Exhibition features paintings by Chicago artists

The Peter Paul Luce Gallery will host a painting exhibition by two Chicago artists from Jan. 21–March 4, 2018.

The opening reception is Friday, Jan. 26, 4–6 p.m. in McWethy Hall on the Cornell College campus.

Art by Cole Pierce '00
Art piece by Cole Pierce ’00

Cole Pierce ’00 received his master of fine arts from Northwestern University and a bachelor of special studies in art and sociology from Cornell College. He has recently exhibited at Heaven Gallery, THE MISSION, PArC Lima, and Roman Susan. He received Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events grants in 2016 and 2017 and was an Association of Icelandic Visual Artists resident in Reykjavík, Iceland. In 2016 he completed his first major public work, a 60 foot by 11 foot mural in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Art by Michael Hedges
Art piece by Michael Hedges

Michael Hedges was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. While in high school he spent two years studying at the Art Institute of Chicago before going on to receive his bachelor of arts in studio art from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1998. Since graduation, Hedges has been exhibiting and selling his artwork throughout the Chicago area. In addition to gallery exhibitions, his work hangs permanently in public collections throughout Chicago and Iowa.

Pierce and Hedges both explore the language of abstraction in their work, while approaching the process of painting very differently.

Pierce implements a relief painting process by stenciling geometric-based grids and applying several bold gradients of acrylic. The stencil is removed to reveal rigid layers of accumulated paint that have formed triangular, square, and circular-shaped patterning across the canvas. Although his use of geometry is informed by the Op Art movement of the late 20th century, he dedicates his practice to confronting the expectations of the errorless, measured precedent set by Op Art. Subtle inconsistencies and evident brushstrokes violate this expected, calculated abstraction and lend itself toward a more unpredictable form.

In Hedges’ work the paint is applied with great bursts of energy, creating a surface that is supercharged with texture and color. He works on multiple surfaces, usually around 10 at the same time. This approach allows him to quickly build the energy that is critical to creating intense color relationships, balanced by form and texture.

This exhibit is sponsored by the Cornell College Department of Art and Art History, and the Peter Paul Luce Gallery Programming Fund.

For more information contact: Sue Coleman, scoleman@cornellcollege.edu.