When engaged in a particular endeavor, it is always encouraging, if not simply enjoyable, to encounter others similarly engaged. While traveling abroad last summer, Proximity Magazine’s publishers and local non-profit gallery managers Ed and Rachel Marszewski met Helsinki-based artist, publisher and gallery manager Jenni Rope. Discovering their mutual interests, the two parties immediately bonded—a bond that has recently borne an exhibition here in Chicago; including works by Rope, her publishing company Napa Books and a few Finnish compatriots.
The show centers around its namesake work, “My Forest,” an installation of thirty-two paintings in various media on panel. The appealing paintings attract in the same way a neat, well-designed package can send us clamoring for the products—at least the quality—supposedly manifest by the products contained therein (an attractiveness Scandinavians seem to generate with unsurpassed facility). In this respect they resemble endeavors by Chicago designer and artist Cody Hudson. Like some of his work, Rope’s paintings rely more upon the shapes of their supports, and their relationships to each other, than whatever in particular may be happening inside. The term ‘installation’ is not used arbitrarily here; it would be awkward to call any given painting a picture. Instead, they function cumulatively as components of a much larger “picture” while, ultimately, any sense of representation remains a matter for the individual imagination. (Nate Lee)
Through November 1 at Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3219 S. Morgan.