Linda Warren Projects kicks off the summer season with three luminous and illuminating exhibitions by three noteworthy and powerful Chicago-based painters. These artists’ visual languages explore the nature of objects and aesthetics as they relate to popular culture, art history, and our own conciseness. Drawing from humor, cartoons, and irony, each artist borrows imagery that is unique, yet universal, and aims at recollecting memories and identity.
Gallery X - Chris Cosnowski, I Love Humanity This Much
Known for his hyper-realistic paintings of mass-produced toys and trophies, Cosnowski once again awes us with his immaculate painting style and ironclad irony. His paintings aim to recall the aggrandizing effects of classical art and instill the banal subject matter with a heroic sense.
Cosnowski writes: “Through these aspects, my paintings riff on the role ‘ideal’ form has played throughout the history of art. In addition to this notion of the ideal, the subjects are mass-produced tchotchkes which relate the work to Pop Art. Also, the monochromatic backgrounds allow the work to reference minimalist and color-field painting. Ultimately, I’m a closet minimalist who creates Neo-Classicist Pop-Art.”
“… His subject matter is small: little toys, plastic knickknacks and tiny figurines. ‘I just thought it would be funny,’ he explains. ‘I remember I stayed up all night painting my first one. The next morning, I sat back and thought, ‘What’s so funny about this?’ I realized these images are great because they really capture our society. There is a subtle sense of celebrity and victory in each of them.’”- Newcity, Maria Girgenti
Through his savagely witty titles, Cosnowski creates a platform for discourse. Like his self-reflecting trophies, he invites us to acknowledge and accept our cultural behavior. By elevating the status of the toss-away, Cosnowski creates icons of the rather mundane. Regardless of their titles or irony, each of these lonesome subjects still evokes nostalgia and reminds us to celebrate our achievements and flaws.
Chris Cosnowski has exhibited widely throughout the country. Recent exhibitions include “SUPER-ficial,” a retrospective of the artist’s work mounted at the South Shore Arts Center in Munster, IN; and “American Metal,” a solo exhibition at Lyonswier Gallery in New York. He has also exhibited in such venues as Dolby-Chadwick Gallery in San Francisco, the Evanston Art Center, Hyde Park Art Center, and the Chicago Cultural Center, amongst many others. Cosnowski was also featured twice on the cover of New American Paintings. The artist received his MFA in Painting and Drawing from Northwestern University, and is currently a faculty member at the American Academy of Art in Chicago.