Chicago Exhibits: Rachel Niffenegger at Western Exhibitions

Chicago Exhibits: Rachel Niffenegger at Western Exhibitions
Yareah Magazine

Chicago Exhibits: Rachel Niffenegger at Western Exhibitions

Chicago Exhibits Rachel Niffenegger at Western Exhibitions

Chicago Exhibits Rachel Niffenegger at Western Exhibitions

Combining seductive unveiling with psychological and physical deterioration, Rachel Niffenegger presents works that complicate notions of the body, sculpture, clothing and painting. In Gallery 1, her sculptures rest atop a tiled glass floor that itself rests atop debris from her studio. It’s at once slick and dirty, like a dance floor in Hades. Her sculptures are bone-like – warped steel rods, covered in epoxy clay – and curvaceous at the same time, exotic skeletons striking a pose. They are stripped of skin, clothes and identifying features. Placed on the glass floor, they gesture in front of a full wall painting that doubles as a backdrop, its stained fabric similar to the “garments” hanging in the back room.

In the back room dyed and distressed fabrics hang; painting hybrids Niffenegger has referred to in the past as “shrouds”. Hanging amid seating and illuminated by light from behind private curtain, the shrouds also function as clothing, skins and spirits, all referencing the residual imprint of the body. The work in both rooms focuses on the ephemeral state of the feminine figure in contemporary society as Niffenegger stages her effigies in various states of undress and distress. They flux between statuesque and formless, sentient and petrified through the restyling of elements: steel, fabric, and flesh.

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Western Exhibitions
845 W Washington Blvd
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 480-8390

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