The Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Rites, a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring new works by Nicole Mauser, Amy Leners, and Yesenia Bello.
Rituals, whether spiritual or social in nature, all share a common purpose and can be described as a practice that allows an individual to pass from one fixed situation to one equally fixed. According to its definition, rites, or rituals, are usually preformed in a prescribed order. These repetitive, often ceremonial customs are connected to personal experiences and transcend time and space. Writer Cynthia Freeland expounds upon the theory of art ritual in But is it Art? asserting that “an ordinary object or act acquires symbolic and effective significance through incorporation into a belief system shared by all participants.” Here, objects or acts are transformed into art through the ritual of making.
Rites seeks to illuminate the inherently cyclical function present in each artist's practice. Through acts of gathering, inventing, mark-making, addition and subtraction, each artist traverses the world around them. Nicole Mauser’s paintings highlight the contrast between abstraction and figuration, material and image. Amy Leners’ practice challenges the constant push and pull prevalent in the relationships of architecture and space. Installation artist and sculptor Yesenia Bello examines communication, navigating the nuances between her first and second languages.
Rites is curated by Sheridan Tucker.
Nicole Mauser’s works have been featured in exhibitions at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, New York; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; High Concept Labs, Chicago; Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago; Reynolds Gallery, Richmond; Fort Gondo, St. Louis; and is in permanent collections of The Alexander, Indianapolis; The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park. Select works have been featured in New American Paintings, Newcity Magazine and The Kansas City Star. She contributes writing and reviews to Newcity, Art Practical, 8½ x 11, Bad at Sports Blog and The Journal for Humanistic Psychiatry. Mauser was a co-founder of the artist-run gallery PLUG Projects as well as a co-founder of KCPAC (Kansas City Plein Air Coterie). Currently, she is a Lecturer at the University of Chicago and Adjunct Assistant Professor at UIC. Nicole Mauser earned an MFA from the University of Chicago and a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design.
Amy Leners is an interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Chicago, IL. She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Iowa and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book, Paper and Print from Columbia College Chicago. Her work is in collaboration with forgotten spaces, exploring our relationships to architecture and space, specifically our homes and how the possible ephemerality of these spaces affects our psyche. Using handmade site specific pigments, alternative photography processes, printmaking and handmade paper she creates works that are made by and of these spaces.
Yesenia Bello was born in Norristown, PA and now makes installations, sculptures, and drawings in Chicago, IL. As a first-generation Mexican-American, she considers the shameful act of slowly losing one's native tongue and the spectrum of human instincts that arise when attempting to connect without words. Through the often full-body manipulation of materials she discovers new forms of building her own visual sentence infrastructures. Yesenia Bello graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016.
Sheridan Tucker is a recent graduate of the University of Chicago where she received her MA in Art History with a focus on Postwar American and Contemporary Art. A former Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow at the Art Institute of Chicago, her interests include exploring cultural phenomena through visual art. Sheridan hopes to introduce new ideas of inclusion and diversity in visual art through cultural pluralism and community engagement. She recently accepted a position as Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.