Eleanor Aldrich & Guen Montgomery

December 3 – 28, 2019

Exhibition Reception Saturday, December 7th 6-10pm

Eleanor Aldrich, Black jacket (front), caulking, paper, and screening, 28 in. x 32 in., 2017

Exhibition Statement

In this exhibition, Aldrich and Montgomery in their respective ways grapple with modernism as an aesthetic and cultural force. One that not only has affected their grand-mothers generation but one that has current ramifications for them as female artists. The grid has physical and metaphorical impact for those forced into and through it, and the aesthetics artifacts and influences of the era remain to remind us of the boxes within the grid and how to fit into them.

About the Artists

Eleanor Aldrich

Eleanor Aldrich was born in Springerville, Arizona. A participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, she also holds an MFA in Painting & Drawing from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she currently lives. She earned her BFA in Painting & Drawing through the Academie Minerva (Groningen, the Netherlands) and Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff. She was a participant in the Drawing Center’s first Open Sessions. Eleanor is a co-director of CforCourtside, an artist-run gallery in Knoxville, TN, and works in a long-distance collaboration ALDRICH+WEISSBERGER with the artist Barbara Weissberger. Eleanor has had solo shows in Boston, Nashville, Knoxville, Flagstaff, AZ, and at the University of Alabama. Her work has been shown at Saltworks Gallery and White Space (Atlanta, GA), the Drawing Center (New York, NY), Grin (Providence, RI) and Ortega y Gasset (New York, NY). Her work was chosen for 1708 Gallery’s ‘FEED 2013’ (Richmond, VA). She has been awarded an Endowment for the Arts through the Whiteman Foundation, and the Herman E. Spivey Fellowship. Her work has been included in New American Paintings, and reviewed in Art in America and on Artforum.com Aldrich is represented by Channel to Channel gallery located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Eleanor’s Artist Statement:

My work is textural and alchemical; I match materials – often industrial sealants – and techniques to the subject matter they look like, thereby approaching verisimilitude without realistic rendering. I work with a kind of mimetic literalism that embodies the subject but serves pictorial conventions as well, posing questions about physicality as the standard of reality. I choose materials that mimic the physicality of oil paint but are beyond my ability to completely control.

The dominance of the material properties act as an inanimate foil to my vision for the work. I attribute my appreciation of mystery and the possibility of transformation in my work to my Catholic upbringing, in which materials were transformed and images held power over life.

Guen Montgomery is an artist and performer whose work investigates identity through studies of gender, regional narrative, and family mythology. Guen received her BFA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and her MFA in printmaking from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Currently Guen lives in Urbana, IL, where she teaches art foundations and printmaking at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Guen’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in multiple public collections, including the Centre for Art and Design in Churchill, Australia, and the Iowa Print Group Archive. Guen is the 2016 recipient of the Integrative Teaching International Emerging Educator Fellowship and a recipient of the Urbana Public Arts Commission’s 2016 Arts Grant.

Guen Montgomery, Priscilla 3, collagraph, 4′ x 6′, 2018

Guen’s Artist Statement:

While my work utilizes a variety of materials, printmaking is the technical backbone behind my conceptual investigation of identity formation and politics. I work to understand the characters human beings play. By mining various cultural, historical and social influences on personhood, like our possessions, sexuality, gender, and genealogy, I hope to reveal some of the complex narratives we tell ourselves about who we are.

Unrequited Leisure