Meet the team behind: PATRON Gallery

Oct 16, 2015 / by Katy Diamond Hamer / Eyes Towards the Dove

PATRON is a new gallery in Chicago founded by Emanuel Aguilar and Julia Fischbach both former of Kavi Gupta Gallery, also of Chicago. Their inaugural exhibition titled, Theory of Forms is on view until December 19th, 2015 and is a group show with a varied group of artists including, Kadar Brock, Nick van Woert, Alex Chitty, Mika Horibuchi and others. Katy Diamond Hamer recently sat down with the gallerists to discuss the gallery, program and future plans.

Katy Diamond Hamer: Congratulations on the new gallery! Can you both talk a bit about how your recent past experience has brought you to this moment?

Emanuel Aguilar: Thank you, we are both very excited! Julia and I worked extremely well together at Kavi Gupta. We did amazing things with amazing artists and Kavi certainly provided a wonderful opportunity to the two of us to grow during a great moment in that gallery’s history. I think taking into account all of the different projects and milestones we were able to be a part of there, there was a lot of great first hand experience that we are taking with us.

Julia Fischbach: Since I had been in my previous position for 17 years I realized I really needed to take a step back to really evaluate the direction in which I wanted to move. I greatly missed working to help establish young artists and foster their practices, helping them navigate the paths of their careers.

KDH: What can you say about the contemporary art scene in Chicago? What is the niche you hope to tap into via PATRON?

EA: The art scene in Chicago has been steadily growing over the last few years. There has been a lot more attention and energy here and its a very exciting time to be part of that. That said it is still a very intimate and small community that is for the most part dominated by alternative artists run spaces. Spaces that have been part of the frame work of the city for a longtime, I think that what all this new energy provides is an opportunity to expand on that history and create a more serious platform for engagement.

JF: With PATRON we were thinking of this community for sure, but also on how to expand the community of patrons in the city. How to create access points to something as intimidating as contemporary art in a city like Chicago, to individuals who may not have as much interaction with art in their daily lives. Hoping to help foster and develop the next generation of collectors and future trustees of institutions.

KDH: Your inaugural show “Theory of Forms” is a group exhibition with a focus on conceptual artists using minimal palette and shapes. How did you arrive at these particular artists?

EA: We wanted this first exhibition to be an introduction to our aesthetic and interests. A snap shot of the different kinds of practices we are interested in as well as artists whom we will be working with.Theory of Forms is inspired by a theory of Plato’s which was developed to help navigate the fine line between physical reality and conceptual reality. How what we see is different in the real world than how we see in our minds. We thought that was a wonderful way to introduce a program, to focus on the engagement component of art appreciation, that moment where art asks us to contemplate and arrive at our own experience.

KDH: Can you give us a peek into your next exhibition and any future plans?

JF: Certainly, our first solo exhibition will be with Chicago based artist Alex Chitty in January. Alex used to be a marine biologist and has a very dynamic and beautiful practice that explores the histories of display and classification as tools and platforms for the narrative. We are very excited for her solo that will coincide with a solo exhibition at Chicago’s Hyde Park Art Center. The rest of the year will continue to focus on solo presentations by local Chicago based artists, Daniel G. Baird, Mika Horibuchi, and Myra Greene. We have a lot of traveling to do, we do want the program to have an additional focus that looks to Latin American contemporary artists. So we will be doing a lot of visits and scouting in that part of the world through out the next year.

KDH: Being that art fairs seem to be one of the best (?) or most popular ways to show and exhibit art these days, do you plan on taking part in any of the upcoming fairs in Miami or New York? What is your relationship to the art fair as a model?

EA: Art Fairs are a part of the industry that serve a purpose greater than just sales. Its about contacts and face to face engagement with the community at large, curators, trustees, writers and academics, other artists all gather at art fairs along with collectors and so art fairs are, in the big picture, about keeping up with the larger community. They really are a great way to create many different kinds of opportunities.

JF: We will not be doing an art fair in Miami this year, though we were invited to participate, since we just launched, we thought it would be best this once to be able to spend some time with our artists, collectors and contacts through out the week of events in Miami catching up. We do have plans to participate in fairs in the coming first half of next year.

KDH: Thank you for taking the time to chat! I look forward to seeing what you both have up your sleeve going forward and looking forward to seeing you both soon.

PATRON Gallery is located at 673 N Milwaukee Ave , Chicago, IL 60642

Theory Of Forms features work by: Daniel G. Baird, Kadar Brock, Alex Chitty, Mika Horibuchi, Samuel Levi Jones, Matthew Metzger, Bryan Savitz, Kristen Van Deventer, Nick van Woert, John Patrick Walsh III, and Liat Yossifor and is on view until December 19th, 2015