It’s been nearly a hundred years since the Weimar Bauhaus sought to remove the class distinctions that put a barrier between craftsman and artist. Walking into the “Time and Materials” exhibition at Manifold, it’s clear to see how the art/design, craft/production dualities are still communicating, perhaps not across class lines but along ideological ones.
Formerly operating as metal+works in Pilsen for ten years, Ross and Elizabeth Fiersten relocated their manufacturing workshop to a Ravenswood storefront, paired it with a gallery, and renamed it Manifold. Their new exhibition, “Time and Materials,” was conceived as a reflection on the way precise measurements could lead to uncertain outcomes. The show features new works by the Fierstens and Manifold workshop residents Bridgette Buckley Studio and Merkled Studio, as well as a specially commissioned artwork by James Jankowiak.
Jankowiak’s wallpaper, composed of one-inch masking tape, alternates color-black-color. The floor-to-ceiling installation of hypnotic mutations of shape and color is like graffiti grown-up and domesticated. The wallpaper frames whimsical furniture pieces, such as Merkled Studio’s office chair turned saddle. Many of the so-called functional objects are noticeably handcrafted, sometimes confrontationally so, with materials like rough fabric, wood, and metal uncleanly exposed. The Manifold showroom provokes the distinction of “a finished object.” (Jason Kreke)
Through October 5 at Manifold, 4426 North Ravenswood
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