Through drawings, paintings, artists’ books, installation and media works, this survey exhibition curated by Jessica Cochran will consider and contextualize Deborah Boardman’s vibrant career as an artist primarily working in Chicago over three decades. Deeply committed to the expressive potential of color, pattern and text, she employed a uniquely gestural approach to drawing and hand lettering that both distinguished her work and connected it reciprocally to the output of her closest contemporaries and students. Most recently, her installations, writing, recordings and drawings generously explored her psychic and physical vulnerabilities in the face of cancer. Shortly before Boardman’s death in 2015, art critic Lori Waxman wrote that her recent work grappled with the “unseen” and “ineffable,” articulating “what life looks like in that gracious limbo between life and death.”
About Deborah Boardman
Deborah Boardman (1958 – 2015) was born in Salem and raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She received her MFA from Tufts University in 1987. She lived in Chicago for 28 years with her husband and two sons, working out of an Edgewater studio and teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since 1997. In addition to numerous exhibitions, residencies and projects in Chicago and the United States at venues such as the Chicago Cultural Center, Experimental Sound Studio, Arizona State University and Cornell University, Boardman mounted projects internationally in cities that include Bangalore, India and Tabor, Czech Republic. Her artist’s books have been collected widely and are included in special collections at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Harvard University, Boston Public Library and numerous others.
About Jessica Cochran
Jessica is an independent curator and educator interested in social practice, and the history and theory of curatorial practice. She is currently the Director of Finance and Operations at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, and a lecturer in the Department of Arts Administration and Policy at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Art & Field is Cochran’s collection and curatorial management advisory which includes the Rodney Lubeznik Collection, Balyasny Asset Management, and the Evanston Art Center. Her curatorial projects have been extensively throughout Chicago, including shows at the Contemporary Arts Council, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Franklin.