JEFFREY TEUTON & MEGAN STROECH
if this is as good as it gets, then i guess i’m ok with that
September 16 - October 21, 2017
September 16, 2017, 7-9pm
(Chicago - August 10, 2017)
Stuart & Co. Gallery is pleased to announce if this is as good as it gets, then i
guess i’m ok with that, an exhibition of new works by Jeffrey Teuton and Megan Stroech
in collaboration with ROCKELMANN&, Berlin. The exhibition spotlights flaw and
dysfunction through a lens of humor and wit from two varying perspectives. Playful
mocking of overarching systems of consumerism, patriarchy and class, coupled with
codices spawned from personal struggle and tragedy, empowers viewers to unabashedly
contemplate social and existential turmoil as well as question the nature of contentment
itself. Employing kitsch, cliché, and popular culture as effortlessly as they do shape and
color, Stroech and Teuton transform stories too fragile to be spoken into compositions
filled with intrigue and gusto.
Jeffrey Teuton, influenced by his past architecture studies as well as Ellsworth
Kelly’s minimalist works, stacks found objects and colorful shapes like notes composing
a symphony or bricks defining a building. Teuton equates this process to memory
formation. “I think that when you look at an experience or even your time with a person
you have this pattern and these shapes that when put together, the space and
arrangements are very telling. Often it is a combination of things that lead to a memory,
so the stack is a natural way for that to be expressed," he explains. The candid titles
Teuton chooses often have an ironic contrast with the whimsy of his work, shifting the
viewer’s perceptions until it becomes difficult to tell truth from fiction and comedy from
Works such as Enjoy It While You Have It, Cause It Is Mostly Hard Work and
Shitty illustrate this notion. While a massive pile of brick-colored shapes fill the chasm
between two large, ominous objects, the arrangement of miniature stacks in the lower left
of the composition jump out in stark contrast. Appearing almost as contemporary cairns,
the small stacks of color seem to mark or memorialize some ceremony, path, or burial,
perhaps even commemorating the structure constructed to span the gap.
Similarly, Sunset Over Gas Station, Exit 36, I’m Still Alive, I Am Still Alive
interjects the viewer into a world of unforeseen extremes. With interlinking broad strokes
of color consuming the majority of the composition, a slight glimpse of street lights peak
through to hint at the storyline encoded in the title. We are left to wonder at the events
that took place and whether to be appreciative of what appears to be a peaceful sunset or
terrified by a near-death experience.
Teuton was born and raised in Indiana. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts
from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2004. He currently lives and
works in Indianapolis.
Megan Stroech addresses the relationship of objects to desire, function, and
identity, often incorporating mass produced merchandise and faux materials to comment
on the role that consumerism plays in society. Fascination with slang, puns, clichés, and
malfunction translate effectively into her work through exploring tension between 2D and
3D attributes. “I am particularly interested in the different aspects of failure that occur
within the work, whether it be through dysfunction…or failure of representation through
gesture in mark-making or construction. The faux versions of luxury items utilized in my
work also fail in their imitation of the objects they propose to be. There is often a
perceived humor in the failure of these objects, and this humor can be used as an access
point," she states.
One such example, Throw Shade, loosely reconstructs the form of a window
shade and yet, denies it of its function. The brightly colored canvas and sunflowerpatterned
vinyl is synched with short strings hopelessly out of reach and covering nothing
more than the wall. In this manner the object becomes a gimmick and the irony of the
title’s slang wordplay, set to publicly denounce someone for wronging you, seems to
poke fun at the conventions of the art world.
Similarly, Stroech alludes to the barrage of imagery and trending stories that we
are exposed to on a daily basis and how they affect notions of self. In the work Ought
Knot a tablecloth with a repetitive fruit print cut into an oversized bow simultaneously
provides a nod to the resurgence of 90’s fashion trends implying a longing for times past
while also acting as a strong feminine object, relevant most especially to the current
Stroech was born in 1986 in Corpus Christi, TX. She received her BFA from the
University of Texas at Austin and her MFA in Printmaking from Illinois State University
in 2012. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Maintaining a contemporary vision, Stuart & Co. Gallery strives to represent
emerging and mid-career artists at the forefront of expression. Since its inception in 2012,
Stuart & Co. Gallery has been home to innovative, pioneering exhibitions across a
multitude of media and genres. The gallery embraces multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary
and cross-genre art forms in addition to traditional practices.
Please join Stuart & Co. Gallery for the opening reception of if this is as good as
it gets, then i guess i’m ok with that on Saturday, September 16th, from 7-9pm.
For more information please contact Britney Lipton at (312) 487-1850 or via
email at email@example.com.