Not Just Another Pretty Face 2019

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Karen Reimer: Shoretime Spaceline

Before Hyde Park Art Center existed on its current site, the location was inhabited by the Chicago Beach Hotel (1892-1927). The grand estate was built to host travelers for the 1893 Columbian Exposition and was said to contain land “enhanced” or fabricated by the developer after dredging sand from Lake Michigan, dumping it on shore, and claiming it. Bricks from the turreted hotel were unearthed during the remodeling of the Art Center’s building in 2006, breathing new life into this Chicago lore.

Inspired by this history of the Art Center’s location, fiber artist Karen Reimer made a site-specific large-scale installation of fabric and sand to distort our perception of the horizon much like the disappearance of lake into land over a century ago. Over 200 yards of hand-dyed indigo fabric divides the gallery into parts not visible at once. From the gallery floor, the fabric resembles a stylized  sky overhead. The experience of the same fabric from atop the Jackman Goldwasser Catwalk turns sky into an ascending wave of water on the cusp of washing over our feet. Far off in the distance, an image of the hotel hovers on the horizon line and displaces the original site of the hotel yet again, as if history is repeating itself. The installation conflates time and space, where directions are reversed (water hangs over air) and present experiences are based on a location’s architectural past.

  • May 22, 2016 – August 13, 2016
  • Gallery 1

This exhibition is partially supported by Chauncey and Marion Deering McCormick Foundation, Hyde Park Art Center’s Chuck Fund, Deone Jackman, Gretchen Pfuetze, Patricia K. Swanson, Chuck Thurow, and anonymous donors.

Karen Reimer: Shoretime Spaceline

About Karen Reimer

Karen Reimer (b. 1958, Newton, KS) examines the relationships between beauty, value, and meaning by exploiting the tensions between copy and original, object and process, and fine art and domestic craft. She received a Masters in Fine Art from the University of Chicagoand a Bachelor of Art from Bethel College. Reimer is a longtime Chicago artist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous spaces including the Memphis College of Art, Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland), Kohler Art Center, De Appel Art Center (Amsterdam) and locally at the Chicago Cultural Center and Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago) to name a few.  In 2001 Reimer collaborated with Constance Bacon on a large site-specific installation titled Cold Comfort at Hyde Park Art Center’s facility, then located at the former Del Prado Hotel, 5307 Hyde Park Blvd. In  Shoretime Spaceline (2016) Reimer reconnects with the previous site, her history and the hotel history on the South Side by repurposing the fabric used to line the 1,200 square foot gallery in that 2001 installation. Karen Reimer is represented by Monique Meloche Gallery.

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