New Works by Aaron Henderson
June 6-29, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, June 6 from 6-9pm

Please join us this Friday from 6-9pm at LivingRoom as ACRE and LivingRoom present, the opening of Aaron Henderson’s show MIDWAY.   We are super excited about this show, so please stop by!

Artists Statement

Since retiring from performing as an acrobat, I continue to think about what it feels like to fall and fly. Intense physical experiences can cause time to slow down, make your body come wonderfully alive, and force you to question your most fundamental assumptions about which way is down. I miss the adrenaline of performing, and wondered if I would ever feel the intensity of those experiences again. A few years ago, I visited a local fair for the first time since I was a child. I rode a couple rides and was hooked.

While I was on the rides I was struck by the way people interacted with each other. Joined together by the strangeness of the physical environment, they staged competitions, pushed each other to act unusually, and moved in ways impossible outside of these atypical situations. Also, they experienced fear, excitement and even boredom—each emotion tumbling out unpredictably.

“Midway” is a series of video installations created from footage captured at state and county fairs in Indiana and South Carolina. They examine the impromptu performances, staged competitions and visceral revelations that attendees experience while riding Carnival rides.

Sound for these videos is by Ted Coffey.

AARON HENDERSON’s videos and installations examine the ways that humans move. Recent projects look at the personal, cultural and political ramifications of all action, from intimate gestures to displays of super-human acrobatics. Well acquainted with movement, he threw himself into walls and off of platforms for STREB Extreme Action, an acrobatic performance company from 2002-6. His videos and projection designs have been presented at Lincoln Center, the Wexner Center and many other theaters, colleges and festivals across the world.

More information about Aaron Henderson can be found at aaronhenderson.com.

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibition) was founded in 2010 with the ambition to provide the arts community with an affordable, cooperative, and dialogue-oriented residency program. The residency itself takes place each summer in rural southwest Wisconsin and brings together artists from across disciplines and levels of experience to create a regenerative community of cultural producers. Over the course of the following year ACRE endeavors to further support its residents by providing venues for exhibitions, idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.

More information about ACRE can be found at www.acreresidency.org.


May 9 – June 1, 2014

Opening Reception: Friday, May 9, 6-9pm

ACRE and LivingRoomGallery present an opening reception on May 9, 2014 from 6pm to 9pm at 1530 W Superior Street. ACRE has partnered with LivingRoom Gallery to host IN THE VALLEY // new work by Barbara Diener, the next installment in ACRE’s year-long series of exhibitions by 2013 ACRE summer residents.

For the past two years Barbara Diener’s photographic work has explored notions of nostalgia and rootedness in small towns and rural communities that are demographically similar to the German town where she was raised. In the Valley is an iteration of this work and focuses on activities and products that challenge expected concepts of a disappearing rural lifestyle while embracing the tranquility of a bucolic life. The landscape has become a character in and of itself and represents the pride in the land Diener encounters in her subjects.

The villages Diener photographs are as complex as the sense of rootedness she is searching for and the deliberate linking of disparate subjects (portraits, landscapes, interiors) mirrors this. Her attraction to the rural does not only stem from her upbringing. There is a quietude to this environment that strips away distractions and amplifies the inevitable cycles of life. The people in Diener’s photographs exist in their own world and this spatial and emotional distance functions as a reminder that these places remain impermeable and a sense of comfort is indeed elusive.

BARBARA DIENER was born in 1982 in Germany and received her BFA in photography from the California College of the Arts and MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago.

Her work has been exhibited at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA, Recession Art, Brooklyn, NY, Lilllstreet Art Center, Chicago, IL, Riverside Art Center, Chicago, IL. Pingyao Photo Festival, China, The Arcade, Chicago, IL, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA, Darkroom Gallery, Essex Junction, VT and Project Basho, Philadelphia, PA among others.

Diener is a winner of Flash Forward 2013, the recipient of a Follett Fellowship at Columbia College Chicago and was awarded the Albert P. Weisman Award in 2012 and 2013. She is currently working as the Photography Collection Assistant at the Art Institute Chicago.  More information about Barbara Diener can be found at barbaradienerphotography.com.

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibition) was founded in 2010 with the ambition to provide the arts community with an affordable, cooperative, and dialogue-oriented residency program. The residency itself takes place each summer in rural southwest Wisconsin and brings together artists from across disciplines and levels of experience to create a regenerative community of cultural producers. Over the course of the following year ACRE endeavors to further support its residents by providing venues for exhibitions, idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects. More information about ACRE can be found at www.acreresidency.org.

Colin Matthes


Instructional & Flood Resistant Work

Closing Tea, May 4th


LivingRoom is proud to present our first show in collaboration with ACRE’s year-long series of  exhibitions by 2013 ACRE summer residents.

Colin Matthes’ recent work addresses economic and environmental crisis from a funny, critical, and perversely industrious point of view. For his first Chicago solo exhibition, BAND-AID: Instructional and Flood Resistant Work, he will show flood resistant luxury objects and a series of instructional drawings.

Essential Knowledge is a series of instructional drawings designed to teach basic skills for success in challenging situations. Frank Abruzzese (in his curatorial statement for an exhibition at Monster Truck, Dublin, Ireland) described the drawings as “looking to themes of resourcefulness and defiance rooted in both survivalist and DIY cultures, the drawings provide not-so-practical instructions for imagined and real scenarios ranging from Preparing Small Game to Landing a Plane in an Emergency.”

The flood resistant works will maintain their value as commodity by surviving floods and rising sea levels. These objects are designed to have a calming and motivational presence for their lucky/prepared owner in times leading up to and during environmental duress. They borrow language and imagery from motivational posters, contemporary protest, distraction, apathy, and business. Matthes engineers the absurd by developing overcomplicated Band-Aids that present provisional solutions to serious concerns rooted in environmental and economic calamity.

COLIN MATTHES’ practice includes painting, drawing, installation, zine and graphic production, and public art projects. Matthes works collectively with Justseeds, a network of twenty-six artists living in the United States, Canada, and Mexico that runs a print collective, contributes graphics to social movements, and co-publishes books. As an individual artist, Matthes has exhibited across Europe and the United States. Solo exhibitions include Artspace Leguit, Antwerp, Belgium and Igloo Gallery, Portland, Oregon; group exhibitions include Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, Munch Gallery, New York, and the Haggerty Museum, Milwaukee. He has participated in many residencies including Hotel Pupik (Austria), Werkkamp (Belgium), and Cow House Studios (Ireland). Matthes won the Marl L Nohl Fellowship for Individual Artists in 2012 (Established) and 2007 (Emerging).

More information about Colin Matthes can be found at http://ideasinpictures.org/

ACRE (Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibition) was founded in 2010 with the ambition to provide the arts community with an affordable, cooperative, and dialogue-oriented residency program. The residency itself takes place each summer in rural southwest Wisconsin and brings together artists from across disciplines and levels of experience to create a regenerative community of cultural producers. Over the course of the following year ACRE endeavors to further support its residents by providing venues for exhibitions, idea exchange, interdisciplinary collaboration, and experimental projects.


curated by Ethan D’Ercole

March 7th-April 5, 2014

It’s been a long winter.  Let’s go outdoors.  Join us Friday March 7th from 6-9pm for the opening of Outdoors curated by Ethan D’Ercole.

Attachment-1In November Ethan asked participants to contribute 3 pieces to a show about outside space, how it’s used.  “I knew the opening would fall in late winter; however, I didn’t have any clue how oppressive and relentless the 2014 Chicago winter would be.  Perfect.  All this time cooped up indoors will make art about outside space more wonderful, more therapeutic.”  Ethan could not have assemble a better group of artists who balance color humor and joy de vivre in a better way.  It’s been a long winter.  Let’s go outdoors.



Living in Chicago – Dmitry Samarov

January 17th – March 1, 2014


“I’ve lived in Chicago for over 20 years. For all that time I’ve drawn and painted inside and outside the places I’ve lived. Oil paintings, watercolors, charcoals and inks document what I see out windows and what I choose to bring home. I never start any of these pictures with any particular meaning in mind but the better ones are able to talk back to the viewer. They remind people of moments from their own experience. Books, chairs, dishes and such are what we all have in common. They connect us. By painting what I see every day, I’m trying to have a conversation with all the others who wake to similar views every day in this city.”

