Barbara Rossi: Eye Owe You!

May 12 – August 21

/ 2016

“Eye Owe You!” was organized in collaboration with Barbara Rossi as a companion to the concurrent exhibition “Barbara Rossi: Poor Traits”—curated by Natalie Bell at the New Museum, New York. Rossi has been an important teacher to generations of students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since she began teaching there in 1971. Many of Barbara’s students fondly remember her “show and tell” sessions that prompted them to examine what, how, and why certain things piqued their visual interest. Quite simply, she taught them how to look.

The images from 1971 to 1975 included in the exhibition are a selection taken from Rossi’s vast collection of 35mm slides to align with the dates of the paintings in “Poor Traits.” Arranged by the artist in a specific sequence to correlate one image to the next, they document hand painted outdoor signs and window displays in Chicago and other cities around the globe. The street scenes provide a glimpse into her working process that, in contrast, yields surprisingly biomorphic abstract paintings and drawings.