September 12 – October 17, 2020
Curated by Elizabeth Lalley
Goldfinch is pleased to present “A mirror, a dish, a window,” a group show of works by Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas-O’Neal, Lesley Jackson, James Kao, Minami Kobayashi, Emily Sher, and Ann Toebbe.
Through a range of media, these six artists explore the intimate landscape of interior space. From functional objects to paintings and photography, the works wend through rooms, objects, and everyday gestures, revealing the emotional and psychological resonance of domestic surroundings and the “stuff” accumulated within them. The strangeness of time, as it often exists when we are lost in thought or fall into familiar rhythms, is explored here as nonlinear, layered, and personal—measured by our private rituals, and experienced through daydreams, memories, and moments of stillness. Together, these artists ask us to consider moments of intimacy and mystery that exist within our interiors, as well as the deep ties between our inner lives and the rooms in which we spend our days.
about the artists:
Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas-O’Neal
LINKS TO further readings, media + inspirations, by artist
Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas-O’Neal:
Meshes of the Afternoon, 1943. Maya Derren’s 14 min experimental film
The Kitchen Table Series. Carrie Mae Weems,1990
Dark Space: Architecture, Representation, Black Identity. Mario Gooden. Columbia University Press, 2016.
Practice of Everyday Life, Volume 2: Living and Cooking. Michel de Certeau, Luce Giard, Pierre Mayol
From Chapter 13, Gesture Sequences: “A succession of gestures and steps, repeated and required. Inside: to the kitchen to prepare; from the kitchen to the dining room to serve and eat, getting up constantly to run and check the things on the grill or to fetch the mustard missing from the table; from the dining room to the kitchen to dear away the dishes; once again in the kitchen to wash and put things away. Outside: from the house to the market, to the grocery store, the bakery, the butcher shop, the wine shop; then back to the house, arms full of shopping bags. On the way, you pass a young woman even more heavily laden than you and who mumbles to no one in particular: “I’m just the family packhorse. All I do is carry, carry, carry.” Inside: to the kitchen to empty the bags; put away the groceries; wrap up the things to be put in the refrigerator; note down the expenses, check the change and the receipts. Sit down, finally.”
Zakkiyyah Najeebah Dumas-O’Neal is a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, and independent curator. Her work is most often initiated by personal and social histories related to family legacy, queerness, community making, intimacy, and Audre Lorde’s naming of “the erotic.” Her practice borrows from visual traditions such as social portraiture, video assemblage, collage, and found images. Her work seeks to reinforce a different kind of gaze (and gazing) enacted through empathy, desire, love, connectedness, and longing. Zakkiyyah has been included in numerous group exhibitions and has had several solo exhibitions. She has also curated exhibitions at spaces such as Chicago Art Department, Blanc Gallery and Washington Park Arts Incubator at the University of Chicago. She currently holds the 2019- 20 Jackman Goldwasser Residency at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago. Zakkiyyah is also a co-founder of CBIM (Concerned Black Image Makers): a collective driven project that prioritizes shared experiences and concerns by lens-based artists of the black diaspora.
Lesley Jackson (American, b. 1990) lives and works in Chicago, IL. She received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Notable exhibitions include Murmurs Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Andrew Rafacz Gallery (Chicago, IL), Greenlease Gallery (Kansas City, MO), Hotel Art Pavilion (New York, NY), Bar4000 (Chicago, IL), Efrain Lopez Gallery (Chicago, IL), Chicago Artist Coalition (Chicago, IL), Forth Ward Project Space (Chicago, IL), Heaven Gallery (Chicago, IL), and NADA Art Fair with Hotel Art Pavilion (2020, 2018) and SPF15 (2016).
James Kao is a Chicago-based artist who makes paintings and drawings. Selected one-person exhibitions include Do it cuz you love it, China Projects, San Francisco, CA; Possible Worlds, Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA; Domestics, Adds Donna, Chicago, IL; Ways of Worldmaking, Lloyd Dobler Gallery, Chicago, IL, and Starlight, boundary, Chicago, IL. He has attended various artist residencies including: Marina Abramovic Institute-West, San Francisco, CA; White Mountain National Forest Artist in Residence, Center Sandwich, NH; Catwalk Institute, Catwalk, NY; The Alfred and Trafford Klots International Program for Artists, Lehon, France; Trélex Residency, Trélex, Switzerland; and Montello Foundation, Montello, NV.
He is co-founder and co-director of 4th Ward Project Space in Chicago, IL. He holds M.F.A. and B.F.A. degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. He has taught courses in painting and drawing at Indiana University Northwest, Dominican University, Ox-Bow School of Art, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is Associate Professor of Art at Aurora University in Aurora, IL.
Minami Kobayashi (b.1989, Japan) is a Japanese artist currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York, and London, UK. She makes figurative egg tempera paintings that evoke a sense of intimacy and mystery through their depictions of ordinary people, animals, and places that seem vaguely surreal and slightly off- kilter. She has had solo exhibitions at Goldfinch (Chicago) and Baby Blue Gallery (Chicago) and has exhibited in group shows at Goldfinch (Chicago), Chautauqua Institution (New York), Western Exhibitions (Chicago), Jeannievent Gallery (London), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, 3331 Arts Chiyoda (Tokyo), and numerous other venues. Kobayashi’s work has been featured in publications such as NewCity (review, February 2019), Artmaze magazine, Saatchi Art (Invest in Art Report 2018) and Frase Got Talent Italy. Upcoming exhibitions and projects will be held at Kate’s little angel (Los Angeles), Setouchi International Triennale 2019 (Japan), and Dongdaemun Design Plaza (South Korea). She holds an MFA in Painting and Drawing from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (2018) and a BFA in Painting from Tokyo University of the Arts (2016).
Emily Sher (b. 1990 Chicago, Illinois) works in service and clay. Last year she combined both in a show called “Pervert’s Harvest” at Tusk in collaboration with Mary Eleanor Wallace, Mac Parsons, and Sofia Macht. She was also featured in Sofia Macht’s solo exhibition Aidōs at Adds Donna. She has a BA in Cultural Studies from Eugene Lang, has mostly worked in restaurants, and is currently learning about flowers and floral design at Field & Florist.
Ann Toebbe grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio prior to earning her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art . She furthered her education with an MFA at Yale University and at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She was awarded a DAAD grant at the Universität der Kunst, Berlin, Germany. Based in Chicago, Toebbe has had solo exhibitions at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Tibor De Nagy Gallery, Steven Zevitas Gallery and Monya Rowe Gallery.