Almost Ergonomic
Studio 424 167 N. Racine Ave, Chicago
August 23 - 25, 2015


Hyperallergic Best of 2014

David Bodhi Boylan
Alex Chitty
Laura Hart Newlon & Kate O'Neill
Jeff Prokash

Ergonomics reassures us that when objects are fit for our bodies, the stresses and strains from our daily routines will melt away. Ergonomics is functionality, legibility and ease, a fluid world without resistance. But these are the qualities of the designed object. What is the ergonomics of a work of art? 

In Almost Ergonomic, a group show featuring work by Alex Chitty, Laura Hart Newlon & Kate O’Neill, David Bodhi Boylan and Jeff Prokash, the lines that separate the designed object and the work of art are exaggerated for examination. Whereas the ergonomic form reveals itself, the almost ergonomic gets lost in its own self-reference, blocking the tactile pleasures of human-centered design. The works in this exhibition aspire to a smooth relationship with the human form but find themselves tripped up on their own materiality. 


David Bodhi Boylan grew up in Woodstock, NY. He has an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. His work consists of wood-sculpture and drawing, and is sustained by a preoccupation with the bizarre nature of the world we live in. David lives and works in Chicago.

Alex Chitty is a Chicago-based artist working fluidly across a wide-range of materials and processes, including printmaking, photography, sculpture and installation. Highly attuned to how things interact and how we interact with them, Chitty’s work operates as a series of constellations, misdirections and multiplicities. She teaches at the Museum of Contemporary Art, SAIC and Columbia College.

Tropical Depression is an ongoing, iterative collaborative project between artists Laura Hart Newlon & Kate O’Neill. Both artists investigate the relationships between photography and objects, and together they share a fascination with the tropics as a connotative and mythologized zone. Kate O'Neill's work explores photography as a process of articulation, reflecting on contingency, vulnerability and (imperfect) repetition. O'Neill's work has been recently exhibited at Lease Agreement, Baltimore; LVL3, Chicago; EXPO Chicago, and Johalla Projects, Chicago. Working with photography, textiles and everyday ephemera, Laura Hart Newlon's work examines image-making and materiality. Newlon has recently exhibited work at ADDS DONNA, Chicago; Schneider Gallery, Chicago; EXPO Chicago, and Johalla Projects, Chicago.

Jeff Prokash is a Chicago based artist. He received his BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008 and is currently a graduate candidate for the Sculpture department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Photos: Soohyun Kim