Please join us at LivingRoom Realty for Dmitry Samarov’s opening reception, January 17th, 6-9pm.


Previous Shows:


We are so excited to announce our next show! Please join us on Saturday, May 18th, 7-10pm for the opening night of this amazing installation.

DRIFTLESS: A Collaboration of Caleb Coppock, Daphne Eck & Betni Kalk


Collectors and scavengers at their core, the artists gathered source materials as they explored 80-acres of ridge, valley and woods in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin located in the ‘Driftless Region’ of the Midwest.  Following a process of gathering and re-mixing natural, human-made and digital sources, they form a personal, composite perspective of this region. A close examination and slowing of pace amidst the cacophony of data unravels the playful potential of even the tiniest bits. Read More…



Desaturate 2

Featuring screen prints by: Kim Ambriz, Derrick Buisch, Ethan D’Ercole, Dan Grzeca, John Hitchcock, Kathleen Judge, Damon Locks, Jay Ryan and Dan S. Wang. Nine artist presenting 5 screen prints in black & white.

In the summer of 2010, Damon Locks came up with a way to ensure that he would continue to produce art and asked several artist to promise to make five, one color (black) screen prints each. Accountability to other artists would ensure that each artist would have to figure out how to make it happen. The results of that challenge produced the first Desaturate show made up of work from seven people.

Participating artist Derrick Buisch spearheaded the continuation of the project, leading to this… Desaturate 2. The same rules applied but artists tend to work around rules to delightful effect. More artists this time around means more great art to love. Come check out the work and hang out with some awesome people.



Pitch Black

Pitch Black presents the work of Damon Locks and Alix Lambert. Both artists exhibit pieces that explore the unseen side of the human condition and the challenges we face in confronting and exploring those places.

The screen prints on display by Damon Locks in the Pitch Black exhibit explore another tributary of his expression. Gone is the populous that inhabit his artistic terrain. The urban landscapes of previous pieces are deemed irrelevant in this new set of pieces. Shape and texture have moved to the forefront. There is an implicit interest in how mark making can bring forth some of the same concepts as his previous work in a more abstracted way.

The show is made up of a series of MOOD pieces. Even in their absence, it could be said the subject matter still revolves around people but now his artistic lens focuses on their reverberations. A recent viewing of Jean Painlevé’s microscopic look at undersea life brought to mind otherworldly landscapes and inspired the more textural approach to this series.

The photography and sculpture by Alix Lambert are from her ongoing investigation into death. The two images were taken at the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropological Research Center (nicknamed The Body Farm)  – the only facility in the world that studies the decomposition of the human corpse. The bronze dental casts are a nod to teeth and/ or bite marks being common in identifying bodies and murder victims respectively.

“We are not a culture of death. I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t go into great depth about what happens when someone dies. Let’s take somebody who is killed and thrown out on the edge of the road and police are called. They come and they hold up sheets so that you can’t see what’s going on. Everybody drives by looking – but can’t see anything. They call whoever comes to pick up the body. They come and out the body in a black disaster bag, and again you can’t see what they are doing. The body bag goes to the morgue. Well, you don’t take tours of morgues and you don’t know what goes on in a morgue. If you ever see that individual again it may be at the funeral if they have an open coffin. But if they don’t, they are buried and no one ever sees it. I don’t know why we cover it up.” – Bill Bass, Forensic anthropologist and founder of The Body Farm.



The Vacancy

Please join us on Friday August 10, from 7-9pm, for the opening of ‘The Vacancy’.  Featuring new work by Chicagoans Tony Fitzpatrick, Duncan Robert Anderson, Daniel Bruttig and Chris Hefner, “The Vacancy” is a forum for the four artists to focus upon the themes of removal, absence and distance that are a perennial element in their work.

Utilizing a wide variety of media, they address the lost, the endangered, the silent and the ephemeral.  Although their work is certainly in regard the Void, it is as much about the precious, if fleeting moments of togetherness and beauty that color our days as it is about the silence that awaits us at the end of them.


Through “The Vacancy”, the four artists do not seek to mourn, rather they offer the simple but sacred opportunity to gather and witness.



