Solo Exhibition at Cultivator Chicago
January 10 - February 7, 2016
Opening Reception Sunday, January 10, 2pm - 5pm
Closing Reception and Artist's Talk Sunday, February 7, 2pm-5pm (Artist's Talk in conversation with Krista Svalbonas at 3pm)
Open Thursdays 12 - 4pm and by appointment
Cultivator is pleased to present Mid-sentence, a solo exhibition of sculpture, paintings, and installation by Rita Grendze.
Rita writes about this series:
In a world that is increasingly virtual, increasingly non-contact oriented, I find my practice moving strongly towards the physical. Using abundant materials, I investigate the perception of the stuff of our lives. I actively look for mundane collections: books, sheet music, denim, neck-ties, even chairs. The collection is acquired, then observed. Over a period of months I sort and categorize, recognizing the visual properties of the materials at hand, but also trying to get a better understanding of the material’s social significance. Doing so I have learned things about the material that I didn’t know would interest me: percentage of red versus brown book bindings, history of a family-run textile mill, or even density of decorative marks on mid-century sheet music. Once I have satisfied this curiosity I begin my experimentations with physical properties: breaking points, saturation points, edges and even scents are manipulated until I have a tactile recognition of the objects. This is how I am creating my visual vocabulary, a layered process that pulls from both the chance encounter, and from the directed study in my studio.
Mid sentence is a stopping point, a pause, in research I’m still pursuing: physical and conceptual strata. While making the work in the “Topography” series, I found connections to geological strata, the thin layers of stone that create beautiful parallel stacks (though my strata are soft and malleable, made of patterned neckties). In “Lamella” I am loosely referring to the gill-like membranes on the underside of mushroom caps-an ingenious natural engineering feat to help the fungi spread their spores (mine are made of ribbons and aren’t spreading anything). The materials used are not happenstance: silk ties imply a level of maturity and material wealth, while the ribbons remind me of girlhood, gifts and awards. I am working towards understanding this controlled experiment, towards a moment to reflect on a contained view of natural beauty pulled from man-made materials.
Rita Grendze is a sculptor making art work from ordinary objects. Both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as her year of study on a Fulbright Grant, focused on fiber art. For Grendze this has translated into a lifelong love of process and abundant, accumulative materials.
Before moving to Chicago in 2001, Grendze lived in the New York City area. She has taught at Maryland Institute, College of Art in the Fiber and Foundations departments, as well as at Jersey City University. Grendze simultaneously worked for AIGA National, where she gained an informal but invaluable education in graphic design history.
Since returning to the mid-west, the bulk of Grendze’s time has been dedicated to her studio practice and to her young family. She has worked with Redmoon Theater creating props for outdoor spectacles, has taught community workshops in Chicago and its suburbs, has completed commissions, and costumed plays. Most recently, Grendze has created large-scale installations for the Krasl Art Center in Saint Joseph, Michigan and for the Farm Art Dtour in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, and a collaborative installation for Water Street Studios in Batavia, Illinois. Mid-sentence is Grendze’s first solo show in Chicago.