Mirrorface, Cleve Carney Gallery
Using ink, polypropylene and transparent vinyl to activate the walls, floor, and modernist windows of Cleve Carney Ga...
Using ink, polypropylene and transparent vinyl to activate the walls, floor, and modernist windows of Cleve Carney Gallery in Glen Ellyn, IL this March I look forward to creating a new site-specific installation for Mirrorface, a three-woman exhibition of autobiographical work by myself, comics artist Keiler Roberts, and painter Sarah McEneaney. The exhibition runs from March 9 - April 13, 2017 with an opening reception on Saturday, March 11th from 1pm-3pm.
This solo exhibition represents four years of exploration into the complexities of the human organism, investigating collectivities and spaces for new forms of human sociality. The visual research behind this body of work has grown out of a practice that includes interviews and dialogic workshops with individuals and communities.
From Gallery 400:
Using paper as a tool to both investigate and imagine, Donner employs drawing, collage, printmaking, small-press publications, and large scale installation. Colorful image-scenes propose models of community that move beyond current anthropocentric and capitalist systems, while intricately cut paper structures are used to cast shadows of new constructions. These projected images expand into the physical space of the Gallery, incorporating tables stacked with research materials referencing science fiction, adventure playgrounds, activist projects, and the female-run social structures of wasps, ants, and bees as sources that might direct us toward ways of imaging our communities of the future. For the duration of the exhibition in a dedicated room of the gallery, somatic ‘tours’ will guide visitors through their own visualizations of the hidden architecture of the human body, linking structural and sensory worlds.
For more information and images from the exhibition, plus a whole lot of intergenerational and childcare-supported programming I had a hand in: http://gallery400.uic.edu/exhibitions/our-new-system
A site specific installation and stargazing guide are underway in collaboration with Andrew Yang as part of the exhibition Poor and Needy in the 2016 edition of the Great Poor Farm Experiment. The Poor Farm was founded in 2009 by artists/critics/curators Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam to present year long exhibitions at the former Waupica County Poor Farm in Little Wolf, Wisconsin. Bring your camping gear and join an international roster of artists for lectures, performances and installations the weekend of August 5th- 7th. Poor and Needy will travel to Copenhagen, Denmark in 2017
If you find yourself in Berlin, please join me on Saturday, November 28th for a pop-up exhibition of my latest work at the lovely Aviatrix Atelier. Combining ink and pigment in combination with light and shadow, Seeing (between) Knowing is a paper cabinet of curiosities is informed by my ongoing visual research as well as conversations with scholars at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, where I am working as Artist in Residence this Fall and into the new year.
There will be an informal opening event at on Saturday afternoon, November 28th between 14-17h. Or, you can stop by to see the work there anytime during the weekend (28-29 Nov) between 12noon and 20h to see the show – just enter through the café and make a left. Aviatrix Atelier is located at Herrfurth Str. 13 in the vibrant Neuköln neighborhood, just down the road from Tempelhof Park.
Aviatrix is a very family-friendly space, organised by a collective of parents in the arts (another interest of mine). In the loft gallery above the café you will find a mini-exhibition of work by children who participated in Kunst- und Wunderkammern themed programs at Aviatrix, culminating in a hands-on Collective Curiosity workshop I led there last week. The results were pretty amazing.
This fall I have been invited to spend four months as Artist in Residence at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where I am working on a new project called the ReDistribution of Curiosity based on the research of MPI scholars and in my own explorations of contemporary Berlin.
The project will culminate in a trunkload of drawings, a lovely little risographed zine, a collection and curiosity workshop, and a pop-up exhibition at the excellent artist-parent-run space Aviatrix Atelier in Neuköln. More information as the work develops!
I will unveil a major new work in Nicosia, Cyprus this fall as part of Paper trails, Paper tales, an international exhibition investigating the new possibilities of paper, including animation, sculpture, and paper installation by nine artists. I have just finished Conversations About the Future, an installation of thirty five ink drawings on translucent yupo hung directly on the long stretch of floor-to-ceiling windows of Phytorio, including landscape and viewers inside and out in its visual dialogue about the impact of the past on the world inherited by future generations. Paper trails, Paper tales is on view at Phytorio from October 3 - 17th, 2015.
