Andrew Rafacz Gallery to relocate to new 2,000-square-foot space in Chicago's West Town neighborhood

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Andrew Rafacz Gallery to relocate to new 2,000-square-foot space in Chicago's West Town neighborhood
Andrew Rafacz by Drea Gonzales. Image courtesy of Andrew Rafacz Gallery.

CHICAGO, IL.- Andrew Rafacz Gallery today announced that the gallery will be relocating to a new 2,000-square-foot space on the street level of 1749 W. Chicago, a building constructed in 1916 in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. The space, designed by Chicago-based architect Paul Preissner, will open November 8 with two exhibitions featuring new work by Julia Bland and Robert Burnier. Additionally, artist Cody Hudson will unveil a large-scale, multi-story mural on the eastern façade of the building in Spring 2020.

“This move is the culmination of my experience in this business and an evolving and inspired approach to how a space can function to better serve the art, the viewer and the community at large,” said founder Andrew Rafacz. “With almost double the exhibition space, our new location will provide substantial growth opportunities for our existing artists as well as the opportunity to expand our roster with several incredible new artists that will be announced in the upcoming months.” He added, “The move offered an exciting prospect to contribute to a neighborhood with a flourishing cultural ecosystem, where many of Chicago’s most impactful galleries have made homes and are able to grow and thrive.”

Preissner's design for the interior space references the ad hoc environments in which art is created by incorporating unpretentious and off-the-shelf finishes into the plan's composition in unusual ways.

“When designing the gallery space I sought to present seemingly commonplace things, such as fluorescent fixtures, in a way that is utterly normal to a degree that it becomes quite special,” said Preissner. “This contradiction is exemplified by the way in which the fixtures light the gallery with a reflection of the floor, responding to the ceiling’s structural steel beams.” He added, “I wanted to make certain that all of the choices for the space reflect the nature of looking at and considering the artwork on exhibition in the gallery.”

The inaugural exhibitions, The Half That Ties, The Half That Breaks by Julia Bland and Temple by Robert Burnier will fill both of the exhibition spaces within the gallery.

In The Half That Ties, The Half That Breaks Julia Bland presents ten works that approach the rhythm and weight of their repeated geometric forms through a series of intertwined processes.

“By weaving, cutting, burning, sewing, dying and painting, I am continually assembling and dissembling the various materials I employ,” said Bland. “This process sheds definitive notions of creation and destruction, and surfaces emerge as the record of these evolving transformations.”

In Temple, Robert Burnier combines sculptural and painterly forms that emerge out of a transformation from one geometric state to another. These transformations reveal the histories of their own making as a vital, formal element of their appearance.

“I have often presented these objects and their internal, visual, formal histories, within larger contexts involving concepts from a wider societal history,” said Burnier. “I’m very excited to be mounting my next show at the new Andrew Rafacz space, which will afford me a greater opportunity to explicate these relationships at a scale not before seen in my work.”

The exhibitions will remain on view through December 21, 2019.

In Spring 2020, Cody Hudson will reveal a multi-story mural on the eastern façade of the building that will feature a vibrantly shaped composition that references plant life and how the public interacts with both interior existence and the exterior world.

“While conceptualizing what will be my largest mural in Chicago, I have been interested in the connection between living plants and their influence on our human minds, both psychologically and psychedelically,” said Hudson.

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