Judith Brotman and Fraser Taylor: Missed (and Other) Connections

October 23 – November 26, 2016
Reception: Sunday, October 23, 3 – 6pm

Curated by Karen Azarnia

Read a review of this exhibition in New City here.

The Riverside Arts Center is pleased to present Missed (and other) Connections, a two-person exhibition featuring work by Judith Brotman and Fraser Taylor. Brotman and Taylor reference form and the human body through the immediacy of mark – be it drawn, stitched, collaged, or sculpted. Having shared an artistic dialogue for many years as both friends and colleagues, both artists delve into the complex territory of relationships and connections between people. Navigating the often contradictory notions of identity, self-perception, longing and desire, Brotman and Taylor convey urgency and vulnerability, embodied through formal material choices and a sense of touch.

Judith Brotman, Untitled (Dorian Gray), 2016, Mixed media. 9"L x 4 1/2" W x 2 1/2" D

Judith Brotman, Untitled (Dorian Gray), 2016, Mixed media. 9″L x 4 1/2″ W x 2 1/2″ D

Fraser Taylor, Missed Connections no. 1, 2015, collage and ink on paper, 14” x 17”

Fraser Taylor, Missed Connections no. 1, 2015, collage and ink on paper, 14” x 17”

For this exhibition, Judith Brotman’s work is inspired and informed by Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Many of her mixed-media sculpture pieces incorporate stitched and altered pages with fragments of the text. Like much of Brotman’s work, these pieces are ruminations on spaces of transformation and odd love stories.   More specific to Wilde’s text is the focus on the complexity of human motivations that are frequently at odds with long standing self-perceptions.

Fraser Taylor’s work in this exhibition is motivated by his fascination with Masaccio’s Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden, 1424-27. This fresco inspired an extensive series of drawings, started in 2013. The work focuses on the emotional as well as physical aspects of the figures of Adam and Eve, the pictorial space they inhabit, and reflects on underlying conflicts between individuality and conformity. The drawings are made from observation, memory and association and are dependent on process, which encompass the unexpected and the unpredictable, intending to trap the urgency of gesture. The exhibition includes drawings, printed cloths, and sculptures, all a direct outcome of an aesthetic concern for the figure, nature, abstraction, and materiality.


Judith Brotman
Judith Brotman is an interdisciplinary artist and educator from Chicago. Brotman received her BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies. Her work includes mixed media installations and theatrical immersive environments which occupy a space between sculpture and drawing. More recent work incorporates language/text based conceptual projects which are also meditations on the possibility of transformation. Brotman has exhibited extensively in Chicago and throughout the US. Exhibitions include: Threewalls, Chicago Cultural Center, Hyde Park Art Center, Gallery 400, Illinois State Museum, The Bike Room, INOVA, the DeVos Art Museum, Hampshire College, Smart Museum of Art, SOFA Chicago, The Society of Arts & Crafts, Boston, and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Brotman currently teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Fraser Taylor
Raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Fraser Taylor is an interdisciplinary visual artist who lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in printed textiles from Glasgow School of Art, Taylor continued his studies at the Royal College of Art in London where he earned a Master of Arts. Taylors work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Mackintosh Museum at Glasgow School of Art; Gallery Boards, Paris; Galeria Jorge Alcolea, Madrid; Tim Olsen Gallery, Sydney; Axis Gallery, Tokyo; Baryshnikov Art Center, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Aurobora Press, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art, and Threewalls, Chicago; In 2001 he was appointed the Visiting Artist in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he continues to serve as Adjunct Professor.

Karen Azarnia
Karen Azarnia is a Chicago-based artist, educator, and curator. She received an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She has exhibited widely, with solo exhibitions at Terrain Exhibitions, Oak Park, IL; the Union League Club of Chicago, IL; The Riverside Arts Center, IL; and recent group exhibitions at the Chicago Artists Coalition, IL; Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, NE; and Comfort Station, Chicago, IL. She is a grant recipient from the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and has been included in Hyperallergic, the Huffington Post and Newcity. She is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For more information visit www.karenazarnia.com.

This exhibition is free and open to the public.
Gallery hours: Tue-Sat, 1 ‐ 5pm.
For additional information contact Claudine Isé, Freeark Gallery Director, claudineise.rac@gmail.com

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and sponsorship from the Riverside Township.


Published on the occasion of the exhibition “Judith Brotman & Fraser Taylor: Missed (and Other) Connections” at the Riverside Arts Center, this full-color catalogue features essays on the works of Brotman and Taylor by exhibition curator Karen Azarnia, Scott J Hunter, and Annie Morse.


Click below to read an excerpt from the catalogue (“The Space Between,” essay on the work of Judith Brotman and Fraser Taylor by exhibition curator Karen Azarnia).

The Space Between essay by Karen Azarnia

Catalogue price includes $2.00 shipping charge.

Order Judith Brotman and Fraser Taylor, "Missed (and Other) Connections" Catalogue Judith Brotman Fraser Taylor Catalogue @ $22.00