In a culture where new channels of social and other media create images that go globally viral in a matter of minutes, Memeography looks at contemporary uses of personal and political iconography. In this dizzying digital environment, artists identify with specific objects or concepts as a way to communicate a larger message. Artists Clarke Curtis, Christa Donner, Arabella Proffer, Amber Kempthorn, Claudio Orso, Mike Wallace, Josh Orr explore a broad range of themes using a variety of signs, symbols, motifs and marks that are instantly recognizable yet highly personal.
Memeography opens at Zygote Press in Cleveland, OH with a reception on Friday, June 19th and runs through July 30th, 2015.
I am honored to present on my work with Cultural ReProducers at not one but two international conferences alongside some truly amazing artists, writers, and theoreticians from around the world.
First up is Motherhood and Creative Practice at London South Bank University on June 1 - 2 , an international and interdisciplinary conference that addresses ongoing debates about hospitality, solidarity and encounter as concepts in creative practice, and how they relate to contemporary issues of mothering.
Later that week in Rotterdam, I will present a reading and panel presentation at the Mothernists on June 5 - 7th, a three-day-long transatlantic conference bringing together the work and thought of practicing international artists, art historians, educators, curators and writers on the topic of caring labour and cultural re-production. The Mothernists attempts to open up philosophical, political, aesthetic and social questions made visible through the co-existing practices of mothering and cultural re-production, bringing these into the diverse discourses that the participants professionally as artists, writers, philosophers, curators, historians and educators are part of.
The traveling exhibition The House on Mango Street features a diverse range of artists exploring themes of coming-of-age, sexuality, community, family and urban life in parallel with the 1984 novel The House on Mango Street by acclaimed Mexican American author Sandra Cisneros. Narrated in a series of vignettes, the book tells the story of a young girl growing up in a Latino neighborhood of Chicago. The exhibition, inspired by the novel, highlights many of the issues facing adolescents growing up in metropolitan areas. I am honored to be a part of this show, which includes one of my newest works on paper, a large layered drawing reimagining the architecture of the human body through two figures.
The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community opens at the National Museum Of Mexican Art on April 17th, 2015 and will be on view through August 23rd before traveling nationally throughout 2016-17.
Cultural ReProducers engages reproduction on a whole new level with this risographed think-tank of text and images from 28 international artists, with an introduction and centerfoldout manifesto poster by yours truly. Cultural ReProducers: Propositions, Manifestos and Experiments is a small-press zine exploring the intersection of contemporary art and family life, published in glorious duotone by Temporary Services / Half Letter Press as part of their amazing Publishing Clearinghouse project. You can order a copy for just $7 US.
Co-Occupations Zine Launch
December 10, 2014, Doors at 7pm
2337 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago
For those of you in or near Chicago, pick up your own copy of the zine at our launch party on Wednesday, December 10th with Co-Occupations, a reading, curated bookshelf and artist-parenthood party co-organized with Caroline Picard for Sector 2337. Featuring readings by seven Chicago contributors and live music by musicians/parents the Speers, this event is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Division of Labor: Chicago Artist Parents, curated by Thea Liberty Nichols and myself. Please join us if you can!
How do artists sustain their creative work while also raising children? That’s one of the questions raised by the show Division of Labor: Chicago Artist Parents, which I am incredibly proud to have co-curated with Thea Liberty Nichols for Columbia College’s Glass Curtain Gallery. Division of Labor addresses the impact of parenthood on an artist’s creative practice and career while revealing unexpected moments at the intersection of art-making and family life. Featuring emergent to internationally recognized contemporary artists working across media, this multimedia exhibition examines the aesthetics, materiality and meaning of an artist’s work in relation to parenthood, including work by Alberto Aguilar, Candida Alvarez, Claire Ashley, Lise Haller Baggesen, Michelle Grabner and Brad Killam, Jeremiah Hulsebos-Spofford, Heather Mekkelson, Paul Nudd, John Preus, Brittany Southworth-LaFlamme, Tony Tasset, Ann Toebbe, Jim Trainor, Selina Trepp, and Andrew Yang.
