The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, December 4, 2021

Peana Projects opens group exhibition curated by Triumph Chicago
Installation view.


Ryan came up with “Pushing Up Daisies” while I was desperately searching for a title for the show. Late at night, I was systematically going through books of poetry. Olson, Stein, Ginsberg... none of them revealed a thing to me. He came back home, took his shoes off, asked what I was doing, and came up with the title. I did not know what it meant, pushing up daisies. He explained that it's a nice way to say that someone is about to die; "soon, I will be pushing up daisies." Why death? We spoke about Ginsberg. I damaged one of his books, that is, Ginsberg’s, that Ryan owns, “Gay Sunshine Interview.” Dipped it in water, that yellow thing. Ginsberg talks there about gayness; gayness as in sexual orientation, and as in happiness. Carefree happiness that touches madness, madness that arrives with freedom. Then he told me about that movie that Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie directed, a mediocre -though pretty fun to watch- movie with Ginsberg and Kerouac, and others, called “Pull My Daisy.” The film's title is taken from a poem by Ginsberg, Cassady, and Kerouac, from around the late 40''. It is said that “Pull My Daisy” was written in the “exquisite corpse” style, though I think that the poem was written while the three were dictating and transcribing it. Here are few lines: 

Pull my daisy
Tip my cup
All my doors are open
Cut my thoughts 
For coconuts 
All my eggs are broken
Jack my Arden 
Gate my shades 
Woe my road is spoken 
Silk my garden 
Rose my days 
Now my prayers awaken   

Ryan is against Press Releases. Perhaps “against” is of a too harsh term here; he finds them useless. I tend to agree with him. Press Releases seem to operate as a signifier shortcut. “Don’t bother to think about the work - we will tell you what it's all about.” And there must be always "about"! But, why? Why there must be “about”? When and why did we forget, that art can be; be without references. When did we lose “it is what it is”? So here it is. The artists in this show share few things, though they carry distinctive practices. Releasing themselves from the world as it is, from the net of the referential, they work without, or rather outside of language. Instead of pointing back, they draw new vectors. It is a skill that necessitates unlearning. Unlearning, forgetting, silencing noises; truly difficult abilities to conquer. There, one finds herself in darkness, with no clear ground and no ego to affirm. There are no mirrors, therefore the death that I brought up earlier. Death, because these artists are committed to a continuous transformation. Also, they don't give a fuck about the marked. I mean, they would love to sell more and so on, but they do what they do regardless. Lastly, death, because they are not afraid. Like the daisies, their work is stupefying in its beauty, while also troubling and sometimes gross. 

We hope you will enjoy the show,   

Ruslana and Ryan

Triumph Chicago was born in 2017 out of passion and necessity, and, in a rush. We, Ryan Coffey and Ruslana Lichtzier, she a curator/writer/educator and he an artist and educator, operate through categorical disaccord, as a method. We cannot agree on whether it is a Project Space or a Gallery, do we collaborate with artists or do we represent them, are we operating and therefore complicit in the framework of contemporary late-capitalism or are we attempting to subvert it only. These dichotomies, and many other matters which relate to the complexity of relationship based partnership, are the reason that Triumph is what it is. Triumph is a space of passions, compassion, and always temporal resolutions. We subscribe to no one but to each other. We have no mission statement but that of going through life, which is making and thinking of Art. In the meantime, we attempt to be attentive, to look, observe and to love. We embrace failure, we are fascinated by states of collapse; most importantly, we learn and we adapt.  

Triumph is not about winning, or being on top. Triumph is about the work, and the work is everywhere.

Born in Siberia, Russia and raised in Israel, Ruslana Lichtzier is a curator, writer, and educator. Her background as a migrant propels cultural productions that aim to nest radical imagination of difference and change. She is the initiator and co-director of Triumph School Manual Project, in Triumph, Illinois, and of the project space Triumph, Chicago. Recent productions include the group exhibition The Dangerous Professors, Triumph, Chicago, and the research project in form of a group exhibition Terrorists in The Library, Harold Washington College (Chicago, Illinois). She is a Core fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX) and the CoDirector of Jewish Artist Fellowship, at Spertus, Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. She is also a contributor writer for The Seen Magazine (EXPO Chicago). Most recently she taught at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and Spertus Institute.

Ryan Coffey received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 and his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003, after three years at the School of Visual Arts, NYC. From 1999 to 2011, he moved between San Francisco and New York, exhibiting repeatedly in both cities. Recent solo exhibitions include “Ryan Coffey I/S,” at Triumph, Chicago (Chicago, IL, 2017) and “Ryan Coffey: On Permanent Display,” at Efrain Lopez Gallery, (Chicago, IL, 2016). Recent group exhibitions include “The Annual,” at the Chicago Artists Coalition (Chicago, IL, 2017), and "No Regrets" at the Neiman Gallery in (NYC, NY, 2017). He is the co-founder and codirector of Triumph, Chicago, and Triumph Manual School Project, in Triumph, IL.

Artists: Leslie Baum & Allison Wade, Dan Devening, Anastasia Douka, Sacha Ingber, Billy James Joyce, Matt Mancini, Lior Modan, Dan Rizzo-Orr

Today's News

April 10, 2018

Finger bone unearthed in the desert points to humans in Arabia 85,000 years ago

Historic landmark for the Burrell Collection as the Wagner Garden Carpet is to go on display at the Metropolitan Museum

Exhibition at musée du quai Branly Jacques Chirac focuses on ghost stories from East and Southeast Asia

Arts Minister steps in to prevent Head of an African Man Wearing a Turban by Sir Peter Paul Rubens from export

6 centuries of furniture & decorative arts offered at Sotheby's New York

Peana Projects opens group exhibition curated by Triumph Chicago

Polish artist Karolina Halatek installs large outdoor sculpture Terminal in front of the Kunsthalle Bremen

Pace Gallery opens exhibition of new paintings and new works on paper by Loie Hollowell

Edward Cella Art & Architecture opens Raúl Cordero's first exhibition in Los Angeles in more than a decade

Nancy Ireson appointed Barnes Foundation Chief Curator, Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions

Whitechapel Gallery opens a new display of work by 23 international artists

Dorotheum announces Auction Week of modern and contemporary art, jewellery and watches

National Portrait Gallery announces shortlist for BP Portrait Award 2018

Russell Crowe's 'Romper Stomper' Doc Martens purchased by National Museum of Australia

Scottish football legends kit in solid gold sports sale with Julien's Auctions

Wordsworth Trust receive major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to redevelop the site

111-year-old black veteran gets African-American museum tour

Horniman Museum and Gardens announces further details of new World Gallery

Macron shows bare-breasted Liberty to Saudi prince at Louvre

Part 2 of the Felicia Michalski Collection of Fine Jewelry goes up for bid at Turner Auctions + Appraisals

Jackie Robinson rookie jersey resells for $2.6 million on, landing owner a tidy profit

Villa Lena Art Foundation announces over 50 artists-in-residence for 2018

France to help Saudi Arabia set up orchestra, opera

Wind topples giant statue of China's first emperor

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