Gary Justis’ monoprints utilize the forms of various chandelier profiles to explore color, form and seriality in the print medium. He began the series in 2011 with Baroque, Venetian and Modern chandelier forms, continuing in 2016 with Rococo and Murano chandeliers.
The genesis of this project was a large chandelier profile that the artist cut from an aluminum sheet for an element of a sculpture and video installation. For the prints, Justis essentially drew the chandelier forms with a torch as he cut them from aluminum or galvanized steel sheets. The chandelier forms were inked and printed over grounds of various colors built up with layers of ink printed from a woodblock, embossing the image into the paper. The chandelier prints dovetail nicely with Justis’ sculptural output in that they are literally prints of sculptures. Metallic inks were used in many of the prints, resulting in wonderfully reflective surfaces and enhancing the idea of the chandelier as a source of light.
Gary Justis’s sculptures are inspired by his life-long immersion in the cause-and-effect operations of machinery. Employing a vocabulary of naked mechanical fabrication–aluminum, steel, plastic, wood, wire and eccentric kinetic rhythms—motors, sound, video—he finds metaphors for the complexity and imperfection of human actions. Movement, even when only implied, remains the cornerstone to works which reveal the beauty in repetitive gestures that mirror life’s irresolute choreography.
The subject of over 100 exhibitions, his work is included in numerous public and corporate collections including: the Museum of Modern Art Library, National Gallery of Art, Fogg Museum, Illinois State Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Stone Container Corp., U.S. Equities Corp. His work has been reviewed in ARTFORUM, Art in America, ARTnews, Art and Antiques, Sculpture, New Art Examiner, Arts Magazine, Dialogue, Newcity Chicago,Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune. The artist lives and works in Bloomington, IL.