Handcrafted Optimism


Within the current exhibition “Handcrafted Optimism” at the Tony Wight Body Builder and Sportsman Gallery in Chicago is the work of three young abstract painters — Daniel Hesidence, Aliza Nisenbaum and Eric Sall. The exhibit, which is curated by John Henderson, an artist and recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, focuses primarily on the artists’ attention and exploration of the materiality of paint. By using the medium’s physicality, the artists are able to experiment more freely with the formal concerns of the painting, such as color, form and composition, by eluding concrete concepts and opening the painting to a wider interpretation. Through this approach to painting, the artists’ work remains handcrafted and optimistic, just as the title states. Hesidence, whose image is shown above, received his M.F.A. from Hunter College in New York City (2001) and has exhibited with Feature Inc. and John Connelly Presents. Nisenbaum is a graduate of the School of the Visual Arts in Chicago (2005), and Eric Sall received his M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University (2006). Both have exhibited across the U.S. with works at places like ATM Gallery in New York City and the Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago.