CHICAGO—Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is pleased to present “Absurdity: In Dada We Trust,” a theme that honors artist and supporter Helene Smith-Romer, who died in March of 2022. Created in collaboration with The Art Center Highland Park, the Chicago Women’s Caucus for Art, Stola Contemporary Art, and Alma Interiors, this exhibition was juried by WMG co-founders Kelly Hensen and Beate Minkovski. The show includes work by 43 artists and will be on view from July 22 to August 19, 2023, at WMG, 2150 S. Canalport Ave., 4A–3, Chicago, IL 60608. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, July 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. Regular gallery hours are Thursdays through Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
In the U.S. and across the globe, bullies have been applauded and emboldened to share the self-serving rhetoric of nationalism and to act out sanctioned racism. Women’s rights are being set back 50 years, and the LGBTQIA+ community is dangling by a thread as individual rights are regulated but assault weapons are not. Social media has hijacked the news, and the term “alternative facts” has become the norm, no longer just the brunt of jokes.
For artists, it is a clear call to look to the past for guidance and to take a stand. How? In a word: Dadaism. Created as a reaction to the absurdity of war and the propaganda of World War I, Dadaism was the reaction of a group of artists from another time in history when the world was on the brink of madness. That is why Woman Made Gallery is joining this collaboration in building a creative coalition for fighting back against the current trend toward insanity.
Exhibiting Artists: Adamandia K, Kim Basile, Colby Parker Beutel, Caroline Bick, Lydia Burris, Robin Carlson, Celia Rose, Laura Cerf-Dahl, SueSan Chen, Lisa Chin, Theresa Richardson Crubaugh, Chantal Danyluk, Melanie Deal, Melissa Dorn, Karen Fiorito, Lorena Fleury, Victoria Fuller, Catherine Grimes, Lucy Julia Hale, I Jon Hsieh, Essica Jolley, Ruth Keitz, Heather Klinkhamer, Oxana Kovalchuk, Kim Laurel, Gao Lingyun, Hailing Liu, Claudia Maysen, Kiki McGrath, Erin McNamara, Jeanna Mead, Anne Nordhaus-Bike, Laura O’Connor, Rosalina Perez, Laura Phelps Rogers, Lauren Pontenberg, Ellen Raines, Annabelle Sigmond, Ash Strazzinski, Delilah Sykes, Rhonda Urdang, Martha Zackey, zsa zsa.
About the Jurors: Kelly Hensen and Beate Minkovski are Illinois-based artists and friends who met at Northeastern Illinois University. They rented a storefront in Ravenswood Manor on Chicago’s northwest side to exhibit their senior project, “Manmade Women,” in May 1992. Within a year, Woman Made Gallery was incorporated and gained its nonprofit status in 1994. Since then, WMG has presented the work of more than 9,000 women and nonbinary artists in more than 450 group and solo exhibitions.
(Banner Image: Kiki McGrath: Fricassée (2023) – mixed-media: chicken feet, glue, hand-held mixer GE 3-Speed D1M24; 10 x 7 x 4 in.)
Gallery Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 12–5 PM CST | WMG is closed between exhibitions.
Woman Made Gallery is supported in part by grants from The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The Illinois Arts Council Agency; the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. the Puffin Foundation, a major anonymous donor; and the generosity of its members and contributors.