Landscaped Paintings by Chantala Kommanivanh & Joyce Polance
Elephant Room Gallery is excited to present artists Joyce Polance and Chantala Kommanivanh in an exhibition featuring contemporary landscapes. “Landscaped” opens August 11th and will include additional programming during Expo Art Week in September. When we think of traditional landscape paintings, several images might come to mind including green rolling hills, the deep gray of the mountains, a deep orange sunset or the blue and silver qualities of a lake. “Landscaped” is a departure from those images and reconsiders the landscape to be something more fluid and re-imagined based on our own relationship with our ever-changing environments. The vibrancy of colors and manipulation of paint in both Polance's and Kommanivanh’s paintings are very different from one another yet are able to connect and interact with each other through the emotional quality of the work. “Human activity plays a major role in the push and pull of nature’s birth, death, and rebirth……My landscape paintings are abstractions of nature’s wrath and beauty as I attempt to emulate her strength in fast brush strokes and vibrant marks of color.” - Kommanivanh. “I explore vulnerability through both my subject matter and my painting process. I begin with a specific reference, but once the image is initially laid in, I cease looking at it. Instead, I engage in dialogue with the painting, letting it lead me to unknown places.” - Polance “Landscaped” is on exhibition August 11th through October 6th at Elephant Room Gallery located at 704 S Wabash Ave. in Chicago. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, August 11th from 6pm to 9pm. During Expo Week, the gallery will also hold a reception in conjunction with Expo’s Art After Hours on Friday, September 28th from 6pm to 9pm as well as a Q&A with the artists on Saturday, September 29th from 11am to 1pm. All events are free and open to the public. Additional gallery information can be found on the gallery’s website, www.elephantroomgallery.com. Joyce Polance Biography Joyce Polance is a Chicago-based painter working in oils. Her work consists of expressionist portraits and landscapes which explore the chaotic inner worlds of their subjects—both as depiction of the subjects' own vulnerabilities and of their connections to the tumultuous political atmosphere we are currently living in. Polance has exhibited internationally and is the recipient of multiple grants and awards including six Chicago CAAP grants, a George Sugarman Foundation grant, two Judith Dawn Memorial grants, and a fellowship at Spertus Institute in Chicago. Her paintings are held internationally in private and corporate collections. Polance was born in New York City in 1965. She attended Wesleyan University and received a BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She lives and works in Chicago, Illinois and is represented by Judy Ferrara Gallery in Three Oaks, MI and Elephant Room Gallery in Chicago, IL. Her paintings may be viewed on her website, www.joycepolance.com. Chantala Kommanivanh Biography Chantala Kommanivanh is an emerging Laotian American artist. Kommanivanh's work is inspired from old family photographs and found images representing his childhood. His work uses paint and loose canvas, often collage and layered with drawn and painted marks, areas of thick paint and thin stains of color to explore his experience as a member of a refugee family. There are glimpses of a displaced youth negotiating a new cultural landscape, family ties, and various aspects of identity and urban life in his work. His paintings combine colorful and sometimes aggressive abstraction with moments of sensitive photographic clarity...perhaps an appropriate analogy to an engaged life. Kommanivanh's work has been displayed in four solo exhibitions in Chicago and numerous group and invitational exhibitions across the U.S. He received his M.F.A. at UW-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts, studying painting and drawing. He has achieved numerous awards such as the prestigious Union League Civic & Arts Foundation award and a two time A.O.P. Fellowship award recipient. Kommanivanh is also an arts instructor at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.