Tuesday, November 12, 2019
 

Eleanor Spiess-Ferris: Daphne's Sister

October 30, 2019

502 S. Spring St.
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7386

TIME: 9am-4:30pm

PRICE: $5 adults ages 19-64

PHONE: 217-782-6044

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https://www.facebook.com/IllinoisStateMuseum/

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Eleanor Spiess-Ferris: Daphne's Sister

October 26, 2019 to February 16, 2020

Illinois State Museum

Second Floor Temporary-Permanent Gallery

 

This exhibition of over 40 years of painting and drawing by Chicago artist Eleanor Spiess-Ferris traces the development of her distinctive figures across her career and compares studies and sketches with final works.  Spiess-Ferris's figures are narrative bodies, telling stories of personal, spiritual and environmental crises.

Eleanor Spiess-Ferris (b. 1941, Las Vegas, NM. Reside, Chicago IL) is known for her characteristic approach to the figure, almost always women, who perform in dramatic settings. Her women are divas; larger than life, central to the story, and, like all good heroines, beset by adversaries and circumstance. Spiess-Ferris's work is unique in Chicago art history in her attention to the narrative body. Their art historical roots dig deep into Mannerist and Baroque arts attenuation of form and emotional atmosphere, Symbolist and Surrealist approaches to the fantastic, unreal situation and Feminist thought in the conflation of personal and political realities of women through history. 

Curated by Doug Stapleton, Associate Curator of Art, Illinois State Museum. 

Note about the title: Daphne's Sister. Daphne is an ancient Greek nymph who is transformed into a tree to save her from the god Apollo's unwanted advances. That moment of Daphne's transformation from a woman into a tree has appeared throughout art history. Eleanor Spiess-Ferris's figures often are depicted as hybrid creature part human and part natural form. Trees and birds especially become attributes of the human figure in her work, an acknowledgement of the reciprocal relationship we have to the natural world as a place of both solace and struggle. 

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