Statement & Resume


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Artist Statement:
I am one amongst a generation of artists after modernism who has given consideration to the ways certain cultural narratives over time become naturalized.  In the wake of modernism’s ossification into a series of predictably scandalous scripts, many artists looked to the “dead” or more traditional media to see what sorts of critical possibilities might be realized. With the depiction of landscape playing such a central role in the history of North American art, it seemed to offer many of the critical possibilities I was looking for, and it felt more and more like something I have always known. But how have I known it?

During the last 15 years, I have produced a body of work that tries to raise questions about the representation of nature from a variety of institutional points of view. The series began with an allegorical prairie grass museum that was housed in an abandoned 19th century fire station on the west side of Chicago. Soon after, I produced an illustrated Martian travel guide, an architectural bestiary and an illustrated lunar calendar.  After relocating in Pennsylvania, I continued with a deer-hunting labyrinth (based on the myth of the Minotaur, slayed by Theseus), a cow chapel - collaboratively with Scottish landscape architect Rolf Roscher and, as always, landscape paintings.

The paintings portray the kind of suburban, quotidian spaces in drastic states of transformation that increasingly define the character of North America. By employing the ancient craft (and/or technique) of tempera painting, a medium long associated with the depiction of the sacred; these prosaic spaces are rendered as social and historical ruins. By setting these depictions into a form of mythic space, a dialogue is initiated that sheds light on contemporary experience through an engagement with the history of painting. A kind of tension is created through these paradoxes that seek to pose questions about the nature of the sacred, the prosaic, the beautiful.

1988 M.F.A., Painting and Drawing, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, IL
1985 BFA, Painting and Drawing, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
2013 Studio Art Centers International (SACI) Consortium Residency, San Giovanni Valdarno, Italy
2003 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award
Arts Council of Ireland, publications grant for New Potatoes, a collaborative book of photos with Helen O’Leary. Published by Coracle Press.
2002 Arts Council of Ireland Grant Award for the production of Silage, a collaborative artist's book
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Research Grant, University Park, PA
2001 Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies Grant, University Park, PA
Jim and Connie Houser Award, The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Research Grant, University Park, PA
2000 The Tyrone Guthrie Center Award, Annaghmakerrig, Ireland
Penn State College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Research Grant, University Park, PA
1999 Heinrich Boll Foundation Award, Achill Island, Ireland
1997  The Ballinglen Foundation Award, Ballycastle, County Mayo, Ireland
1991  CAAP Grant, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, IL
1985  Maria Elkin Memorial Prize, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
2015 Art from Excess, Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, Gary, IN
2014 Summer Group Show, Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL
2012 New Paintings, Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL
10th Anniversary Show, Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL
Studio Practice: Recent Work by SoVA Faculty, Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, PA
2011 The Civility Show, Amelie Wallace Gallery, SUNY, Old Westbury, NY
2009 Beacon, The Ballina Arts Centre, Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland
2008 Fantastical Imaginings, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE; (traveling, 2008-09) Maryland Art Place, Baltimore, MD (Catalog)
2007 Group, Zg Gallery, Chicago Bridge Art Fair, Miami, FL
2006 Reclamation, Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL (four-person show)
CLUSTER, Participant Inc., NY, NY
(traveling, 2006); Espacio El Particular, Mexico City; FOUR, Dublin, Ireland
Art Chicago, Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL
Summer Show, Zg Gallery, Chicago, IL
2005 New Images from North Mayo, Courthouse Gallery, The Ballinglen Arts Foundation Ballycastle, Ireland
2004 Trunk Show, The King House, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Traveled to London Metropolitan University Gallery, Whitechapel
2003 Ballinglen Fellows Exhibition, Community Arts Center, Wallingford, PA
Zg Gallery "Paul Chidester, Selected Works," Chicago, IL
2002 Zg Gallery, “12 x 12”, Chicago, IL
Spazio Arte, “La Citta' Ideale”, Perugia, Italy
Leitrim Design House Gallery, Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland
Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, “CLUSTER, Studio 6,” Dublin, Ireland
Conversationspace, Claremorris Open Exhibition, Claremorris, Ireland
Ballinglen Foundation Courthouse Gallery, “Colours,” Ballycastle, Ireland
Zg Gallery, “An Amuse-Bouche”, Chicago, IL
2001 Scott Pfaffman Gallery, “Paul Chidester, Recent Works,” New York, NY
MPI Media, “take heART,” New York, NY
Island Arts Centre, “Visual Leitrim,” Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Artists Image Resource, “Photographs by Artists Made for a Variety of Purposes,” Pittsburgh, PA
Society of the Four Arts, “63rd Annual Nat’l Exhibition of Contemporary American Paintings,” Palm Beach, FL
2000  Linenhall Arts Center, “On Painting and Fighting, Look Aloof,” Castlebar, County  Mayo, Ireland
Gallery Arka,, Lithuania & Gallery 5020, Salzburg, Austria, “2nd International Artist's Book Triennial Vilnius”
Palmer Art Museum, “sva2000,” University Park, PA
Rosenthal Gallery, “Current Work 2000”, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC
Abercrombie Gallery, “Works on Paper,” McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA
Baton Rouge Gallery, “Works on Paper,” Baton Rouge, LA
Period Gallery, “Contemporary 2000”, Omaha, NE
Zoller Gallery, “Trunk Show,” University Park, PA 
1999   Sheetz Gallery, “Paul Chidester, Recent Work, Penn State,” Altoona, PA
Rose Lehrman, Arts Center Gallery, “Landscape Paintings: Two Visions,” Harrisburg, PA
The Painting Center, “Figuratively Speaking,” New York, NY
The Bowman and Penelec Galleries, “8 Hour Drawings,” Allegheny College,  Meadville, PA          
1998  d'Art Center, “8th Annual Mid-Atlantic Art Exhibition”, Norfolk, VA
1997 Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts, “Landscape & Recollection: The Ballinglen Experience,” Dublin, Ireland
1995 Hunter College, “Beyond Circumstance,” New York, NY
1994 Zolla-Lieberman Gallery, Chicago, IL
N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago, IL
Zoller Gallery, Penn State, University Park, PA
Erie Art Museum “Elastic Visions,” Erie, PA
1993 Futura Book Collection, Nice, France. Curated by Florence Bonnefous
Owen Patrick Gallery, “Penn State Faculty Exhibition,” Philadelphia, PA
Randolph St. Gallery, “Artlantic City,” Chicago, IL 
John Post Lee Gallery, “Paul Chidester, Irene Hardwicke, Joe Smith, Janet Samuel,” New York, NY     
Zolla-Lieberman Gallery, “Views of Vegetables,” Chicago, IL 
1992 N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago, IL
1991 Chicago Cultural Center, “CORN,” Chicago, IL
Randy Alexander, New York, NY
Centro Colombo Americano de Medellin “An Exchange of Concepts on the American Landscape,”
traveling, 1992
Camara de Comercio de Cali Camara de Comercio de Bucaramanga, Museum of Modern Art of Cartegna
VIAFARINI, “Immagini Proittate,” Milan, Italy
Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, “conTEXTual,” Chicago, IL
MWMWM Gallery, “Trees”, Chicago, IL
N.A.M.E. Gallery, Chicago, IL                 
1990 Rezac Gallery, “Thresholds, Tracts and Thinwhinels,” Chicago, IL
N.A.M.E. Gallery, “Vital Signs,” Chicago, IL
1989 Ten in One Gallery, “Direct Object,” Chicago, IL
N.A.M.E. Gallery, “Anatomy Theater,” Chicago, IL
Northeastern University, “Small Sun drops, Water Horehound, Sneezeweed,” Chicago, IL
The Nature Conservancy, A temporary installation

