Friday, September 30, 2016

Clutch is on the lend

After a few years with Georgina Valverde and the Society of Smallness, Clutch is again switching hands.  Today it is off to the care of Tanner Woodford of the Chicago Design Museum.  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Garbage Time is Running Out: An acceleration of Clutch Gallery by Logan Breitbart and Jack Gruszczynski

February 8 - March 4, 2016

Clutch Gallery inhaled deeply and released one long, austere note,  reveling in its reverberations and neatly composed, tiny harmonies. Eventually, this breath will run out and Clutch will taper to its limit. This impending moment of death thrills artists Breitbart and Gruszczynski, yet the pristine, privileged wait is surely too difficult for them to bear. A decision was made to exhaust the little gallery in violent, erratic melody. The artists will ACCELERATE the lifespan of Clutch by using its space in every conceivable way for one month, imposing upon it a different challenge in curation EVERY DAY. We will saturate its content with FERTILIZER and OIL, building tempo and crescendo to the end. Clutch was the world, and we is the Sun. Who can overcome the spoiled one?

Jack Gruszczynski is a Chicago-based artist who received his BFA in Fine Arts from Columbia College Chicago. His work is mainly performative and employs relationship as medium.

Logan Breitbart is a Chicago-based artist. He is a member of Poems While You Wait, Runaways Theater Lab, and teaches GED courses in Cook County Jail.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Unstuck Time: A Small Stage for Wandering Minds by Leslie Baum

January 16 - February 15, 2015

In 2003 I visited Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The temples and stone sculptures possessed a staggering beauty and scale, but it was the small arrangements of stone rubble at every site that really struck me. I speculated. Perhaps these still-life-like groupings and stone stacks were the work of bored tourists, of   wandering minds and wandering hands?  A few years later, I encountered something similar in New Mexico: arrangements of pottery shards on the dry earth of Pueblo archeological sites.

Time unsticks in these moments. The ancient slips into the now.  The piles, cairns, and mosaic-like images pulsate with intimacy and evidence a deep urge to play and to delight in touch, shape, form, pattern and texture.

Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect.

This expression, associated with the Japanese aesthetic Wabi Sabi, has a far reach. I believe it encompasses these ever-so-casual tableaus placed by anonymous hands. The arrangements, easily abandoned, are gestures of impermanence. The stones, shards, and rubble are ever-ready to become something else for someone else, without incident.

Snow covers the ground. Lake Michigan is cluttered with ice. The sun–soaked sand and stones persist. They are here in Clutch. Take a moment and unspool time. Play without purpose.

Leslie Baum is a painter. She studied at the Glasgow School of Art and received her BA from the University of Vermont. Since then she has shown her work nationally and internationally including exhibitions in New York at CRG, in San Francisco at Gregory Lind Gallery, in Chicago at the Tony Wight Gallery, in Rome at Barone Odom Gallery, and in Pyung Teak, South Korea at the Sosabul Art Expo. Her drawings are in the Art Institute of Chicago’s permanent collection and her paintings can be found in numerous private collections. She has been reviewed in Art Forum, Art in America, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as by many other publications. She has been artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, and was nominated for the Richard H. Driehaus Award for emerging artists in 2005. Leslie Baum lives and works in Chicago.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Terra/Form Blog

Terra/Form: Cultivating a Community is a project by students in Rhoda Rosen's Contemporary Cartography class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Please visit the Terra/Form blog to follow the development of this project. Updates are also available on Clutch Gallery's Facebook page.

Terra/Form: Cultivating A Community

November 20, 2014 – December 20, 2014.

Maps are often thought of as tangible guides to territories—concrete or abstract, philosophical or scientific, political or imaginary—but they also bring new landscapes into being. They are the physical embodiments of a set of decisions and protocols, blueprints for the act of walking, traversing the land, and a way of being. Contemporary artists, whose artistic practice incorporates walking, understand this.  Their works explore a range of questions from the arbitrary nature of national boundaries to the privatization of public space, while they present new maps for bringing new social communities into being.

Terra/Form: Cultivating A Community offers one such possibility.  Terra/Form is a group show in which artists have come together to create a metaphorical garden, a microcosm of a community they wish to see made visible in the world. On view at Clutch Gallery, Terra/Form provides an intensely personal viewing experience while also activating public conversation. As the gallery itself moves with its caretaker, each step taken during the scheduled exhibition materializes the thinking and the performance of a journey. Walking becomes an aesthetic experience and a community-building dialogue.

Just as walking symbolically reclaims land or space, so does planting and tending a garden. The artists at Clutch Gallery present a viewing experience that enacts a kind of cultural planting of seeds and setting down of roots, a simple gesture that encourages reconnecting with the earth, and with the community of other viewers and gardeners, a mobile act that conjures the preciousness of running one's fingers through the earth itself.
"When you give yourself to places, they give you yourself back; the more one comes to know them, the more one seeds them with the invisible crop of memories and associations that will be waiting for you when you come back, while new places offer up new thoughts, new possibilities." 
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Terra/Form is an exhibition organized and curated by students enrolled in Rhoda Rosen's Contemporary Cartography course at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In this course, students read, write, present and walk the city exploring both object-based and more ephemeral artistic mapmaking practices while calling into question the scientific and art historical languages by which mapmaking is framed.

Featured artists: Melody Bilbo, Christen Calloway, Katherine C. Doyle, Tall Tim Llop, LaAndrea Deloyce Mitchel, Paulina Ramirez Parra, Judy Radovsky, and Landon Williams.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Nuts by Scott Wolniak

June 12 - July 22

 Nuts is the ongoing project of Scott Wolniak, which he considers to be an unlimited edition.   With labor-intensive care, the artist crafts painted plaster replicas of common shelled nuts.   Based on a joke about value in art, coupled with the surrealist notion that all things can transform in the mind's eye, Wolniak takes great care to produce accurate renderings of these rather dumb models.  The pieces can function in a variety of contexts, including art galleries, domestic spaces, or here, in this box!  For Clutch, the plaster nuts have been mounted like bobble-heads, onto small springs.  The nuts are looked down upon, and seem to be quivering or in orbit with one-another.  Clutch has also been equipped with a bamboo floor as an additional piece of this installation.

Scott Wolniak is a multidisciplinary studio artist based in Chicago. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Chicago Reader, New City, and the Houston Chronicle, among others and is included in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Joan Flasch Book Art Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and many private collections.  He is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Art at the University of Chicago.

See more at

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Clutch Gallery visits the The Arts of Life

Part II of Captain Morely Miniscule's adventures as Clutch's docent.

Located on 2010 West Carroll Ave. in Chicago, The Arts ofLife is a charismatic band of artists who perform music, write poetry and create art. The Arts of Life is committed to providing quality, innovative services for artists with developmental disabilities.

Clutch and Captain Morley Miniscule visited The Arts of Life on May 22nd for a viewing of Erin Washington's Untitled (Aerophyte). Captain Miniscule spoke to resident artist "Chris" who said the current installation reminded him of sea creatures. "Like sea foam under the water," he elaborated. Another artist, "Pablo," wanted to know more about the reason the gallery was so small. He told Captain Miniscule that he liked going to the Art Institute, but hadn't been in a while. He thought it was great that Clutch could come to his studio for a visit.