Co-curated by Kate Hackman (Charlotte Street Foundation) and Shannon Stratton (threewalls), THINGS TO BE NEXT TO is a group exhibition of Chicago and Kansas City based artists that was on view in Kansas City at The Charlotte Street Foundation’s La Esquina Gallery before traveling to threewalls in November.
Developed as a collaborative project where artists from each partner city would exhibit in the other, Hackman and Stratton settled on a group show that addressed the conditions of creative production, in terms of studio and exhibition space, unique to each city. Whereas Kansas City might enjoy ample real estate options for making and exhibiting, Chicago artists frequently work out of their homes, and curators often find their footing curating out of apartments. For THINGS TO BE NEXT TO, the curators selected work by four artists that reflected those conditions, and in their work, evidence of the site-specificity of their studio and city in terms of space, architecture and intimacy are apparent in their objects and their materiality.
Pete Fagundo and Alberto Aguilar, Chicago based artists, have their studios at home. Their work reflects that domestic environment in their choice of materials, scale, and in Aguilar’s on-going collaboration with his children. The work is humble in its production, much of it requiring a close, intimate consideration. Fagundo’s work includes small spaces within his constructions that the viewer must be close to consider; Aguilar constructs sculpture in his home and documents it–notifying the viewer that they must be on intimate terms with Aguilar’s family to have experienced much of it first hand. In contrast, Warren Rosser and Jim Woodfill work away from home, in expansive, high-ceilinged studios in the kind of industrial building characteristic of downtown Kansas City. Woodfill’s sculptural installations and Rosser’s fabric and carpet “paintings” respond to and integrate the architectures of these spaces, extending across walls and floors, and are calibrated to be experienced incrementally, from a range of perspectives and views enabled by the spaces they inhabit.
The exhibit will also address the difference in exhibition venues for similar not-for-profit organizations. In Kansas City, THINGS TO BE NEXT TO will be on view at Charlotte Street Foundation’s spacious La Esquina warehouse gallery. In Chicago, the same work will appear considerably different as it moves to threewalls’ smaller and more informal setting. THINGS TO BE NEXT TO calls attention to the idea of sculpture, architecture and ideas of monumentality as the objects’ humble materiality calls into question how scale, both of a thing and its context, can shift perception of its meaning and significance.