CORE Gallery, “Young Denver Painters,” Denver, CO
CORE Gallery, “Patterns”, Denver, CO

Published Works:                  
2005 New Potatoes, Collaborative book of photographs with Helen O’Leary, published by Coracle Press, Ireland
2002  Silage, Artist's Book w/ Helen O'Leary, published: Mermaid Turbulence, Annaghmaconway, Cloone, Co. Leitrim, Ireland
The Salvation-Dexterity Method for Art Instruction, collaborative artist's book with Charles Cave
2000  A Primer for the 21st Century, collaborative artist's book with Charles Cave. Exhibited at Printed Matter, NY, NY
1995 7 Wildflowers of the 17th Century English Landscape, Mudlick Eds., Exhibited at Printed Matter, New York, NY
1991 Lunar Calendar, Mudlick Editions, Exhibited at Printed Matter, New York, NY
MARS, a travel journal. Mudlick Editions. Printed in India. Exhibited at Printed Matter, New York, NY
1990 WHITEWALLS, A Journal of Artist's Writings, "The Jay Pee Chaff Museum of Prairie Grasses,” #21 
ARTFORUM, Laurie Palmer, review, April 1991
Centre Daily Times, Joshua Jordan, Feb. 4, 1999; Barbara Bruggebors, Feb. 3, 1999
Chicago Tribune, David McCracken, July12, 1991
Crain's Chicago Business, Editor's Choice Review, Feb. 11-17, 1991
The Daily Break, June 11, 1998
The Irish Times, Brian Fallon, November 25, 1997
New American Paintings, Open Studio Press, Number 33, May 2001
New Art Examiner, Michael Bulka, review, April 1990
Pittsburgh Post Gazette Magazine, Ellen Wilson, Oct. 1, 2001; Mary Thomas, Feb. 6, 1999
The Virginian Pilot, Theresa Annas, 1998
WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio, Victoria Lautman, review, 1989

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