2011 Chicago NEXT Fair

Balloon is pleased to announce its participation in the 2011 Chicago NEXT Fair, April 28th through May 2nd, after successful recent presentations at New York Modernism, Palm Springs Modernism, and the Dallas Art fair.

Balloon’s presentation (Booth #29) will include recent projects across a range of media from the artists Osvaldo Romberg, Fraser Taylor, Ben Fain, Sara Schnadt , Glenn Wexler, and the British designer Karen Ryan, who has completed a new body of work, Bodies, which will be presented as part of the NEXT Projects Space.

For the duration of the NEXT Fair, Balloon, has invited the Carroll Street curatorial project, New Capital, to take over Balloon’s home space on the 17th Floor of the Merchandise Mart, where they will present recent projects that interplay and interfere with the current Converso design installations.

Osvaldo Romberg, fresh from the Latin America Focus at the NY Armory Show, will present a major new painting, Untitled (After Poussin), a work which explores the collapse of the two major paradigms of painting, abstraction and figuration, through the myth of Thisbe and Pyramus, the basis of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The work’s submerged themes of desire, fate, and Latin American identity will be contextualized by a special screening of video work from Romberg's Theater of Transparency, currently being released by the Slought Foundation, in conjunction with ZKM and the Neue Galerie Graz.

British critical designer, Karen Ryan, presents a new collection of objects, Bodies, along with two examples of her iconic form, In the Woods. Subverting Modernist design narratives, Ryan engages in a slow design process that starts with a regional analysis of objects already in distribution and use. Concerned with the marginalized and discarded, Ryan searches for objects that bear the scars of their histories and use, suggesting relations, both formal and autobiographical, to absent bodies, problematizing notions of the domestic and its relation to the feminine.

The Scottish artist, Fraser Taylor, who works across painting, sculpture, and new media, will introduce a fresh cycle of paintings, Peculiarities, in process since 2007 and now completed especially for NEXT. Earlier cycles, Bulk, Cul de Sac, and Black Flowers conflated the body with Scottish topographies and architectures, organic plant life, gesture, and the decaying space between construction and demolition. Peculiarities turns to a more straightforward concern with the male nude, continuing to evidence a tension and frustration with painting, expressed through an agitated surface, leaving uncovered the collaged photographic and drawing elements often submerged and overworked in past work.

Parade interventionist, Ben Fain, presents photographs of floats constructed as part of his most recent project, The Doors of Life, which explores the unresolved, recent death of the wealthiest citizen of Chesterhill, Ohio. The project was publicly introduced several weeks ago as part of Monique Meloche’sWinter Experiment 2011 series in a discussion moderated by Threewalls ' Shannon Stratton, available online at Bad at Sports.

Sara Schnadt, who recently exhibited at MOCAD as part Spatial City: An Architecture of Idealism, will present Connectivity (Condensed), mutating an unintentionally destroyed installation exhibited at the Busan Biennale which explored the density and patterns of global connectivity. Also presented will be photography from her recent project with What It Is, Domestic Intervention, exploring and imaging the intersections of domestic and virtual spaces through a massive, month long colonization of the interior and exterior of the Oak Park home of curator Tom Burtonwood.

Chicago artist, Glenn Wexler, who uses industrial signage and graphics techniques to document the fleeting moments and narratives unfolding within the rapidly developing urban landscapes of the present moment, presents highly finished, photographic images that capture transitory and personal impressions from his journeys through the cityscapes of Asia.