“Post Industrious” presents two artists—one based in Chicago, the other in Iowa City—whose works address design and art making in the post-industrial Midwest.
WM FitzPatrick’s pieces blur the line between sculpture and furniture. He eschews new materials and mass production in favor of one-offs fabricated from salvaged materials. Created from the detritus of the past, FitzPatrick’s pieces are new constructs, yet retain the history of the original objects from which they were made.
The photographs of Barry Phipps’ “Iowa Series” reflect the architectural and typographic forms of small town America. Rather than take pictures of Iowa, Phipps mines Iowa for material to make images. His rigorous compositions employ line, texture, and color to reveal underlying formal structures.
Together, FitzPatrick’s sculptures and Phipps’ photographs create a dialogue of thought provoking dichotomies: urban/rural, object/image, and design/art. They reflect something of what it means to make art—to be “industrious”—in this contemporary, post-industrial moment.
Exhibition essay and curation by Franck Mercurio:
For the past 50 years, the economy of the Midwest has been in flux. Heavy manufacturing - at one time the driving force of Midwestern towns and cities - has been largely replaced by light manufacturing and service-based industries. Some call this "decline", others "transition", and still others "rebirth".
Regardless of labels, how has this new economic realtiy influenced artists and designers in the Midwest? How are art and design informed in this new era? Is there such a thing as a post-industrial aesthetic?
'Post Industrious' poses these questions and presents two artists whose work addresses current economic realities, environmental concerns, and an awareness of recent history.
Gallery Tour and Panel Discussion: Saturday, December 7th