EXPO Chicago 2015: Chicago

Navy Pier, September 17 - 20, 2015 
Booth 728

Albertz Benda is pleased to announce its participation in EXPO Chicago, the first art fair for the recently launched New York gallery. The gallery booth will feature the work of two midcareer American artists, Cullen Washington Jr. and Jen Ray.


Albertz Benda will present a set of never-before-seen works by Washington, installed on two of the booth’s walls, and a monumental diorama by Ray that will occupy the entirety of thethird wall. Together, the artists’ work act as a dialogue between total abstraction and deliberate figuration.


Cullen Washington Jr. is a Louisiana-born artist whose work is both substantive and present while defying formal expectations. Washington’s latest body of work renews his quest for essential truths, striving to reconcile order in the universe via the language of the grid and the notion of “abstractus” (i.e. subtracting space). In the works on view at Expo Chicago he uses canvas and found fragments that circumvent and protrude from a center structure. By defying the traditional frame of a canvas, he is able to draw out of the grid with negative spaceas well as materials at hand: strips of bald canvas, packing materials, charcoal, powder, string, tape, gesso, among others.


Jen Ray was raised in North Carolina, and has returned to the US following a long period of living and working in Berlin. Her large-scale paintings unite the intimacy of hand-drawn line-work with pulsating activity and vibrant colors. Invoking the power of the symbol, she layers iconographies from myriad cultures and time periods, strengthening the depicted figures while abolishing a cultural hierarchy. Just as Washington creates meaning out of an assemblage of found objects and detritus, Jen Ray’s works are a pastiche of imagery drawn from high and low culture, grand artistic traditions and kitsch.


Cullen Washington Jr. was born in 1972. He was recently included in Trio: Beyond Boundaries at the Alexandria Museum of Art (2015), Black in the Abstract at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (2014) and Things in Themselves at the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2013). He has been the
recent recipient of grants and residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and the Studio Museum of Harlem in New York.


Jen Ray was born in 1970. Her work was recently shown in a solo exhibition, Hits, at Kunstverein Kassel (2014), as well as the group show ‘Walk the Line’ at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg(2015) and a performance at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2013).


Opening in Fall 2015, Albertz Benda is a new gallery partnership between Thorsten Albertz and Marc Benda committed to presenting and nurturing a contemporary visual arts program, featuring a distinct roster of emerging and established artists.


Thursday, September 17 | 6:00—9:00pm
Presented by the Women’s Board benefitting Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.


Friday, September 18 | 11:00 am—7:00 pm
Saturday, September 19 | 11:00 am—7:00 pm
Sunday, September 20 | 11:00 am—6:00 pm


Navy Pier
600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611