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Christine Tarkowski’s work is as extravagantly conjured as its title, taken from the 18th-century British astronomer William Herschel. The startling presence of candy-colored hand blown glass boulders suspended above and about earthbound boulders evokes a strange, yet elemental landscape–ironically similar to our environment, both natural and built. The installation, set down in the midst of the highly manicured garden of Millennium Park, seems a gentle critique of how cities build, manipulate, and re-present natural forms.
Christine Tarkowski is a Chicago-based artist who works in a variety of mediums including sculpture, printed matter, photography and song. Her works range in scale from the ordinary to the monumental. Equally variable is her scope of production which incorporates the making of permanent architectural structures, cast models, textile yardage and temporary printed ephemera. Many of her recent works point toward the flotsam of western culture relative to systems of democracy, religion and capitalism. Her solo exhibitions include Whale Oil, Slave Ships & Burning Martyrs at Priska Juschka Fine Art in New York, Imitatio Dei at the Museum of Contemporary in Chicago and Last Things Will Be First And First Things Will Be Last at the Chicago Cultural Center. She is a professor in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.