Objects In Space

 THIS SHOW displays living spaces inside a Chicago storefront gallery, whereby every piece of furniture and all textiles, artwork and accessories are produced in Chicago..

The resultant setting is a sampling of what is currently happening in the Chicago design community. All work is available for purchase directly through the designers and artists.

WORK BY Anna Barton, B2 Concepts, Bridgette Buckley, DeRussy Designs, Susan Dwyer, Epicenter Design, Eve Fineman Furniture + Interiors, Furniture
Revival, glickbuilt, Casey Gunschel, Beau Hale, -ism Furniture, Dennis Johnson, Keith Clayton Furniture, Casimir Kujawa, Lagomorph Design, Jason Lewis, Damon
Locks, Manifold, McBride Housewrights, Merkled, MODified Originals, Navillus Woodworks, Paul Pettigrew, Starshaped Press, Sonnenzimmer, Thievery, Thomeworks, Workshop/Cozzens, zakrose.


Ten x Ten Exhibition

Join Homeroom and Spudnik Press to celebrate the release of Ten x Ten!

Featuring work by:

Brian Hofmeister
Colin Palombi
Jeremy Tinder
Joe Tallarico
Justin Santora
Krista Franklin
Liz Born
Nate Beaty
Revise CMW

Ten x Ten is both a compilation and collaboration between Chicago bands and printmakers. The project strives to introduce artists and musicians that might not have otherwise crossed paths, and encourages the development of creative relationships between Chicago bands and printmakers that go beyond show posters. The final package consists of ten songs accompanied by ten corresponding prints that were developed exclusively for the project.


New work by Jesse Harrod and Elijah Burgher

Please join us here at LivingRoom for this special show featuring two amazing local artists, Jesse Harrod and Elijah Burgher.


Our bodies accelerate quickly into extremes of pleasure and pain, often it is only the best of lovers, of landscapes, or of experiences that can tame, tease, or guide our entry into either realm. What pleasure and pain look like or feel like, though, is deeply unclear, is abstract, is insidious, is different for everyone. There is no one to one relationship when it comes to this. The serene garden hiding pistils and traps. The covert messages and innuendos of any symbolic act. The excruciating things we want to have happen.


Jesse Harrod has an MFA from the department of Material Studies from the School of
The Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design
University. She has been writing and making work that employs traditional and contemporary craft and sculptural practices with a focus on craft as “other” and how this pertains to queer theory as well as second and third wave feminism. Jesse is interested in working with the layers that exist within the history of cloth and fabric. Those layers include, class, colonization, trade, puberty, and domesticity.

Elijah Burgher is an artist and writer based in Chicago, IL. He has exhibited in solo shows at 2nd Floor Projects in San Francisco, CA and Shane Campbell Gallery in Oak Park, IL and two-persons shows at Lump in Raleigh, NC and Peregrine Program in Chicago. Recent group shows include exhibitions at Famous Accountants in Brooklyn, NY, Envoy Enterprises and Anna Kustera in New York, Noma in San Francisco, and Gallery 400 and Roots & Culture in Chicago.  He received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004, and a BA from Sarah Lawrence college in 2000, where he studied Literature.


Past Perfect –  Jamie Hayes

We here at LivingRoom could not be more delighted than to be opening the year with this one of a kind show from the multi-talented artist Jamie Hayes.

In the spring of 2009, Jamie contacted a group of friends and colleagues to participate in a collaborative project, called Past Perfect, wherein participants would work with her to design a dream garment: items they’d loved and lost or items they’d always wanted. Participants were also asked to write about why the item was important or compelling to them. The following summer, Jamie and Photographer Alix Lambert went to Vietnam and worked with tailors there to create these garments and accessories. Alix documented this process in Vietnam, as well as photographed the final portraits of the participants in their items.

This show is the first time all of these amazing items will be on display together. And we here at LivingRoom invite you to join us for what will most certainly be a remarkable evening!


Jamie Hayes’ interests lie at the intersection of fashion, art, culture, and identity. Her approach is both collaborative and customized. She believes that clothes should fit one’s body (not the other way around); that trends are largely irrelevant (people should wear what flatters and interests them rather than what someone else dictates is fashionable); that style is a form of self-expression; and that everyone in the chain of production of clothing should be paid a living wage.