Cauleen Smith: 17

Gallery 2

Wall Paper Purple CropMost known for her film, video, and performance work, award-winning artist and Art Center student Cauleen Smith introduces printmaking into her repertoire with the site-specific installation at Hyde Park Art Center. The show, titled 17, will feature approximately 260 feet of hand screen-printed wallpaper. The exhibition title references many facets of arts and culture traditions from ancient history to the modern day, arising out of Smith’s meditations on the number’s spiritual significance as a marker of immortality, as well a number of noteworthy cultural and historical facts and figures featuring the number itself.

The new wallpaper installation arises out of Smith’s research into the legacy of Sun Ra, who was himself a student of numerology and achieved a kind of cultural immortality the number 17 might be said to refer to.

The work debuting in 17 is especially engaged with Smith’s printmaking process, with the exhibition’s title riffing on the number of patterns that intersect to make wallpaper print a consistent image. The work also arises out of Smith’s research into the legacy of Sun Ra, who was himself a student of numerology and achieved a kind of cultural immortality the number 17 might be said to refer to. Smith produced this new series of screen prints with techniques she acquired from participating in a printmaking class at the Hyde Park Art Center under the instruction of printmaker, Elke Claus.

About the artist:
Cauleen Smith
received a BA from San Francisco State University and a MFA from UCLA’s School of Theater-Television-Film.  A prominent voice in Chicago’s artist landscape, Smith presented simultaneous exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and ThreeWalls in 2012. She has received grants from the Film Arts Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. Recent awards include “Outstanding Artists” by the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture and “Someone to Watch Award” from the Independent Spirit Awards. Her art works have been exhibited at The Kitchen, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, LA County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, as well as international and domestic festivals. She was an resident artist at the Black Metropolis Research Consortium and the Experimental Sound Studio and was on faculty at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.  Currently, Smith is a visiting artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an Arts + Public Life/Center for the Study of Race Politics and Culture Artist-in-Residence at the University of Chicago.

Image: Cauleen Smith, 17 (detail), 2013, screen print, dimensions variable