The Particular Poetics of Things: Featuring work by Rana Siegel, Nazafarin Lotfi, Tina Tahir and Neha Vedpathak

November 13 - December 17, 2016

Utilizing highly personal and intuitive approaches to a post-Minimalist vocabulary, each of these artists transforms mundane materials into strikingly poetic visual forms.

This exhibition is guest curated by Anastasia Tinari.


GOLDFINCH is pleased to present "The Particular Poetics of Things," a group exhibition of works by four artists whose site-responsive practices balance an architectural command of space, form, and material with an abiding interest in surface description and the passage of time. Utilizing highly personal and intuitive approaches to a post-Minimalist vocabulary, each of these artists transforms mundane materials into strikingly poetic visual forms. The exhibition is curated by Anastasia Karpova Tinari.

Rana Siegel's "ice works" compactly illustrate the interest in temporality, transience and fragility shared by all four artists. Consisting of elegantly looped strips of ribbon or fabric held in place by blocks of ice, Siegel's small-scale sculptures will slowly dissolve and transform over the course of the gallery's initial open hours. After the ice melts, the fabric strips will remain, their placement in space no longer supported by a frozen armature but instead determined solely by the forces of gravity and dissolving liquid.

Alchemical transformation of everyday materials is also central to the art of Nazafarin Lotfi, who constructs richly-layered abstract works from newspaper, cardboard, or cast-off items. Intimately-scaled and absent of specific narrative points of reference, her sculptures' muted palettes and time-worn textures speak instead to the ways in which history and memory accumulate and/or inscribe themselves upon the surface of things over time.

Temporal metamorphosis is likewise enacted in-and activated through-Tina Tahir's floor piece, which is composed of fragrant spices and brightly colored pigment laid out in decorative patterns like an Oriental rug. Drawing her audience in with ornamental seduction, Tahir lays out designs based on opium poppies and armament graphics meant to suggest socio-political subtexts that have fragmented the Middle East and led to its exploitation by the West. As in all of Tahir's installations, the audience will eventually be invited to walk on the floor piece, physically dispersing and muddying its rich surface decoration.

The "plucked paper" that Neha Vedpathak uses to sculpt her architectonic works is a delicately textured, lace-like material the artist creates herself by separating the fibers of hand-made Japanese paper. This labor-intensive, meditative technique is central to Vedpathak's practice of intuitively responding to organic materials like paper, stone, and earth. For this exhibition, Vedpathak has created a site-specific intervention that mirrors and disrupts Goldfinch's architectural environment in ways that highlight the raw yet refined nature of the gallery space.


Artist Bios:

Nazafarin Lotfi is a visual artist and educator based in Chicago. Born in Iran, she received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and her BA from the University of Tehran in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include: Poiesis at Fernwey Gallery, Chicago; White Light at Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago; Love at Last Sight at Brand New Gallery, Milan; Circles at Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago. Recent group shows include: Resonant Objects at Logan Center Exhibitions and Arts Incubator, Chicago; Century Safe, Roman Suzan Gallery, Chicago; The Annual, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago; Works on Floor, Heaven Gallery, Chicago. In 2015-2016, Lotfi was awarded an artist residency at the Department of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago. She currently teaches at Harold Washington College and College of DuPage.


Rana Siegel is an artist and food writer whose visual art practice is rooted in a tactile language of form making, a responsive process that is accumulative and gestural. The output are material orchestrations, formal configurations linked to time and place. Her work has been exhibited in and around the Chicago area as well as in Beirut. Rana holds an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in Crafts from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.


Tina Tahir works in a variety of media. Her work explores the concept of impermanence. Tahir's temporal installations were shown, amongst others, at Gallery 400, the Hyde Park Art Center, Threewalls, Ballroom Projects, all in Chicago, Paul Watkins Gallery, Winona, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and SCA Contemporary Art & Artlab, Albuquerque. She received an MFA in Studio from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tahir was the recipient of the ArtSlant Prize 2015 Second Prize. Tahir is represented by Kasia Kay Art Projects in Chicago.


Neha Vedpathak was born in India and received her five-year graduate diploma in painting from Abhinav Kala Maha Vidyalaya in Pune, India. Vedpathak is a multidisciplinary artist known for her inventive and original process-based practice. Vedpathak is a keen observer of her surroundings and has a deep connection to her materials. Vedpathak is currently represented by N'Namdi Contemporary (Miami), Lisa Sette Gallery (Phoenix), and The Nevica Project (Chicago). She has been a resident artist at Skopelos Foundation for the Arts, Bharat Bhavan Graphic Studio, Spiro Arts, Anderson Ranch Art Center, and CAMAC. Vedpathak recently moved to Detroit, Michigan and maintains a studio there.



Anastasia Karpova Tinari is an art historian, curator, and writer. As Director of Rhona Hoffman Gallery, she works closely with contemporary artists Derrick Adams, Julia Fish, Deana Lawson, Judy Ledgerwood, John Preus, Michael Rakowitz, Anne Wilson, and others. Previously, Anastasia was a Curatorial Fellow at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Coordinator for UIC's Museum and Education Studies program, and worked at the National Gallery of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Anastasia is a Curatorial Fellow at Acre Residency & Exhibitions and regular contributor to Newcity and The Seen.