a contemporary art gallery in Chicago
Chanel Chiffon Thomas: Fractured Reality
Chanel Chiffon Thomas: Fractured Reality

Chanel Chiffon Thomas: Fractured Reality

January 13 – February 23, 2019

Opening Reception Sunday, January 13, 3-6pm

Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “Care Package,” 2018, embroidery floss, wire, bible pieces on fabrics, 20 x 25 inches.


In Gallery II, Goldfinch proudly presents Fractured Reality, an exhibition of embroidered mixed media paintings by Chanel Thomas (born 1991, Chicago, IL, currently lives and works in New Haven, CT). The narrative imagery in Thomas’ richly textured pieces is sourced from family archives, personal memories, and cultural references from the artist’s formative years. Scenes from family photographs are deconstructed into sketches and then built back up with colorful fibers, stitch by stich. A sense of texture and dimensionality is achieved through the varying weights of thread, which are sometimes densely layered and other times sparse. In Thomas’s works, domestic scenes appear to shift in and out of focus, resulting in visceral collisions of abstraction and clarity that invite viewers to decode the fraught relations between memory and reality, visibility and understanding. 
Chanel Chiffon Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist working with hand embroidered mixed media paintings and ceramic sculpture. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Art Education from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2014. Thomas began her career as an educator, teaching in Chicago Public Schools from 2014-2017. She was a 2018 resident at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine, and is currently pursuing a Master Fine Art degree in Painting at Yale University. Since 2010, Thomas has participated in group exhibitions around Chicago, including projects at Gene Siskel Film Center, Museum of Science and Industry, Roots & Culture, South Side Community Art Center, and Woman Made Gallery. Recently, she had her first solo exhibitions at Roman Susan in Chicago, and will participate in forthcoming exhibitions in spring 2019 at Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Chicago, IL, and Dorsky Gallery in Queens, New York.


Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “A mother who had no mother,” 2018, embroidery floss, acrylic paint, and canvas on window screen, 57 x 44.5 inches.
Installation view of “Chanel Chiffon Thomas: Fractured Reality.” Photo by Daniel Hojnacki.
Installation view of “Fractured Reality.” Photo by Daniel Hojnacki.
Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “Fresh,” 2018, plastic mesh, fabric, chalk pastel, acrylic, embroidery floss, thread, 37 x 52 inches.


Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “Mastered,” 2018, fabric, embroidery floss, metal window screen mesh, thread, wood, 36 x 23 inches.


Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “Colossians 3:9,” 2018, fabric, acrylic paint, foam, window screen, embroidery floss, chalk pastel, 93 x 56 inches.
Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “RRR (Reaffirm, Refine, Resourcefully),” 2018, plastic window mesh, lace fabric, embroidery floss, fabric.
Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “Jeremiah 17:9,” 2018, metal window screen mesh, acrylic paint, embroidery floss, 15 x 6 x 6 inches.
Chanel Chiffon Thomas, “A new dad,” 2017, embroidery thread and fabric, 11.5 x 12 inches.