Looking for Culture, Part I
October 17 – December 6, 2008
Gallery One

Exhibition Text


ANDREW RAFACZ is pleased to announce Looking for Culture, Part I, a solo exhibition of new works by Andrew Guenther.

Chicago, IL, October 17, 2008 – Andrew Rafacz opens its second exhibition of the fall with a series of new works by Andrew Guenther. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, following a September 2006 solo exhibition with the former Bucket Rider Gallery.

Drawing a discernible line between the act of seeing and looking-the latter being the proactive form-Andrew Guenther, through paintings, drawings, and silk-screens, collects the multiplicities, incongruities, and general detritus of a desiring culture into vivid depictions of contemporary existence. The theme of recreation -how we spend our free time-runs through the new work. Beachgoers lay out their towel or gaze at the sun, a stack of books reveals what the artist has been reading and looking at. Employing rich browns and bright neons, his new paintings are bolder and thicker, with the contours of his subjects harder-edged. In the painting Two Foot Waves, the raw linen is used as the skin of a female bather who is cropped at the top and bottom, revealing her torso from behind, against, the bright blue, pink, and orange of the ocean and sky. Guenther is working directly with the possibilities of painting and the result is a return to his own earlier methods, and ultimately a renewed sense of formalism.

Guenther has also extended his own practice of adding sculptural elements to the canvas by working with more conceptual forms. With Put Your Hands Up, he incorporates part of the Styrofoam packaging of a model skeleton into a canvas that has been cut out, commenting on how we read the figure and the limits of representation. A new series of collages also utilize wood and cardboard form elements of the body to create humorous and expressive depictions of the human figure.

ANDREW GUENTHER (American, b. 1976) lives and works in Brooklyn. He received his M.F.A. from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2000. Recent solo exhibitions include David Castillo, Miami, and Mogadishni, Copenhagen, both 2007. He had a solo exhibition with Bucket Rider Gallery in 2006.