In March 2006 Kat Parker and Katie Rashid, friends and coworkers at Rhona Hoffman gallery, opened their gallery, duchess, in the living room and spare bedroom of their fourth-floor apartment. Rather than detract from the artwork on display, the dining room that skirts the perimeter of the two-room gallery adds a note of familiarity to this creative and welcoming space. The two additional rooms—one of which offers a dramatic view of Chicago's skyline—morph based on the artists' demands; the walls have transformed from a tranquil, squash-colored backdrop to a canvas for geometric, canary-colored shapes.
Hoping to provide emerging artists with the opportunity to display experimental, contemporary work, duchess is fast making a name for itself for its inventive exhibitions, which range from one-off film screenings to large-scale installations. Parker and Rashid, who co-curate most exhibits, see no limitations to the media they'd like to exhibit in the space; conceptual pieces easily fill the smaller gallery while sculptures, paintings and drawings squeeze into the main space. Most shows last between six and ten weeks. Previous exhibits have featured artists Jamisen Ogg, Huong Ngo, Alexander Stewart and Stacey Nemeth.
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood