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Split Difference

September 28, 2015

Split Difference, a group exhibition featuring the work of Chicago-based artists Dan Gunn, Sterling Lawrence, Arianna Petrich, and Min Song, to open Friday, October 2, in the historic Mallers Building, parallel to the first Chicago Architecture Biennial

Organized by Samantha Topol for Original Features, Split Difference presents the work of Chicago-based artists Dan Gunn, Sterling Lawrence, Arianna Petrich, and Min Song, whose work navigates a continuum between image, sculpture, and functional object. Situated in the landmark Mallers Building on Jewelry Row, the exhibition draws on the history of its context by exploring works that push and pull at the conventional boundaries of design and sculpture. While these artists depart from different training and concerns, their objects share a resistance to easy categorization. Their material handling challenges, expands, and frustrates the expectations of painting, sculpture and utility. All of the artists have produced new work, which will be exhibited here for the first time here.

These Chicago artists seen together gains particular relevance in the larger context of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, opening to the public October 3 at the Chicago Cultural Center and other locations around the city. While the Biennial will elaborate international concerns and developments in the fields of architecture and design, this exhibition references the vernacular of design, yet steers the conversation toward more undetermined ends. The work of these artists approaches the nature of objects with a hybrid or multiple position, across and in between disciplines.

The exhibition opening reception will be held from 6-8pm Friday, October 2, and will be open for public viewing 11am-3pm each Saturday in October and by appointment. There will be a panel discussion with the artists on Saturday, October 24 at 2pm.

Original Features is a project-driven collaboration founded by Samantha Topol and Benjamin Chaffee in 2011. Working in relation to the needs and interests of peers, Original Features encourages formal inventiveness, situational responsiveness, and connections across wide-ranging discourse. Samantha Topol organized this exhibition and wrote the exhibition essay, which will be available online when the exhibition opens.

Dan Gunn is an artist, writer and educator living and working in Chicago. He received an MFA in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Recent exhibitions include Impromptu Airs, a solo exhibition at Monique Meloche Gallery and New American Paintings Midwest Survey at the Elmhurst Art Museum.

Sterling Lawrence is an artist living and working in Chicago. He received his MFA in 2011 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently an instructor in the Print Media Department at SAIC. He has exhibited in Chicago with Document Gallery, Tony Wight Gallery, Devening Projects, New Capital via Forever and Always Gallery, and outside

Chicago at Soloway Gallery in Brooklyn, Scotty Enterprises in Berlin, Pacific Northwest College of Art Portland OR, and Launch F-18. in New York.

Arianna Petrich is an artist and designer whose materially-driven work looks at the instability of meaning in objects and situations, particularly those that allow for a generative misreading. Her work has been deeply shaped by her experiences in New Orleans and India, where flexibility, economy, and adaptability are key virtues. Her work has been featured in publications including the New York Times, Surface Magazine, Design Milk, Refinery 29, Architectural Digest, and the Times of India. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Tulane University.

Min Song received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003 and an MFA from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011. Solo exhibitions include Tromp l’Oeil Depression at Young Art, Los Angeles; Small Scale Lifestyles at Seerveld Gallery, Palos Heights; Small Scale Lifestyles II at Happy Collaborationist, Chicago; and Min Song at Michael Jon, Miami. She worked as a Co-Director at Julius Caesar, a project space in Chicago, IL from 2011-2013, and has been an instructor at the School of the Art Institute and Northwestern University.

WITH SPECIAL THANKS to Jay Richman at Spectrum Properties, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Benjamin Chaffee, Michael Savona, Greg Ruffing, Michelle Puetz, Sibylle Friche, Billy Joyce, Karolina Gnatowski, Savannah Jubic, Eala O’Se, and Joey Scher. 

Earlier Event: August 22
LUMA at 10: Greatest Hits
Later Event: December 3
Found / Made