Finding Space Within Place
February 21 to March 14, 2021
"As a self-taught artist, I’ve always found inspiration through my daily surroundings. The techniques I use are intuitive. I’ve always had a kinship for folksy aesthetics, outsiders and although frowned upon in my working-class upbringing; individualism. My art is personal and sometimes whimsical, but my emotions are universal. I create what I cannot verbally commit to, a truism that is always in motion. I give voice to complex issues by using familiarity, such as punch holes from junk mail, cardboard shoe inserts from a former employee or paper bag handles from the grocer to express a longing for community."
- Marvin Tate
Born in Chicago on December 27, 1959, artist Marvin Tate is known for his biographical art in the form of assemblage, dioramas, portraits and landscapes composed of found objects and fragments from everyday life. A North Lawndale native, Tate grew up in a home without a TV or radio, where his family entertained one another with songbooks and reading aloud. Tate remembers hours spent exploring abandoned buildings, walking the streets of changing neighborhoods and playing in his mother’s closet, all existential journeys filled with fear, excitement and materials that would later inform his work.
Tate's work is rooted in folklore, the culture of storefront churches, a distant train or a bevy of geese flying over North Lawndale. Finding beauty and subtlety in everyday life, objects and people is inherent in his narrative, which speaks of personal and family history while addressing a broader collective memory through social and political commentary.
"Finding Spaces within Place” presents a collection of artworks created during the midst and onslaught of Covid-19, with the exception of Sunday Goth (2020). Although every piece has its own origin of inspiration, they are connected by the dire circumstances that defined them: quarantine and unpredictability. This exhibition immortalizes Tate's observations in that moment, be they real or imagined.
Black Girl Magic, 2021
Found Objects on Wood
Triptych / 3 panels of 14x24 inches
Sea Shore Shanty, 2021
Found Objects, Cork, Wood, Acrylic, Spray Paint on Wood
Waiting for Petrichor, 2021
Paper Cutouts, Spray Paint, Acrylic on Wood
The Truth in Layers, 2021
Cotton Balls, Cork, Spray Paint, Acrylic, Found Objects on Wood
Yellow Leather Jacket, 2021
Cotton, Leather, Spray Paint, Acrylic on Wood
Wishing You Were Here, 2021
Found Objects, Piano Keys, Spray Paint, Acrylic, Wood
Acrylic, Spray Paint, Found Objects, Wood on Cardboard
Sunday Goth, 2020
Shoe Inserts, Buttons, Found Objects, Spray Paint, Acrylic on Wood
First Flight, 2021
Cotton Balls, Wood, Found Objects, Spray Paint, Acrylic on Wood
Backyard Serenade, 2021
Wood, Frame, Piano Key, Spray Paint, Acrylic
Cork, Bed Post, Cooton, Spray Paint, Found Objects
Traffic Light, 2021
Found Objects on Wood