Division of Labor opened November 20th and remains on view through February 14th, 2015, with a packed roster of community-building events for cultural workers and their families. For more information and a full schedule visit Division of Labor online, where you can also download the full exhibition catalogue.
A solo exhibition of recent works on paper and large-scale wall installation is up now at the amazing Plug Projects in Kansas City, MO. The show opened with a reception on May 16th and is on view now through June 21st, 2014. If you are in the Kansas City area, this is a great chance to check out the new work in person.
I recently created 20 works on paper in response to the novel A Map of Everything, by Elizabeth Earley. The book explores the fragile nature of family dynamics after a brain injury, and the way Earley uses metaphor filled my head and my studio with new imagery. These drawings are now being published together with the text as a completely gorgeous full-color artist edition this month through Jaded Ibis press, as well as a lovely black and white version. Author proceeds are donated to brain injury survivors. Look for the book at select independent bookstores or online.
"Hermaphroditic"(2007) is presented in conversation with the Henri Matisse collage "Blue Nude I" (1952) in Final Cut: The Papercut as Independent Artistic Medium at the Horst-Janssen Museum in Oldenberg, Germany this season. The exhibition explores the possibilities of cut paper through the work of contemporary artists from across Europe and the US as well as historic works from their permanent collection. Final Cut opens with a vernissage on January 24th and will be on view through April 27, 2014.
A giant wasp nest, a nectar-milking truck in the jungle, and a series of limited-edition multiples in waxed paper bags will all be on view in A Rich Stash, A Nova Incredible in the lovely garden-apartment gallery Believe Inn this month, alongside new work by fellow artists Brian Knowles, Ash Wan, Nicole Northway, and Deva Suckerman. The rather spectacular title of the show is actually made up of the letters from all of our names. The show opens on Friday, June 28th from 6 - 10pm, and will be on view through July with open hours on Saturdays and additional viewings by appointment.
I was recently invited to be one of the first artists involved in the amazing new Trubble Club project The Infinite Corpse. Inspired by a project of the legendary 1990s experimental comics series RAW, which in turn was inspired by the French surrealist exquisite corpse game, the Infinite Corpse is a multi-branching, neverending webcomic in which anyone is invited to submit their own stylistically-unique three-panel contribution to the saga of a skeleton who will never die. Submissions are reviewed by a panel that will either add the strip to the mix or send a written critique of panelist comments. It is one of the most interesting explorations of webcomics as their own medium I have seen: an ever-growing collaboration by literally hundreds of the best comics artists working today, including Gabrielle Bell, Genevieve Castree, Lilli Carre, Carson Ellis, Alison Bechdel, Andrice Arp, James Sturm, and many, many others. I was thrilled to have my own piece responded to by Art Spiegelman himself. Explore the whole crazy project here as it continues to unfold here and you can find my piece of the puzzle here.
A video collaboration between myself and artist/biologist Andrew Yang is included in dOCUMENTA this year as part of The Worldly House, a multimedia archive compiled by Tue Greenfort exploring interspecies interactions via the writings of Donna Haraway. Included artists include Marina Abramović, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Mark Dion, Eduardo Kac, and many others. dOCUMENTA (13) is open to the public from June 9th through September 16th in Kassel, Germany.
My new foldable paper sculpture, "Future Anthropologies," is included in the exhibition 30 x 30 x 30 at Chiaki Kamikawa Contemporary Art in Paphos, Cyprus this June. A commentary on gigantic works that only handful of artists can make and an exploration of the relationship between small works and the spaces they occupy, this exhibition explores contemporary sculpture within the size constraint of 30 cm square. Participating artists include Christa Donner, Eiko Ishizawa, Lilia Hadjigeorgiou, Chiaki Kamikawa, Aldo Kroese, Mia Lerssi, Arsenty Lysenkov, Efi Savvides, Maria Tsagari. The exhibition runs from June 9 - 23, 2012 with an opening reception on June 9th.
Peek into my working process at The Archival Impulse at Gallery 400, on view Friday, November 4th through December 17th. Curated by Lorelei Stewart, "The Archival Impulse" gathers together works that draw from historical archives, construct new archives in varied collection formats, mine the archives of art history, and generally question the ways in which cultural memory is established, featuring work by artists including Jenny Perlin, Jason Salavon, Conrad Bakker, and many others. I'll be showing a large-scale collage table constructed from never-before exhibited materials used to develop recent work, including hand-held drawings, found materials, interview excerpts and pages torn from fashion magazines and old biology books.
Come check out "CartoonInk! Emerging Comics in Context," an exhibition I just co-curated with fellow artists and comics faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) Jeremy Tinder and Surabhi Ghosh for the beautiful Sullivan Galleries in downtown Chicago.The show brings together boldly idiosyncratic works showcasing the rapidly evolving landscape of contemporary comics. "CartoonInk!" features an international roster of breakout comics artists, among them highly regarded artists with ties to SAIC, including Lilli Carré, Jeffrey Brown, Anders Nilsen, and Chris Ware, as well as current SAIC students setting the scene for what is to come. The exhibition celebrates comics as a unique and vibrant art form, featuring original works on paper, printed and exchangeable multiples, and tactile installations.
"Christa Donner: The Makings of Mutualism" explores two invented cultures living symbiotically with(in) one another as a means to understand the role of biological processes in shaping cultural forms and interpersonal relationships. This solo show includes a series of brand new works on paper, an elaborate diagrammatic wall installation, process sketches, and photo-video documentation from a participatory project initiated on-site with students, involving hand-drawn paper masks and a lot of snow.
I’ll be giving a public lecture at 3pm in the BTC Auditorium followed by an opening reception from 4-6pm. For those of you in Brooklyn or NYC, Troy is about a 3 hour drive (or a 5 hour train excursion) from the city. The show will be on view in the gorgeous two-story galleries of HVCC through March 19th, 2011.
This weekend I'll debut a new site-specific wall collage as part of the exhibition NURSES at Ben Russell. Overtaking the main wall of the space, Nurse/Gnaw is a wrestling-match of self-comforting and -cannibalism. Fourteen variations on the same protagonist take turns nurturing and gnawing on one other in a larger-than-life knot of paper limbs and teeth. NURSES also includes fantastic work by Jacob Ciocci (PaperRad), Ben Fain, Peter Hoffman, and live performance by Andy Positive And His Dissonant Riders.
Ben Russell is located at 1716 S. Morgan in Chicago, IL. Join us for the opening reception this Saturday, November 6th, from 6-9pm. After that, viewings are available by private appointment through December 11th.
I'll give an artist talk on my current projects at BankART 1929 NYK along with fellow artists Park Chan Kook (S. Korea) and Andrew Yang (Chicago, IL) in Yokohama if you happen to be in the greater Tokyo or Yokohama area. The event will be held in BankART's lovely, laid-back bookstore/cafe/event space overlooking the water. This free event starts at 7pm on Friday, July 9th.
You can see the work itself as part of the BankART Summer Open, showcasing the work of nearly 45 artists who have been doing residencies in the space this season. The event kicks off with a big party + performances on July 30th and runs through August 5th.
Those of you who are far from Japan but curious to see what I'm up to can follow along on Ihoojin No Me Kara, a blog documenting my process of seeing and making things here.
