Andrew Rafacz is pleased to present Friendship’s Death, an exhibition of work by Melanie Authier, Leslie Baum, Judy Dolnick, Magalie Guérin, and Melissa Leandro in Gallery One and Two.

The exhibition opens Friday, June 2nd and continues through Saturday, July 15th, 2023.

The title of the exhibition, Friendship’s Death, is inspired by the 1987 film of the same name, in which a robot from the distant galaxy of Procylon was sent to Earth as an omen and oracle of high celestial intelligence.

Her mission is to examine the human condition and offer insight into the inevitabilities of the future. At the conclusion of the film, she leaves only a recorded message containing a five-minute sequence of abstract visuals—a diary of her experience, which the audience is left to decode.

In this exhibition we are invited to similarly decode each artist’s respective visual language, connecting to the ways in which they communicate complex ideas through abstraction. This exhibition hopes to operate as a sojourn to another place, creating moments for the viewer to move through a wide bandwidth of geographical time and space, by way of a select group of multigenerational artists, connected by their investigation of shape and color, and the impossible object.

Melanie Authier’s new works continue her interest in mercurial seasons and the synchronous possibilities of their painterly depictions. Her multi-layered scapes – interior, land or otherwise – represent an ever-present dramatic tension deeply rooted in our human pyche – chaos and control, the synthetic and organic, the technological and the natural. They capture the feeling of being caught between worlds – the known and the unknown, the infinite and the microscopic – while investigating the confines of art history.

Leslie Baum presents a recent group of works entitled: garden in a vase. This series tracks time and is a meditation on the enduring inevitability of change and death, through floral abstraction. The paintings selected for this exhibition are part of a larger body of watercolors and were part of the artist’s daily practice to stay present during stretches of recent isolation. Baum’s practice is iterative— creating mysterious versions within versions from piece to piece—all the while abstracting nature and flower forms even further. The artist’s documentations are at once familiar and alien, evocative of the ephemeral nature of life itself.

Judy Dolnick’s paintings from the late 80’s and 90’s combine spirited mark making and an investigation of expressive color to depict abstracted worlds derived from her imagination. Rhythm and gesture play a critical role in her paintings as she shifts in scale between precise forms and activated gestures. As an action painter, her work is imbued with bright daydream fantasies that come out of her like a squeeze of toothpaste! Over her 60-year career she has presented a multitude of perspectives of these familiar and imagined worlds as ‘she pulls her images apart from each other in order to investigate their meaning in isolation.’

Magalie Guérin is a master of recurrent shapes, rotating and flipping central forms into new compositions. The artist’s process of moving between many paintings while building a new body of work is reflected in the familiarity of place through color and texture. Her work embraces a poetic ambiguity, which is both unsettling and intriguing, blurring the line between definitive object and it’s abstraction. It is in this liminal space that Guérin’s paintings moor a sense of underlying structure, at once organic and mechanical.

Melissa Leandro creates vibrant textile works that represent a deep and thoughtful examination of her life experiences. With her newest works, she continues traditional and non-traditional methods of stitching, quilting, weaving, cyanotype, batik dyeing and foil transfers, often working from her drawings as a starting point. She uses analogue and digital methods of making: programming machines, jacquard looms, quilting and sewing machines, and additional styles of looms and hand sewing techniques. The works become abstract representations between mediums, that represent abstract relationships between family, her cultural identity, and the ecosystems she builds around her.

Melanie Authier (Canadian, b. Montreal, 1980) received a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal, QC) and an MFA from University of Guelph (Guelph, On), in Canada. Authier has shown in numerous public galleries including The National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON) and Galerie UQAM (Montreal, QC, Canada). A major solo exhibition Contrarieties & Counterpoints curated by Robert Enright (2016-2018) travelled to seven venues across Canada (publication). Recent group shows include Arsenal Contemporary (New York, NY) and The Canada Gallery, Canada House (London, UK). Her work is in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Musée régional de Rimouski (QC), Canada House (London, UK) and the ARBZ-Visual Art Collection-Global Affairs Canada in Madrid and Berlin. Authier currently lives and works in the Montreal, Quebec. She is represented by Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto.

