June 10 – June 25, 2005


Opening reception: Friday, June 10, 7-11 PM This exhibition presents works of six emerging Chicago based painters.

Lookers queries; are we in dialogue with one another or are we individually responding to our common history and urban standards? While each work investigates a unique viewpoint, with studies ranging between perception, poetry, and abstraction, all engage a pervasive and contemporary exchange of observations.

Todd Chilton

Nathaniel Robinson


Todd Chilton

Todd Chilton was born in San Diego, California, in 1977, and lives and works in Chicago. He makes abstract paintings that are generated from simple ideas or patterns, and usually knows that they are done when he runs out of room for more lines.

MFA 2005 Painting The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
BFA 2002 Printmaking Brigham Young University
Ezara Hoffman   

Born in Silver Spring, Maryland 1979. Lives, works and studies in Chicago, IL. My paintings aim to detail an emotional atmosphere. Each is a window of artificial space where I translate my life experience to visual language. In experimenting with ambiguous figure-ground relationships, I investigate the interactions between rigid form, angular structure, and the human mark. I aim to portray intimate and sublime tensions and to question notions of control and chance. Doing so, I build abstract landscapes and mysterious, distant atmospheres. As I apply both observed and invented imagery my paintings move in-between representation and abstraction.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 2005 Painting The School of The Art Institute of Chicago BA 2001 Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH

Alex Lu

My preoccupation and fascination with the city of Vancouver, a transitional city in relation to influx of immigration from Hong Kong, Taiwan and recently mainland China have generated a body of work that deals with issues of identity in a site-specific way. The “Monster House” phenomena (Mac Mansions) and advertising of Chinese real estate agents at local bus stops as racial demographical markers for specific neighborhoods become stand-ins for the self, a cultural self that is seen by others and the self that is seen from within. Portraiture and rapid urban transformation via depiction of architecture then serves as ways to examine Chinese immigrant culture as in-between, hybrid subculture, negotiating an awkward position within a foreign context. The work has naturally expanded to investigate aforementioned issues in a broader term since coming to Chicago and this recent body of drawings reflects this expansion.

MFA 2005 Painting and Drawing The School of the Art Institute of Chicago BFA 2002 Painting and Drawing Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC Summer Studio Residency 2001 School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

Aliza Nisenbaum

Born in Mexico City in 1977. Currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. The viewer is presented with an image that seems to be in close proximity to where she stands, before she can gather herself and grasp this image it seems to have obliterated itself and retreated from presence. That which seemed to be near unfolds into a space that is wide and extended. The initial point of departure for my work is the place of encountering another person, particularly that which in the other is elusive and fleeting. My interest lies in the way we are affected by the other before visual recognition, the idea of proximity prior to visual distinction comes from my reading of the philosopher Emanuel Levinas who developed an ethics based on the face to face encounter. Underlining the formal concerns in my paintings is Levinas’ idea of the disjunction that occurs in the formation of an individual, the self does not constitute itself but is preceded by the other who beyond specific attributes is the one phenomena that folds in on itself and eludes depiction.

I try to create a parallel experience in painting presenting a form that may approach figuration and then withdraws into a gestural and abstract mark. By limiting the palette to a close range of hue and value such as occurs at nighttime vision is slowed down to a tactile quality. The painting is started as an event that unfolds in its making, allowing for the possibility of an activity that enables surprise, a line of flight, in a sense similar to a hand that approaches to touch the other yet not knowing what it seeks.


My interest is to investigate abstraction both philosophically and formally not as the modernist ideal of a search for pure form but as a mode of relationality understood as the trace of an event that occurs in between a subject and object or as movement.

MFA 2005 Painting The School of the Art Institute of Chicago BFA 2001 Painting The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Psychology, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, 1997.

Nathaniel Robinson

Nothing is the backdrop against which all my work must be seen. That which is illuminated should be seen against the possibility of total darkness. Anything that is said is said in relation to the possibility of complete silence, and anything that is done is done with the possibility of inaction in mind. What I know is that I know nothing, not that there is nothing to know. Uncertainty is an unstable state, and it can’t be maintained, even if it were desirable to do so -- I’m looking for the truth that my skeptical conscience will let me embrace. A skipping stone never exists precisely between the water and the air, but is, at each moment, moving from one to the other; though eventually, I suppose, it will sink.

MFA 2005 Painting and Drawing The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
BA 2002 Fine Art Amherst College, Amherst, MA, Summa cum Laude
Nate Wolf      

Born in Glencoe, IL in 1982. Lives, works and studies in Chicago, IL. I have been painting battle scenes and or vacant landscapes for a little while now. The battle scenes and people are from my imagination. There is no clear resolution to the scene or discernable narrative other than they sometimes end up killing each other. The figures and era of the paintings is ambiguous.

Glencoe public schools BFA Candidate Present Painting and Drawing The School of the Art Institute of Chicago