was doing at a point in time. Unlike precious specimens, these are not preserved under glass, but placed vulnerably on the surface, their fragility on display. Tellingly, Forni embraces the possibility of breakage in her work, stating she'll just put the work back together differently and learn something new in the process. The glass layers in her sculptures invite close observation with the appearance of strength intertwined with vulnerability.

A first look at Bobbi Meier’s sensuous sculptures often elicits an amused reaction from viewers, but underneath the seemingly lighthearted facades are dark hints of the tragedy and trauma experienced by so many women. She thinks of her awkwardly sensuous and weirdly humorous installations as “emotional repositories for life situations which cannot be changed.” Meier aggressively manipulates delicate materials. Fiber is bound and contorted, disassembled stuffed toys become provocative bits of fur, things that should be soft are hard, and decorative shapes vaguely resemble creases and folds of the body. A dichotomy of seduction and revulsion exists, where fragments of thoughts and materials are re-constructed to become assemblages of grotesque beauty.

 

RSVP for the opening reception on Friday, April 5 from 6 pm to 9 pm and artists’ walk-through at 7 pm at the link below:

Click HERE for more information on gallery hours and private appointments.

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Lynn Basa | Christine Forni | Bobbi Meier
THICK-SKINNED

Chase Gallery

April 5, 2024 to May 25, 2024

Thick-skinned cuts both ways. It’s the build-up of imperviousness to life’s abrasions over time and lived experience, but it’s also a form of concealment. Without these protections, the human condition would be unbearable. Lynn Basa, Christine Forni, and Bobbi Meier each have their way of approaching material as a metaphor for this survival membrane between the external world and themselves.

Lynn Basa’s roots are in clay, so it’s not surprising that she was drawn to encaustic, a medium that requires fire as a catalyst and lends itself to layering, carving, melting, and other earthy treatments. Her process acts out the personal. She scrapes the faces off of paintings that took days to build up, not only to reveal the memory of what happened beneath but as an action of dissatisfaction with what she had accomplished. Alternately revealing and concealing, she is always searching.

In Christine Forni’s installation, Fragments, made of porcelain, paint skins, and minerals, attached to glass panels, her installation is an archive of unused and discarded elements from other more meticulously crafted bodies of work. Salvaged and mounted together like specimens, they form a “beautiful, but broken” material memory of where she was and what she was doing at a point in time. Unlike precious specimens, these are not preserved under glass, but placed vulnerably on the surface, their fragility on display. Tellingly, Forni embraces the possibility of breakage in her work, stating she'll just put the work back together differently and learn something new in the process. The glass layers in her sculptures invite close observation with the appearance of strength intertwined with vulnerability.

A first look at Bobbi Meier’s sensuous sculptures often elicits an amused reaction from viewers, but underneath the seemingly lighthearted facades are dark hints of the tragedy and trauma experienced by so many women. She thinks of her awkwardly sensuous and weirdly humorous installations as “emotional repositories for life situations which cannot be changed.” Meier aggressively manipulates delicate materials. Fiber is bound and contorted, disassembled stuffed toys become provocative bits of fur, things that should be soft are hard, and decorative shapes vaguely resemble creases and folds of the body. A dichotomy of seduction and revulsion exists, where fragments of thoughts and materials are re-constructed to become assemblages of grotesque beauty.

RSVP for the opening reception on Friday, April 5 from 6 pm to 9 pm and artists’ walk-through at 7 pm at the link below:

Click HERE for more information on gallery hours and private appointments.

About Lynn Basa

Lynn Basa is a painter and public artist based in Chicago. Her work is included in numerous public, private, and museum collections such as the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence), Spencer Museum (Lawrence, Kansas), Tacoma Art Museum, and others.  She was included in the seminal exhibit Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical organized by the American Craft Museum before traveling to the Louvre and major museums in Helsinki, Frankfurt, Warsaw, Lausanne, Moscow, Ankara, Prague, Ghent, Goteborg, Berlin, and Barcelona.  Her work was also part of the Smithsonian Institute’s landmark Threadworks exhibit, which traveled throughout eastern Africa.

She has taught in the Sculpture Department at SAIC, the Hyde Park Arts Center, and Creative Capital.  She is the author of the Artist’s Guide to Public Art, now in its second printing. Basa has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MPA in public art policy from the University of Washington, with an undergraduate degree in ceramics and art history from Indiana University. @lynn.basa

Photo credit: Clare Britt

 

About Christine Forni

Christine Forni is a painter and sculptor examining links between human behavior and the natural world. Her work focuses on environmental compassion through poetic connections of habitat, alchemy, anthropology, and memory. She has exhibited at venues including Ueno Royal Japanese Art Museum and Awagami Paper Museum (Japan), DeCordova Sculpture Museum, (Massachusetts), Museo Franz Mayer (Mexico), Museo Internazionale Italia Arte and Museo di Scienze Naturali (Italy), the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Heaven Gallery at The Franklin and Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago). She created the “Drawing You Outside” project and collaborates with poets, environmentalists, botanists, historians, physicists, writers, performance and sound artists. Forni was invited to speak and exhibit her work at the Academia Romania in Bucharest, on the phenomena of design and evolution in nature. In 2023, she was an invited guest speaker at a physicist conference in Turin, Italy at the Energy Center giving an artist talk about her practice and environmental outdoor drawing project. Her botanical sculpture and drawing installations evolved during the artist's residencies in Paris at École du Breuil and the Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée in Paris where she drew enlarged microscopic details of specimens amassed by naturalists. Her new work simultaneously bridges both painting and sculpture evoking a visual echo of slide specimens enlarged to many times their normal size, and eloquently points to the observation and analysis play in the artist’s practice.