Leslie Baum (American b. 1971) lives and works in Chicago. She received her BA from the University of Vermont and studied abroad at the Glasgow School of Art. Since 1993, Baum has exhibited in venues nationally and internationally including exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, Portland, Mexico City, Rome, and South Korea. Recent solo exhibitions include the Chicago Cultural Center (Chicago, IL), The Arts Club of Chicago, Drawing Room (Chicago, IL), Left Field Gallery (Los Osos, CA) and Julius Caesar Gallery (Chicago, IL). Group exhibitions include Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL), Carrie Secrist Gallery, (Chicago, IL), Jacob's West (Los Angeles, CA), Monaco (St. Louis, MO) and many more. Baum has received residencies at Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center. Her drawings and paintings are in permanent collections of the Chicago Art institute and the Elmhurst Art Museum. Her work has been reviewed extensively including in Artforum, Art in America, Hyperallergic, and the Chicago Tribune.

Judy Dolnick (American b. 1934) graduated from Stanford University and studied art in Chicago. Solo exhibitions include Outlet Fine Art (Brooklyn, NY), Klonaridies Gallery (Toronto, Canada), Gimpel & Weitzenhoffer (New York, NY), Hoshour Gallery (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Poindexter Gallery (New York, NY), Wells Street Gallery (Chicago, IL). Recent group exhibitions include Salon Zürcher (New York, NY), Edward Hopper House Museum (Nyack, NY), Outlet Fine Art (Brooklyn, NY), 1285 Avenue of the Americas Gallery (New York, NY), “The Wells Street Gallery Revisited,” Lesley Helley Workspace (New York, NY). Dolnick’s work can be found in the permanent collections of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC), The Mint Museum of Art (Charlotte, NC) The Palmer Museum of Art (Penn State University), and The Spencer Museum of Art (University of Kansas, Lawrence), among others.

Magalie Guérin (b. Montreal, 1973) is based in Marfa, TX. She holds an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, where she resided for a decade. Recent solo shows include Amanda Wilkinson Gallery (London, UK), Chapter NY (New York, NY), Galerie Nicolas Robert (Montreal, QC), James Harris (Seattle,WA), Corbett vs Dempsey (Chicago, IL), Schwarz Contemporary (Berlin, DE), and Anat Egbi (Los Angeles, CA). Recent group exhibitions include Anton Kern WINDOW (New York, NY), Galerie Nicolas Robert (Toronto, ON), Elmhurst Museum (Elmhurst, IL), DePaul Art Museum (Chicago, IL), ICA at MECA (Portland, ME), Nicelle Beauchene (New York, NY), Brand New gallery (Milan, IT), and Rhona Hoffman (Chicago, IL). Her work is in the collection of Berkeley Art Museum, Speed Art Museum, DePaul Art Museum, Hydro-Québec, and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Quebec, Canada). She is the author of Notes On, a compilation of studio writings published by The Green Lantern Press (2016, 2nd Ed. 2019), and teaches at SAIC and College of DuPage. In 2019, Guérin was awarded the Pace Award for a mid-career painter at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and in 2018, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, as well as a Chinati Foundation residency. She is represented by Corbett vs. Dempsey (Chicago, IL) and Galerie Nicolas Robert (Montreal, Qu, Canada).

Melissa Leandro (American, b. Miami,1989) lives and works in Chicago, IL. She received an MFA in 2017 and a BFA in 2012, both from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has participated in residencies, including The Vermont Studio Center, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, The Ragdale Foundation, The Jacquard Center, and the Weaving Mill. She is the recipient of the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation Artadia Award for 2021. She has had recent solo exhibitions at Waubonsee Community College (Waubonsee, IL), Andrew Rafacz (Chicago, IL), University of Nebraska (Omaha, NE), The University Club of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Union League Club of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Rockford University (Rockford, IL) and the Wright Museum of Art (Beloit, WI). Group exhibitions include Pentimenti Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Kent State University Galleries (Kent, OH), DePaul Art Museum (Chicago, IL) and The Arts Club of Chicago (Chicago, IL). Her work is included in numerous public and private collections.