NEXT Chicago | Booth 7-1083 | April 25-28

FEATURED ARTISTS: Karsten Konrad & Stephanie Backes

 Karsten Konrad
Stephanie Backes

Opening Preview: April 24th  7 - 10 pm | Daily: April 25th - 28th 2008
Location: Booth 7-1083 | For a floor plan of the fair, please click here.
Exhibitors: For a complete list, please click here.

loop – raum für aktuelle kunst
is proud to present the a sculptural presentation of STEPHANIE BACKES and KARSTEN KONRAD at Next Art Fair, April 25-28.

The objects of Stephanie Backes resemble both creature and structure, where disparate materials--felt, wood, thread and beads--are grafted together to an extremely limited surface area. Their microscopic dimensions (all are under 6” high) connote real-world locations, as they plunge into the imaginative, teasing, but never embodying, associations of the insect and the architectural.  Backes’ exuberant color palette might contrast with the conscious restraint intrinsic to such structures.  Perhaps, however, this conflated duality allows a certain restive angle of repose, where fragility and autonomous insularity hint at a shrouded vitality.

Karsten Konrad’s work  is urbanity compacted;  the work is an amalgamation of an assorted stratum of discarded kitchen utensils, postwar furniture.  His reliefs are three-dimensional kaleidoscopes resembling at once satellite shots of a city, floor-plans of Frank Lloyd Wright, or even crystallized electric clouds stretched and pinned to the wall.  Availing himself of the existing palette of found furniture, Konrad’s colors are prechosen, but manage, in their plastic two-dimensionality, to jump off the wall like graffiti.  However, the underlying existing structural framework, combined with the misaligned fragmentary pieces, makes for surprisingly tension-loaded forms.

NEXT, a new invitational art fair installed in 150,000 square feet of space on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart, Chicago, April 25-28, 2008, to complement Art Chicago 2008, will offer focused curatorial visions of some of the most important developments in contemporary art.

NEXT will include works from both commercial and non-commercial arts organizations as well as galleries, project spaces, artist collectives, art publications and key private contemporary collections. A virtual clearing-house for the best of contemporary art, NEXT presents a new, selectively curated exhibition format that brings together—in one exhibition space—the most cutting-edge contemporary artists and arts organizations in the world.

More international than any other young fair of contemporary art to date, NEXT boasts galleries from every important art city in the world, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, London, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Warsaw and Bucharest. The largest collection to date of significant art trends ever assembled, NEXT presents approximately 160 of the best young galleries from every major international center of art production.

Featuring special artists projects, NEXT will additionally fill the whole floor of the Merchandise Mart with special projects by artists like Marco Maggi, Guy Ben-Ner, SIMPARCH, Graham Hudson, Ricky Swallow, Leo Villareal and Jonathan Schipper, among a host of others, along with special video booths, the presence of private entities like The West Collection and a curated exhibition by Renaissance Society Director and Documenta 11 curator, Susanne Ghez, as well as various bars and lounges designed to reinforce a vision of contemporary art that is accessible, cool and distinguished by topmost quality as well as an unflinching grip on the today’s culture, visual and otherwise.

NEXT, for example, will feature significant After Art Events, like the NEXT After Parties produced and organized by Stop Smiling Magazine — to be held at Sonetheque, Chicago’s premiere “Lounge of Sound”—as well as a special concert event scheduled for Saturday, April 26, that will feature major headline talent live and in concert at the Logan Square Auditorium.

More than an art fair, NEXT is a showcase for the world’s talents and an adventure in cutting-edge culture. An opportunity to redefine the relationship between art and its public, NEXT is a portal to seeing contemporary art in brand new, innovative, eye-opening ways.

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