• Stephen Eichhorn
    Changing Voids (Euphorbia) [detail], 2020
    Collage on archival paper
    37.5 x 24.5 inches

Current Exhibition

Stephen Eichhorn: Portals | Voids | Stacks

July 18—August 29, 2020


Carrie Secrist Gallery is pleased to announce our second exhibition with Chicago-based gallery artist Stephen Eichhorn: Portals | Voids | Stacks. Additionally, Portals | Voids | Stacks will be on view by appointment only at 900 W. Washington Avenue from July 18 through August 29, 2020. To contact the gallery for a private viewing, please email the gallery at info@secristgallery.com.  

To visit the Online Viewing Room, please click here.

Portals | Voids | Stacks brings Stephen Eichhorn’s collage-based works on paper to a new realm of otherworldly experiences not unlike these strange times we’ve all been experiencing. Created over the course of the last 6 months and within our collective self-isolations, these intricately cut out images of cacti, succulents and their accompanying flowers are strategically piled and placed on monochromatic or gradated sheets of paper. 

Growing cacti or succulents or caudiforms relies heavily on delayed gratification. It forces one to learn patience and is frankly a deeper understanding of time in relation to the universe.

– The Lower East Side Cactus & Succulent Society

Eichhorn’s deep interest in these plants goes beyond their aesthetic and virtuous appeal. Just previous to developing the artwork for Portals | Voids | Stacks, and well into the current pandemic, Eichhorn began to collect, cultivating and meditate with living cacti and succulents gathered from all over the world. His curiosity and subsequent education about these plants came as a kind of comforting distraction and the process of cutting and gathering started to take on a different, slower or more deliberate function as a meditative act. From Eichhorn: “In the moment, each component becomes critical with each thorn or flower pedal needing care and attention, as if the paper image was living.”

These portals (a doorway, gate, or other entrance), voids (vacuums of empty space) and stacks (an orderly heap or large pile) offer transitory opportunities to experience a moment in time built by the artist’s hand. Trading foregrounds for backgrounds and vice versa, the cumulative effect may feel slightly uncomfortable, but ultimately the formal graphic approach produces a handmade, or cultivated, visually isolated environment that allows for an experience that implores self-exploration.

Eichhorn’s Plant Studies, an ongoing series and titled in this exhibition as Hybrid Forms I through VIII, offer particularly experimental approaches to the symbiotic relationship between plant and human. Circles, arcs, concentric squares and other shapes are graphically enhanced with vivid swatches of color while cut & delicately piled selections of cacti and succulents. Inferred here is Eichhorn’s dedication to the meditative depths and realms achieved through the making of hybrid forms which exist in the mind’s eye but are extinct in reality. These living plants and cut out plants, coexisting and inspiring, shepherding us through a space and time that seems to be slower and more deliberate, yet constant and still full of wonder.

 

At the request of Stephen Eichhorn, 10% of all sales will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

 

Stephen Eichhorn (b. 1984, United States) lives and works in Chicago. He has had solo exhibitions at the Franklin Park Conservatory, Elmhurst Art Museum and the Chicago Athletic Association. His work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Tower Hill Botanic Gardens, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, NEIU Fine Arts Center Gallery, Illinois State Musem Lockport Gallery and the Museum of Arts and Design, New York.

Images

  • Stephen Eichhorn
    The Flower, The Flower, The Cactus, 2020
    Collage on archival paper
    60 x 40 inches

  • Stephen Eichhorn
    The Stack (Red Flowers), 2020
    Collage on archival paper
    37.5 x 24.5 inches
    41 x 28 inches, framed

  • Stephen Eichhorn
    Conscience Regained IV, 2020
    Collage on archival paper
    37.5 x 24.5 inches
    41 x 28 inches, framed

  • Stephen Eichhorn
    Hybrid Form II, 2020
    Collage on archival paper
    17 x 14 inches
    18 x 15 inches, framed

Additional Information