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Corbett vs. Dempsey: DIANE SIMPSON
West Wing: Rodney Quiriconi
- 8 Feb 2013 to 23 Mar 2013

Current Exhibition

8 Feb 2013 to 23 Mar 2013
Thurs., Fri. & Sat. 11-4
(& by appointment)
Corbett vs. Dempsey
1120 N. Ashland Ave. 3rd Floor
IL 60622
Chicago, IL
North America
T: +1 773-278-1664

Diane Simpson, Tunic (folded), 2012
Gatorfoam board, spunbond polyester, and crayon
27 x 58 x 22 inches (sculpture); 7 x 72 x 36 inches (base)

Artists in this exhibition: DIANE SIMPSON, Rodney Quiriconi


OPENING: Friday, February 8, 2013, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Corbett vs. Dempsey is very pleased to present its first solo exhibition of new sculpture and drawings by Diane Simpson. Since her earliest shows at Artemisia and the Phyllis Kind Gallery in the late 1970s, Simpson has been a major force in Chicago sculpture. Indeed, Simpson straddles several generations in Chicago art; she attended the School of the Art Institute in the mid 1950s, received her MFA there in 1971, where she was friends with Imagist artists including Christina Ramberg and Ray Yoshida, and she has maintained deep connections with the abstract conceptual artists of the 1980s, including Richard Rezac and Julia Fish.

Exploring a liminal zone between abstraction and figuration, her sculpture starts with intensive studies in fashion, extracting the human (left as an insinuation) and focusing on the architecture of the attire, its inherent tensions and relaxations, out of which Simpson extrapolates entirely original forms. A collar, a cuff, a hem – each part of a piece of clothing is fodder for formal play, deconstruction and reconstruction. An intense and detail-fixated craftswoman, firmly in the same Windy City tradition as H.C. Westermann, she has worked in diverse materials, including cardboard, MDF, wood, fabric, paper, aluminum, and vintage linoleum, all with a meticulous finish and an aggressive sense of design.

Early in her career, Simpson introduced a way of making 3-D work that translated from drawings, concentrating on the 45-degree angles that helped define a certain kind of perspective. She continues this investigation with an important new piece, based on the same set of calculations, as well as unveiling new freestanding, wall hanging, and shelf-based works. Along with these new sculptures, Corbett vs. Dempsey presents several new drawings, executed on graph paper, which stand both as studies for the sculptures and fully-realized, independent works on paper.

Simpson was the subject of a retrospective, Sculpture + Drawings, 1978-2009, at the Chicago Cultural Center (2009). A full-color, 48-page catalog, with essays by John Corbett and Jason Foumberg, accompanies the exhibition.

In the West Wing, Corbett vs. Dempsey presents Constructions, 1960-1970, work by Rodney Quiriconi (b. Chicago, 1933). Quiriconi was well known in Chicago in the 1960s and ‘70s. One of the only artists of the era to have drawn extensively on Minimalism, Quiriconi was neighbors with H.C. Westermann, whose use of rare woods directly influenced him. At the outset of the 1960s, he was working as a painter, but gradually moved into making intricate, exquisitely crafted box constructions, using metal, glass, wood, and mirror. The earliest boxes were relatives of Joseph Cornell’s, with similar roots in a Surrealist collage sensibility, but deeper into the 1960s they became more stripped down and experimental.

Over the years, Quiriconi was associated with several legendary Chicago galleries, including Dell and Phyllis Kind, and he participated in numerous exhibitions at the Hyde Park Art Center. This is the first solo presentation of a group of his vintage works in over thirty years. A full-color, 16-page catalog, with an essay by John Corbett, accompanies the exhibition.

Both exhibitions open Friday, February 8th, with a reception from 5:00-8:00pm, and run through March 23rd, 2013.

Images courtesy the artist and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. Photography by Tom Van Eynde.

Corbett vs. Dempsey
1120 N. Ashland Ave. 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60622
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm & by appointment

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