Nick Butcher & Nadine Nakanishi
As humanity enters a new graphic skin, how will we remember our physical selves...or are we becoming computational mochas? Where do our avatars hang out when not in use? Café Avatar explores these questions with a playful collection of images and objects, both figurative and abstract. Large modular works, screen printed on industrially stamped synthetic felt, stretch and teeter across acrylic pegs. These works are complimented by a series of small room-scapes that mix screen printing, wood block, and photo copying techniques. Exhibited behind vacuum-formed plastic, traditional technique collides with idiosyncratic presentation. Makeshift clockworks silently activate the space and a collection of sculptural floor pieces give a sense of place to the otherwise fleeting abstractions.
Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi established their collaboration as Sonnenzimmer in 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. Initially recognized for their idiosyncratic commissioned screen-printed posters, their practice has since morphed into an interdisciplinary toolshed spanning multiple platforms, including exhibitions, performance, publishing and design. They have exhibited in the United States, China, and Europe with recent exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago; Vebikus Kunsthalle Schaffhausen, Switzerland; and Texas Sate University, San Marcos. They have lectured and led workshops in academic and commercial settings, including The Facebook Artist-in-Residence Program, Menlo Park, California; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; California Institute for the Arts, Valencia; Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis; Pratt Institute, New York City; and Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland.