Natural Inclinations

Opening Reception: Friday, April 7, 2017, 6-9pm

April 7 – May 28, 2017

The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is pleased to present “Natural Inclinations,” an exhibition of social media generated photography by seven Chicago-based artists. While each of the artists, Oscar Arriola, Stephanie Burke, Linda Dorman, Harvey Hanig, Gregg Hertzlieb, Barbara Koenen and Nathan Mason, have practices and careers meant for traditional modes of exhibition, the works in “Natural Inclinations” illustrate the ways that innate artistic sensibility translates into the more casual, immediate and accessible mediums of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


As artist and curator Linda Dorman explains,
During the past 8 years of participating on social media, I have been witness to numerous spontaneous projects and investigations as they unfolded; this involved watching as artists and photographers document portions of their lives and observations in candid, ritualistic and insightful ways…. Each artist has a different reason for making these images. As artists, their eyes are focused and their sensitivity to their surroundings honed to their curiosity and what interests them most. Each project is carried out in uniquely purposeful manner, some are more disciplined or ritualistic, while others are more spontaneous and event driven. Together they take the viewer on a trip through the repetition, spontaneity, adventures, the mundane, growth, loss, shape, form and humor of their lives and observations.


Through Arriola’s images of the counterculture scenes around him, Burke’s and Dorman’s intimate depictions of personal lives, Hanig’s and Hertzlieb’s recasting of everyday places and spaces, Koenen’s daily record of sunrises, and Mason’s snapshot portraits of anonymous strangers, windows into the artists’ aesthetic and conceptual processes are revealed.


“Natural Inclinations” is also intended to be an interactive experience with the public, both in the virtual realm and the actual. After viewing the exhibition, Dorman invites visitors to tag social media posts inspired by their experience with #naturalinclinations; these tagged images will then be culled into a constantly updating, digital feed on display in the gallery. IRL (in real life) events at UIMA will include a neighborhood walk with Gregg Hertzlieb, a 20×20 slideshow night, and a meeting for Stick Up! Chicago Secret Sticker Club with Oscar Arriola.




“One-A-Day” It’s a multi-vitamin for the soul. Participants are invited to photograph some thing or some time everyday, post to Instagram and Twitter. The images will be a part of an ever-expanding slideshow streamed live at UIMA throughout the exhibition. Participants are invited to react to the images online and join us for a recap of the project at the end of the exhibition. Join in the project by adding the hashtag #naturalinclinations to your favorite social media images.


The Public is WELCOME to participate in all of these free community events.


Neighborhood Walk with Gregg Hertzlieb
Saturday, April 15, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Hertzlieb will lead participants on a 30-minute walk in the immediate area around the museum. Participants are invited to bring their cameras or iPhones. Curator Linda Dorman will facilitate discussions with participants, with the goal of taking pictures of interesting sights and selecting pictures from the session that are particularly successful, formally and conceptually.


Connectivity – 20 x 20 Slideshow Night
Thursday, May 4, 7:00 p.m.
The public is invited to participate or witness this program led by exhibit curator, Linda Dorman. Participants are invited to present 20 images with 20 seconds for commentary or descriptions for each of the images they provide. The theme of this evening’s talks is ‘Connectivity.’ If you would like to present, email to reserve your spot. Limit 14 presenters.

The Stick Up! Chicago with Oscar Arriola
Date: Thursday, May 25, 6 – 9 p.m.
A meet up of the Stick Up! Chicago, a sticker drawing event organized by Oscar Arriola that takes place at different art spaces around the city every few months. Artists, graffiti artists, and families are welcome to create their own sticker art, and are also invited to trade with other artists, if they choose.


Preview exhibition – HERE


Selections from Permanent Collection

January 13 - July 4, 2017

After a year of special exhibitions in UIMA’s East gallery, the museum welcomes back our permanent collection with “PictureHeads”: an exhibition of traditional and cutting-edge figurative works that reference the head. For some artists, the head is depicted as a customary part of the figure study. For others, the individual identity of the person represented in the portrait is paramount, using that visage as a vehicle for narrative. Still others simply employ the proportions of the head as a trope: a formal framework on which to enact all kinds of artistic investigations.


This selection from UIMA’s permanent collection includes works by artists of Ukrainian descent, as well as artists from Chicago and around the world: Peter Blake, Jacques Hnizdovsky, Wasyl Kacurovsky, Andrij Kowalenko, Gregor Kruk, Marion Kryczka, Lialia Kuchma, John Kurtz, Kyshakevych-Kachaluba, Paul  LaMantia, Omelian Mazuryk, Art Paul, Lida Petruniak-Colucci, William Platz, Mykola Ridnyi, Jurij Solovij and Mychajlo Urban.

As UIMA celebrates its 45th Anniversary, the gallery’s south wall features works by and about some of the most influential figures in UIMA’s history, including Lialia Kuchma’s tapestry portrait of former UIMA curator Wasyl Kacurovsky; a self portrait by Kacurovsky himself; two paintings by one of UIMA’s founding artists, Mychajlo Urban; Gregor Kruk’s bronze sculpture of founding patron, Dr. Achilles Chreptowsky; and Lida Petruniak-Colucci’s screen print portrait of founding artist, Konstantin Milonadis.