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"frAGILITY" : NEW Works on Papyrus : Chicago Nov. 1-Dec. 28

OCTOBER 30, 2013
If you are in Chicago this Friday, Nov. 1st (reception is 5-8) I hope you can join me where I will be presenting a new collection of 12 paintings at Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago entitled, "frAGILITY".  It is a very large warehouse space with 3 other solo shows opening Debra Simon from NYC and Robin McGinnis and Peggy McNamara from Chicago-all very talented artists. 
This new body of work was inspired by several trips to Egypt over the past five years, where I created journals influenced by the anthropomorphic symbols of the ancient visual language. This ongoing series also includes journals, large scale scrolls (one included in this show) and miniature drawings on handmade papers from ancient cultures and serve as a precursor for a larger body of works which study the origins of the vullnerable nature of the human spirit and its immense resilience in the face of adversity.
More details on my website blog @ cathiebleck.com
"Intervention" Inks, clay on papyrus mounted on board

In these works I was inspired to use papyrus, which I purchased when I was in Egypt a few years back.  I stretched the papyrus much like one would prep a watercolor paper.  Ultimately, I decided to mount them on boards for a more durable end result leaving the edges frayed but reinforcing with more papyrus and archival glue.
While carved onto clay and through ink the unusual surface qualities revealed themselves while adapting to the surface weaves of Egyptian papyrus; a material with inherent strength and resilience through time. With this medium and choice of materials I aimed to be emblematic of the dualities explored in this series, the contradictory yet beautiful tension between frail and strong.
"Rescue" (October) Inks, clay on papyrus

I will also be exhibiting 48 miniature paintings on Bhutan paper from Napal

"Flight" Inks, clay on papyrus

"Apologia" Inks, clay on papyrus

"Detail from Apologia"
Since this body of work explores "origins" felt this piece "The Rise of Man" might be a good addition. Ink, clay, graphite, vellum on paper

I helped Aron hang the show this week. The Space has such a raw historic feeling-I can't imagine a better space to exhibit this body of work! Should be a great opening and if you are in Chitown over the holidays, hope you will stop by. I grew up north of the city and planning to come in a few times, so let me know if you are in town-maybe I can give you a tour.

"Open Season" Inks, clay on papyrus