Since 2000, moniquemeloche gallery has been showcasing controversial and cutting-edge artists working in a variety of media. The gallery has had three locations thus far: the first was Meloche's home in Chicago, then a large West Loop location from 2001 to 2004, and in September of 2004, the doors were opened to the current location on Peoria.
The former director of the Vedanta Gallery in Chicago, Meloche is known for her risk-taking curatorial style, and the stated mission of moniquemeloche is to "show challenging work both in Chicago and to a global audience." In keeping with this idea, the gallery participates consistently in national and international art fairs that include Art Miami 2001, San Francisco International Art Expo 2002, LISTE 03 Basel and Art Chicago International Invitational.
The artwork has a strong emphasis on the conceptual, with work focusing on themes ranging from home and domesticity to race, politics and gender. Featured artists have included Dzine, Cindy Loehr, Laura Letinsky, Scott Stack and Carla Arocha. A single show may incorporate an installation work, video projection, and, as with the current Rashid Johnson show, an embroidered jersey stating "white people love me," a hip-hop video installation and an opaque print of a hand giving the finger to the viewer, all at the same time. The artwork is not always accessible (or, one imagines, terribly saleable), but that is quite the point.
The well-lit space has high ceilings and windows, along with custom storage built by artists Rob Davis and Gabert Farrar. The front portion is used for installations and hanging art, while the back contains more wall space and a small alcove used for projections and video art. Its location is in the vicinity of other avant-garde galleries like Bucket Rider, Peter Miller and Rhona Hoffman, convenient for your Friday night art-walk.
Centerstage Reviewer: Gretchen Kalwinski