Material and Environmental Collaborations
Jeremy Bolen and Rachel Niffenegger
2 week course || PAINTING 655 001 || 3 credit hours || Lab Fee: $50
How do artists combine material processes with explorations of their surrounding environments? In this course, students will engage the landscape as a medium alongside cyanotypes, van dyke and chlorophyll printing, making natural dyes and “potions”, submerging, burning/fumage, earth recording, burying, sand casting, building armatures, and site-specific constructions. Through the examination of ritual and magic as art practice, as well as the intentional sequencing of material processes, students will accumulate and experiment with modes of creation that transcend disciplinary boundaries. We will be referencing interdisciplinary visionaries such as Ana Mendieta, Otobong Nkanga, Tibor Hajas, Lazlo Moholoy-Nagy, and Mickalene Thomas who synthesize painting, photography, installation and sculpture. Students will conceive of projects around the idea of making as performative action, and will choreograph their experimental processes into final works, imbued with meaning and resonance. These unique material and environmental collaborations will be displayed in a culminating exhibition and guided walk of the works installed throughout Ox-Bow’s campus.
Jeremy Bolen is a Chicago-based artist, researcher, organizer and educator interested in site-specific, experimental modes of documentation, community engagement, and presentation. Much of Bolen’s work involves rethinking systems of recording in an attempt to observe invisible presences that remain from various scientific experiments and human interactions with the earth’s surface. Bolen received his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2012 and he currently serves as Assistant Professor of Photography at Georgia State University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is also a founding member of the Deep Time Chicago Collective and is represented by Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago.
Rachel Niffenegger’s work has been included in group shows shows at Museum for Modern Art in Arnhem, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Tracy Williams Ltd in New York, Bourouina Gallery in Berlin, Ceri Hand Gallery in Liverpool, The Suburban in Milwaukee, and in Chicago at Corbett vs. Dempsey, Andrew Rafacz Gallery, and the Hyde Park Art Center. In 2012 she completed a 9-month residency at DE ATELIERS in Amsterdam. Chicago Magazine named her “Chicago’s best emerging artist” in 2010 and Newcity named her one of “Chicago’s Next Generation of Image Makers” in 2010, this after naming her the “Best Painter Under 25” in 2009. Niffenegger, born in Evanston in 1985, received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is represented by Western Exhibitions in Chicago and lives and works in Chicago.