Monday, April 19, 2010



1716 S Morgan #2F
Chicago, IL 60608
April 24, 2010 - May 22, 2010
Opening reception: Saturday 6-9 pm, April 24th, 2010

Private viewings by appointment*
 *The performance by InCUBATE will be presented at 7:30 during the opening reception. 

And so: as the Great Depression (Redux) becomes ever more depressing and the breadlines grow longer under President Obama's communist administration (32 czars and counting!), your comrades at BEN RUSSELL have taken to the hills with the few thousand kopeks (100 to the Ruble) they still have hidden under their collectively-owned mattress to bring you yet another Thematic Group Art Exhibition (in which all works are equal and sold for the same price) - BEN RUSSELL : RUBLES

Timed to open one week prior to Art Chicago and the NEXT Fair and supported in part by the rubles-for-clunkers program, BEN RUSSELL : RUBLES shines a busted-up coal miner's headlamp on the economic realities of art marketeering (TASSET), stands outside your half-empty skyscraper with posters and pamphlets and silkscreens decrying the false accumulation of value (TAYLOR), teaches you to increase your meager earnings through a family-friendly dice game and other il/legal means (inCUBATE), and concocts a video poultice for the fractured, traumatized, and weary-at-heart (SHTEYNSHLEYGER).  RUBLES is a palette-cleanser for the bling-a-ling days to come, a reminder of where our core values as one-nation-under-art truly lie.  As USSR expat-comedian and Miller Lite Cold War stooge Yakov Smirnoff would have said: "At BEN RUSSELL you do not sell art, art sells you!"

BRYCE DWYER + MATTHEW JOYNT (InCUBATE) are two members of the Institute for Community Understanding Between Art and the Everyday (InCUBATE), a research group dedicated to exploring new approaches to arts administration and arts funding. They act as curators, researchers, and co-producers of artists' projects.  Their core organizational principle is to treat art administration as a creative practice.  More info can be found here:

Chicago-based artist ANNA SHTEYNSHLEYGER (b. 1977) belongs to a generation of photographers whose work is notable for its formal beauty and technical execution. Over the past several years, Shteynshleyger has had to renegotiate her relationship to Orthodox Judaism, which she had practiced since the age of 16, after moving to the United States from Moscow where she was born. Too personal to qualify as documentary of the Orthodox Jewish community, Shteynshleyger's work spans a variety of genres—portraits, still-life, landscape, and interiors—all of which display a sensitivity that is as questioning as it is knowing of its subjects.

TONY TASSET received his BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati and his MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago (1985). He is currently a professor of art and design at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Tasset has exhibited his works at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and Camerawork, London, among others.  He has lived and worked in Chicago for over fifteen years.  Tasset will have a one-person exhibition at Kavi Gupta (Chicago, IL) in May 2010 and his "Eye", a 30-foot tall sculptural replica of the artist's eye, will be on display at Pritzker Park from July through October 2010.

MIKE TAYLOR is a Miami-based artist whose work vacillates between text art and absurdist comic-based installation, manipulating the baggage of the screenprint as well as the sentimental unique object. His most recent forays into graphic territory are his own publication, Late Era Clash #22, Smoke Signal comic anthology out of Brooklyn, and Australian journal The Lifted Brow.
BEN RUSSELL is a newish art space in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.  Co-curated by artists Brandon Alvendia and Ben Russell and situated around the front two rooms in the apartment of its namesake, BEN RUSSELL began presenting a series of month-long 5-person shows on Memorial Day Weekend in the year 2009.  Participating artists are invited to produce and exhibit work that is in accordance with the title/theme of each show, the name of which will be derived entirely from the 10 letters in the words "ben russell."  Future shows may include BEN RUSSELL : LENS, BEN RUSSELL : REBELS, and BEN RUSSELL : US.  In keeping with the structural conceits of the French Oulipo language group and the spatial and material limits of what is effectively a rented apartment, BEN RUSSELL maintains a set of restrictions for all exhibiting artists by which:

BEN RUSSELL features a rotating roster of Chicago-based and non-Chicago-based artists and will be open for viewings one night a month and by appointment, as needed.

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