Photo credit: Farah Salem

 

About Bobbi Meier

Bobbi Meier is a Chicago-based visual artist. Life’s frustrations, joys, and fears are embedded into her abstract sculptures, drawings, and installations through provocative use of materials including pantyhose, spandex, porcelain, and found home furnishings. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Kohler Foundation, and John Michael Kohler Art Center (Wisconsin). Selected artist residencies include The John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program in the Pottery (Wisconsin), Ragdale Foundation (Illinois), Ox-bow School of Art and Artist’s Residency (Michigan), and a fellowship at Anderson Ranch (Colorado). In 2023 she was selected as an Artadia/Chicago finalist, awarded an Illinois Arts Council Grant, and is currently a selected artist in a new exhibition, Material Tales, at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago curated by Giovanni Aloi. Her work has been exhibited at The Hyde Park Center, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, Evanston Art Center, International Museum of Surgical Science, and The Franklin (Chicago); Lubeznik Center for the Arts, (Indiana), Riverside Arts Center, (Illinois), Galerija Zlati Ajngel, (Croatia). Meier served as a member and director of ADDS Donna Artist collective in Chicago (2018-2023). She earned her MA in Art Education and MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Photo credit:  Tom VanEynde 

About Lynn Basa

Lynn Basa is a painter and public artist based in Chicago. Her work is included in numerous public, private, and museum collections such as the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Rhode Island School of Design Museum (Providence), Spencer Museum (Lawrence, Kansas), Tacoma Art Museum, and others.  She was included in the seminal exhibit Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical organized by the American Craft Museum before traveling to the Louvre and major museums in Helsinki, Frankfurt, Warsaw, Lausanne, Moscow, Ankara, Prague, Ghent, Goteborg, Berlin, and Barcelona.  Her work was also part of the Smithsonian Institute’s landmark Threadworks exhibit, which traveled throughout eastern Africa.

She has taught in the Sculpture Department at SAIC, the Hyde Park Arts Center, and Creative Capital.  She is the author of the Artist’s Guide to Public Art, now in its second printing. Basa has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MPA in public art policy from the University of Washington, with an undergraduate degree in ceramics and art history from Indiana University. @lynn.basa

Photo credit: Clare Britt

About Christine Forni

Christine Forni is a painter and sculptor examining links between human behavior and the natural world. Her work focuses on environmental compassion through poetic connections of habitat, alchemy, anthropology, and memory. She has exhibited at venues including Ueno Royal Japanese Art Museum and Awagami Paper Museum (Japan), DeCordova Sculpture Museum, (Massachusetts), Museo Franz Mayer (Mexico), Museo Internazionale Italia Arte and Museo di Scienze Naturali (Italy), the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Heaven Gallery at The Franklin and Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago). She created the “Drawing You Outside” project and collaborates with poets, environmentalists, botanists, historians, physicists, writers, performance and sound artists. Forni was invited to speak and exhibit her work at the Academia Romania in Bucharest, on the phenomena of design and evolution in nature. In 2023, she was an invited guest speaker at a physicist conference in Turin, Italy at the Energy Center giving an artist talk about her practice and environmental outdoor drawing project. Her botanical sculpture and drawing installations evolved during the artist's residencies in Paris at École du Breuil and the Galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée in Paris where she drew enlarged microscopic details of specimens amassed by naturalists. Her new work simultaneously bridges both painting and sculpture evoking a visual echo of slide specimens enlarged to many times their normal size, and eloquently points to the observation and analysis play in the artist’s practice.

Photo credit: Farah Salem

About Bobbi Meier

Bobbi Meier is a Chicago-based visual artist. Life’s frustrations, joys, and fears are embedded into her abstract sculptures, drawings, and installations through provocative use of materials including pantyhose, spandex, porcelain, and found home furnishings. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Kohler Foundation, and John Michael Kohler Art Center (Wisconsin). Selected artist residencies include The John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program in the Pottery (Wisconsin), Ragdale Foundation (Illinois), Ox-bow School of Art and Artist’s Residency (Michigan), and a fellowship at Anderson Ranch (Colorado). In 2023 she was selected as an Artadia/Chicago finalist, awarded an Illinois Arts Council Grant, and is currently a selected artist in a new exhibition, Material Tales, at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago curated by Giovanni Aloi. Her work has been exhibited at The Hyde Park Center, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, Evanston Art Center, International Museum of Surgical Science, and The Franklin (Chicago); Lubeznik Center for the Arts, (Indiana), Riverside Arts Center, (Illinois), Galerija Zlati Ajngel, (Croatia). Meier served as a member and director of ADDS Donna Artist collective in Chicago (2018-2023). She earned her MA in Art Education and MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Photo credit:  Tom VanEynde