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R.H. Quaytman Opens Show At Renaissance Society Tonight

By Julia Weeman in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 6, 2013 8:00PM

2013_01_06_rensoc.png New York-based artist R.H. Quaytman creates work that Art in America aptly describes as "confections for the eye and puzzles for the mind." She describes her installations of painted panels as "chapters" that are part of a system she has created that determines what content is in each.

Her work is layered, both in a literal sense of process and in the sense that each work contains a complexity that unfolds as you are drawn into the work. Her paint on easel-size plywood panels is followed by silkscreened photographs or images pulled from archives. A close examination of her work unravels the information that lies in each chapter. The images referenced in her work range from personal and autobiographical content to scientific, institutional, and art historical material. A rule in her system dictates that each chapter relates to the site where it was first exhibited.

For this exhibition, Quaytman has researched the history of the Renaissance Society from the 1970s and 80s, when museum director Suzanne Ghez was "presenting important early exhibitions of conceptual art at the beginning of her internationally influential career." Quaytman's approach to painting has been influenced by many of the artists shown by Ghez and Anne Rorimer, one of the first historians and curators of conceptual art. Quaytman is especially interested in Ghez and Rorimer's friendship and has also included teaching slides by Chicago architect John Vinci, another longtime collaborator with Ghez and Rorimer.

Passing Through the Opposite of What it Approaches, Chapter 25 opens today at The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago. The opening reception is from 4 - 7 p.m. and includes an artist talk in Kent Hall, Room 120 at 5 p.m. The exhibition runs through February 17 and museum hours are Tuesday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday from noon-5 p.m. at 5811 S. Ellis Avenue, Bergman Gallery, Cobb Hall 418.