Caroline Wells Chandler
& Kari Cholnoky
Garagantua and Pantagrue

August 3 – September 2, 2018

Garagantua and Pantagruel is a pentapogy of novels written by Francois Rabelais, a 16th century humanist monk, that chronicles the tales of two giants Gargantua and Pantagruel. It is also the name of a two person show at Left Field featuring the works of two 21st century artists Caroline Wells Chandler and Kari Cholnoky.  Effervescent with flatulent humor, and celebratory of the scatalogical the exploits of Gargantua and Pantagruel delight in the grotesque. The same can be attributed to the works of Chandler and Cholnoky which happen to be the changling children of Pantagruel’s Fart (see text below).

Gargantua and Pantagruel will feature technicolor clumps of bulbous outgrowth and fibrous germination in the form of new foamy sculptures by Cholnoky and brightly colored hand crocheted figurative works and embroidered drawings by Chandler.  Through idiosyncratic material exploration and bold color, both artists explore queerness, and a cyborgian understanding of the body. A limited edition zine will be available for purchase.

Pantagruel’s Fart
An excerpt from Garagantua and Pantagruel (1532)
By Francois Rabelais

Then, getting up, he gave a fart, a leap, and a whistle, and joyously cried aloud: ‘Long live Pantagruel!’

At this sight Pantagruel tried to do the same.  But with the fart he blew the earth trembled for twenty-seven miles round, and with the fetid air of it he engendered more than fifty-three thousand little men, misshapen dwarves, and with a poop, which he made, he engendered as many little bowed women, such as you see in various places, and who never grow except downwards like cows tails or in circumference like Limousine turnips.  ‘What now?’ exclaimed Panurge. ‘Are your farts so fruitful? By God, here are fine clumpish men, fine stinking women. Only let them be married together and let them breed horseflies.’

Caroline Wells Chandler lives and works in Queens, NY.  Stemming out of a 1970's feminist craft history, Chandler's brightly colored hand crocheted figures explore queerness and the art historical canon.  He received his BFA from Southern Methodist University (Dallas, TX) in 2007 and his MFA from Yale University in 2011 where he received the Ralph Mayer Prize for proficiency in materials and techniques.  From 2016-17 he was a recipient of the Sharpe Walentas Studio Program. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Andrew Rafacz (Chicago, IL), Lord Ludd (Philadelphia, PA), and Roberto Paradise (San Juan, PR).  Recent group exhibitions include Nathalie Karg (New York, NY), Marinaro Gallery, (New York, NY), Dio Horia (Mykonos, Greece), MRS. (Maspeth, NY), Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY), 11R (New York, NY), The Hole (New York, NY), and Brand New Gallery (Milan, Italy).  His work has been featured in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, TimeOut, Juxtapoze, Modern Painters, Maake Magazine, and AEQAI. Chandler is the proud papa bear of his painting and drawing students at Pratt Institute, Montclair State, and Norwalk Community College.  

Kari Cholnoky holds an MFA from Cranbrook and a BA from Dartmouth College. She has participated in group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Chicago and solo shows at Safe Gallery in Brooklyn, David Klein Gallery in Detroit, Big Medium in Austin, TX, and the Mercedes Benz Bank in Berlin. Cholnoky has completed residencies at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, Germany, and The Fountainhead in Miami, FL, and has had her work featured in Editorial Magazine, ArtNews, Hyperallergic and Maake Magazine.