Chicago

Eleanor Spiess-Ferris

Zaks Gallery

Though Eleanor Spiess-Ferris immerses her viewers in fully staffed dreamworlds where norms of logic must be surrendered, there is method within her topsy-turvy universe. Spiess-Ferris introduces just enough reality into her pictures to allow her to circumvent it. Indeed, she uses the trappings of existence as a bitter corrosive, turning reality in upon itself.

Woman as nature, woman as victim, woman as life-giver, woman as indefatigable source or recipient of love, sex, pain, and nurturing—each takes a turn in her cosmology. Spiess-Ferris regularly renders these women with missing limbs or large empty cavities in their torsos, gaps that are filled by odd wooden armatures or bizarre structural supports. Sometimes these women are planted directly in the ground, suggesting some odd arboreal hybrid, and in other pictures they sport plumage like birds. Spiess-Ferris imbues these metamorphosing

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