I am undertaking a two-month project in Japan this summer through a residency at the contemporary arts center BankART NYK, thanks to support from the Asian Cultural Council. Look for new drawings and collaborations with local residents to initiate a series of visual remixes and re-interpretations of cultural forms specific to the city of Yokohama, which was the first site in Japan to open its ports to foreign ships 150 years ago. Exhibition information coming soon.
new site-specific work will be on view in a very different sort of venue this month: I'm constructing an intricate and intimately-scaled paper installation for +medicine cabinet, one of Chicago's smallest and best experimental art venues, located in the bathroom of 3216 S. Morgan Street alongside its sister gallery, the Second Bedroom Project Space, which features Jim Zimpel's new body of work based on the tools and constructions of his grandfather.
Gallery hours are irregular and by appointment only, so come to the opening reception on Friday, February 12th from 7pm - 11pm to see the work live and in person!
My newest paper installation is now on view at the Museum Bellerive in Zurich, Switzerland as part of the exhibition Scherenschnitte-Kontur pur (Silhouette - Pure contour). The show explores cut paper as an expansion of drawing in international contemporary art, and features incredible work by Swoon, Diana Cooper, Ana Stricka, Hina Aoyama, and many more. Scherenschnitte opens with a reception on November 26th and runs through April 4, 2010.
I'm pleased to be included in this new book of paper awesomeness. Papercraft, published by Die Gestalten Verlag, is a survey of contemporary art and design made with the flexible, ephemeral stuff, exploring everything from small objects to large-scale installations and urban interventions. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy: the hardcover edition includes a DVD of stop-motion animation and printable/foldable multiples.
I've been invited to create a new wall drawing for this show exploring visual resistance in women's health movements. The exhibition features drawing, video, performance and publications by amazing artists like Faith Wilding, the Pink Bloque, Terri Kapsalis, the Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective, and many more.
EveryBody! opens with a crazy-wild subRosa performance on Friday, September 11 and runs until October 10, 2009 at I space in Chicago. There’ll be a companion exhibit at the Women's Resource Center on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana, IL of posters, performance, workshops, and video screenings. And... if you happen to be near Champaign-Urbana, I'll be giving a public lecture there on October 5th. For more info, see HERE.
Just finished a series of multi-plate intaglio etchings with Caladium Editions, thanks to master printer Molly Briggs. You can see detail images and order your print now through Caladium's site HERE.
Want to do a studio visit with me? On Tuesday, March 3, stop by Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art during my eight-hour mini-residency in the Museum's lower entryway. I'll be drawing up a storm, interviewing visitors for an upcoming zine project, screening my recent animation collaboration, and it'd be great to see you there. The event is FREE and I'll be there from 11am - 7pm, so come say hello! For those of you who can't make it out that day, you can get a peek into the studio through the MCA Works in Progress Blog. The Museum is located at 220 E. Chicago Avenue, just a few blocks from the Chicago red line stop and steps from shopping overload on the Magnificent Mile, in case you're looking to make a day of it.
With the support of UIC's BioCultures and Gallery 400, the brilliant Andrew Yang and I put our heads together and curated this exhibition exploring the work of three contemporary artists - Brandon Ballengee, Caitlin Berrigan, and Natalie Jeremijenko - who engage with humans and other organisms to address issues of agency and access within the realm of bio-art. The exhibition also features the Knowledge Virus Research Station, featuring zines, comics, kits, view-master reels, and web projects that disseminate information on biological topics from a variety of creative perspectives. More info and images on the exhibition can be found RIGHT HERE.
I just got back from a trip Finland, where I interviewed local teens for a new project exploring young people's perspectives on illness, injury, and body image in a country where health care is guaranteed. The work was part of this year's ANTI Festival and resulted in a new series of brochures, which were distributed by hand to the people of Kuopio. I've posted images, info and PDFs of the brochures HERE.
This winter I'll debut my newest body of work in Chicago, with this major solo exhibition at ThreeWalls, one of the city's most excellent nonprofit spaces. The exhibition explores issues of fertility, biology and identity through works on paper, large scale wall drawing, animated video, and interview-based zines. Hope to see you there! Want to know more about the work? I'll present an artist talk on the work on Thursday, January 29th.