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Michael Koerner @ Catherine Edelman Gallery

Michael Koerner, Waterfalls #6234, 2018

Michael Koerner: My DNA
November 2 – December 22, 2018

OPENING RECEPTION WITH THE ARTIST: Friday, November 2 5:00 – 8:00 pm

“Koerner’s 6 x 8″ tintypes seduce the viewer with glistening deep blacks, metallic silvers, and odd green, yellow and blue hues, to talk about disease. By blowing through a straw, or dripping chemicals from an eyedropper onto tin plates, Koerner manipulates collodian to create sunbursts, explosions, amorphous shapes, and double helixes, all of which reference his family history. In Waterfalls we see vibrant blue chemical drippings, reminiscent of pieces by the 18th c. Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai; in Phases small balls float across the sky, resembling shooting stars; in Finger Prints, the repetitive imprint of the artists fingertips suggests a medical scan or disease. As he states: ”

“I am the oldest of five brothers. The next born son of my parents lived for only several days. The next son was stillborn and the next was miscarried late in the third trimester. The cause of each of these tragedies was traced to genetic abnormalities. My youngest brother, Richard, eventually succumbed to complications associated with two separate bouts of lymphatic cancer. He lived until he was 32 years of age. There is a tremendous amount of pain and guilt associated with these horrendous endings. It is almost impossible to eliminate or even subdue the feelings that something could have been done differently or avoided. About half of the 80 thousand deaths from the attack on Nagasaki occurred in the first day, while the other half of the deaths occurred from radiation sickness and burns in the following few months. Realistically, the ultimate death toll is at least ten times higher when you approximate the long-term effect of severe, acute exposure to gamma radiation. My mother and each of her four siblings died of rare genetic disorders and/or cancer at ages much younger than the median life expectancy. I remain hyper-vigilant towards my own cancer diagnosis and exhibit my own feelings of survivor’s guilt. These feelings, and family history and experiences, drive my artistic practice.”

Catherine Edelman Gallery, 300 W. Superior Street, Chicago, IL 60654


Also published on Medium.


Posted in Chicago, Illinois, United States | Tagged

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