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New I space exhibitions showcase work by Chicago-based artists

Melissa Mitchell, Arts Editor

Mary Antonakos, I space coordinator

Gerda Meyer Bernstein art
Click photo to enlarge
Gerda Meyer Bernstein
mixed media

Released 3/1/2007

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Two new shows will be on view March 2 through April 7 at I space, the Chicago gallery of the University of Illinois:

• “Gerda Meyer Bernstein: Bearing Witness” features two installations by the Chicago-based artist who frequently draws inspiration from her personal experience. Meyer Bernstein was among the Jewish children afforded safe passage out of Nazi Germany to England and ultimately to the United States, by means of kindertransport, the rescue effort that moved thousands of refugee Jewish children to Great Britain from Nazi Germany between 1938 and 1940.

The exhibition includes “Phoenix,” a 1994 installation that incorporates shards of black and white glass scattered on a floor. A searchlight creates reflections on the walls as it pans the glass. Another mixed media installation, “River” – a container of 10,000 vials of blood-colored liquid – sheds light on the injustices associated with the spread of HIV/AIDS.

A catalog accompanies the exhibition and features essays and documentation of Meyer Bernstein’s work on view simultaneously at I space, the Rockford Art Museum and the Chicago Cultural Center.

Nicholas Sister art
Click photo to enlarge
Nicholas Sistler
"Yellow Telephone Cord"
guache on paper

• “Nicholas Sistler: In a Lonely Place” showcases the work of another Chicago-based artist. Sistler’s series of small, exquisitely detailed paintings – inspired by 1930s-50s film noir – evokes a sinister mood. Into his images of brightly colored domestic scenes, the artist inserts photographic-style images, rendered in monochromatic tones reminiscent of film stills.

An opening reception is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. on March 2 at the gallery, 230 W. Superior St., Chicago. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.