CHICAGO—Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is proud to present “Indrani Nayar-Gall and Madelyn Turner: A Two-Woman Show,” on view from June 17 to July 8, 2023. Juror Ashley Wynn selected the two artists based on their artworks in WMG’s 2022 Feminist Biennial. The exhibition brings together paintings, installations, and videos that make visible trauma, grief, and rage as a response to life in a patriarchal world.
INDRANI NAYAR-GALL: “My artistic practice springs from being surrounded by women-made cultural/ritual mark-making in my native India, mostly from the Bengali social-cultural practice. Exposure to European art has given me different tools and language, but also an urgency to decolonize my imagination.
“After I migrated to the U.S., the pressure to conform pushed me further into being a nonconformist—deconstructing that single perspective. My current works are about women’s bodies as sites of violence, dreams, and aspirations. Using or combining paper, fiber, ready-mades, and text from scriptures derogatory to women, I stretch the limits of conventional processes to create bodies that physically hang or stretch over the floor or wall. Sometimes I create nonlinear digital moving-image narratives. Guiding myself intuitively, I imagine solutions or interpret concepts, make my own tools, choose appropriate material, or alter or disassociate the real/obvious to create visceral, tactile, or surreal experiences. My processes are individual but also collaborative and participatory.”
A multidisciplinary feminist artist, Indrani Nayar-Gall weaves global narratives of marginalization, patriarchy, and misogyny through her practice in installation, 2-D/3-D media, and moving image. Social justice themes stem from influences in her mixed north-south Indian background, parental modeling of community engagement and helping marginalized women in need, the mentorship of socially engaged professors, and socio-political activism. Indrani has exhibited nationally and internationally, and she founded Yes She Rises LLC, a campaign to empower sex workers in India.
In a career spanning more than 35 years, including teaching, she has continually expanded her practice, most recently directing two documentaries. Her first feature, String of Stories, received the first prize Humanitarian Award at the 2022 Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Indrani has an MFA in experimental printmaking, a Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Non-Toxic Printmaking, and a Diploma in Education. She continues to expand her knowledge in moving image and new media. For more information, visit her artist website and instagram page.
MADELYN TURNER: “Through my work, I wrestle with society’s idealized construction of the feminine form and its relationship to my body. Exposing my fragmented feelings of identity caused by these external constructs of the feminine body reveals my vulnerability to these issues as I work through expansive waves of anger and grief.
“I’ve realized that the process of painting allows me to feel the discomfort of corporeal (dis)embodiment: the haunted flesh. Even so, the conversations I’m having through painting transcend merely tapping into embodiment. It is a conversation with the canvas as I discover and give shape to my body. Indexing conversations that I have with my body onto the surface of the painting while I work is a way for me to understand my body trauma. I’m able to feel the duality of wanting to dissect yet understand the tenderness of my body.
“This process creates distance between my direct perception of my physical body and opens the space of accepting my body as it is. The bodily and bloody texture of oil paint and cold wax opens an exploration into the body cavity of the work. Flesh becomes material. These entangled remnants at times become buried within the folds of the painting. Through the process of excavation, the painting is struggling to remember.”
Madelyn Turner is a figurative painter based in Illinois. She has a BA in studio art and is currently pursuing an MFA degree at Illinois State University. She is interested in the space between figuration and abstraction, including how this exploration can create a new way of exploring her body and experiences with the societal consciousness of feminine identity. For more information, visit her artist website and instagram page.
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.