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Skewed Reality: A review of Vanessa Maltese and Michelle Grabner at Mickey Gallery

Chicago-based Gallery, Mickey’s latest exhibition curated by Simon Cole featuring works by Canadian Painter Vanessa Maltese and Michelle Grabner. A View Without a Room is a dialogue between both artists exploring and examining how we process the world around us.

Vanessa Maltese Floored no. 2, 2020 Patinated bronze, wax 3.5" X 3.5" 8.89cm X 8.89cm

Vanessa Maltese Floored no. 2, 2020 Patinated bronze, wax 3.5″ X 3.5″ 8.89cm X 8.89cm

A View Without a Room questions our day to day normal activities and the actual purpose of them along with the objects that are involved. Mickey Gallery’s walls are adorned with ordinary items like hooks, panels, and sip lids in plain sight. As our eyes move through space we are forced to question the purpose of each object versus where we usually find them in our daily activities. 

Vanessa Maltese Hook no. 4, 2020 Patinated bronze, wax, hardware 2" X 1.5" X 3.12" 5.08cm X 3.81cm X 7.92cm

Vanessa Maltese Hook no. 4, 2020 Patinated bronze, wax, hardware 2″ X 1.5″ X 3.12″ 5.08cm X 3.81cm X 7.92cm

Taking into account the title of the show we have to think about how we view our rooms we occupy or the spaces we exist in. Looking at Vanessa Maltese in Hook no. 4,2020 we see the installation of hooks in the way we would hang our belongings and in a nonconventional way, but what is the difference? Hooks and hardware alike are overlooked in space, often the are perceived as part of the whole package, not an entity on its own.

In both of Vanessa Maltese, Hypothesizing coincidence no. 1, 2020, and Floored no. 2, 2020, the space in front of us and below us take precedence. The small details Maltese presents to us in these works are the same small moments that we overlook, but what are we really distracted by. A View Without a Room forced us to question what would our view be, and what is our view currently? The social construct of the world we live in has been built on important, need, and thought but what about the aspects of our society that accumulate dust in the process?

Hypothesizing coincidence no. 1, 2020 is a simple and powerful example of how a small tweak in our visual processes can be distributed creating a new normal. The panel imposed with oil can exist with skewed positioning but how we view objects around us makes us question why?

Michelle Grabner Untitled, 2020 Oil and gesso on burlap

Michelle Grabner Untitled, 2020 Oil and gesso on burlap

Michelle Grabner takes this concept further in Untitled, 2020 featuring gesso and oil on burlap. Burlap has the ability to decompose, but that will not happen overnight. Our daily use of a product like burlap can go unrecognized and once we do see that manual value it can be gone. The use of oil and gesso gives character to caramel pigmented fabric. But Grabner opens questions regarding the everyday impact of items versus their visual presence in our lives. 

A View Without a Room makes me question the why behind our own personal whys. As your eyes move throughout Mickey Gallery the conversation between Maltese and Grabner works in your own personal space and your awareness changes from spaces, and items. We have been conditioned by our surroundings to overlook important fundamental aspects of our processes but at what cost?

Mickey Gallery is currently operating under appointment to view the exhibition during COVID-19 Pandemic. mickey.online

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