Molehill was a site-specific exhibition utilizing the height and darkness particular to this gallery space to create a cavernous environment. Angela Altenhofen used trompe l’oelil printed fabrics combined with oil paint and canvas to make rigid objects (rocks or bricks) into soft forms.

The title alludes to the phrase “making mountains out of molehills,” reminding us not to make a big deal out of small things. With that suggestion, Altenhofen provided a fantasy landscape that allows us to step away from the daily grind and imagine a more peaceful location. A climbing wall and related athletic and technical gear challenged the viewer to ascend to higher ground both physically and mentally.

  • April 24, 2005 – August 13, 2005
  • The Del Prado

Living in the urban setting of Chicago, where skyscrapers form a metaphorical mountain range and the actual experience of climbing remains elusive and is confined to elevators and staircases, I am inspired to create a type of self-theater, where the objective is to play-act an adventure. By superficially disguising existing architecture as “natural” landscape and creating hand-crafted toy props that mimic and interpret real climbing apparatus, I am providing a surrogate imaginary experience that represents a means of escaping contemporary urban life.

–Angela Altenhofen, 2004

About Angela Altenhofen

Angela Altenhofen earned an MFA from the School of the Art Institute, and BFA from the University of Northern Iowa. Her work has been exhibited widely over the past ten years in solo and group shows in the United States and Italy. She has received several awards for her artistic merit, including multiple grants from the City of Chicago, Department of Cultural Affairs.

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