February 6 – March 13, 2010
Gallery One

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Greg Stimac.

Chicago, IL, February 6, 2010 – Andrew Rafacz begins the 2010 season with new works by Greg Stimac in Gallery One. This is the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery and continues through Saturday, March 13, 2010.

In the summer of 2009, while driving around the country, Greg Stimac attached a sheet of Plexiglas to the front of his car every time he set out for a new city. At the end of the road, whether in Baltimore, Cheyenne, or Reno, he would stop along the highway and use a flatbed scanner powered by the cigarette lighter to create a photograph of the insects and grit that built up on the surface. These images, set against total blackness, are tangible records of the artist’s journeys- each one registers time and distance through an endless stream of minute collisions and the traces they left behind.

To create the works in this ongoing series, Stimac sets up basic parameters and then gives in to the process: he drives for hours while the road itself shapes the composition, one dust cloud or dead bug at a time. The final images reveal nothing of the scenery; if you want to know anything about the places he’s been you’ll have to search for meaning in the patterns on the glass. All the same, in making this body of work Stimac continues a long tradition of American road-trip photography; this history, you might say, just happens to be packed away in the trunk rather than sitting in the passenger’s seat holding the map. In the end, one might keep in mind the two famous photographs by Dorothea Lange and Robert Frank in which an empty highway extends off to a distant horizon. In an inventive and more visceral way, perhaps suited to a now-photo-saturated culture, Stimac is expressing what it means to travel that road as well.

In past years Stimac has photographed roadside memorials, bottles of piss resting in the ditch, and small campfires in unexpected places, as if cataloging the overlooked elements that mark the way for a nomadic nation. It’s no coincidence that those casual typologies, compiled one instance at a time, gradually speak to our basic human needs and vulnerabilities. His new road-spattered pictures also find a lyrical side to the seemingly mundane – from a distance they might appear to be starry skies or tasteful abstractions. But these pictures too have a darker side. There are the shadows of death and loneliness here, and a certain wry humor. Drawing closer one realizes that these photographs are, as much as anything, documents of a killing field, where innumerable insects met their end as a car hurtled through the night. (Karsten Lund)

GREG STIMAC (American, b. 1976) lives and works in Chicago. He received his B.F.A. from Columbia College, Chicago in 2005. Recent exhibitions include Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes, which began at The Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis and travelled to the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh and USA Today, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, an exhibition of works from their permanent collection. Stimac’s work was last seen at the gallery in the group exhibition Bad Moon in December, 2008. Upcoming exhibitions include Faraway Nearby at the Nerman Museum, Overland Park, Kansas, and a solo exhibition at White Flag Projects in St. Louis, Missouri. He is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and UBS, among others.