2156 West Fulton Street
Chicago, IL 60612
About the Presentation
Corbett vs. Dempsey will present large-scale paintings and works on paper from the 1980s by Emilio Cruz (1938-2004), all unseen since the time of their creation. A visual artist as well as a poet, playwright, and musician, Cruz was born in the Bronx of Afro-Cuban heritage. He was a central figure in the emergence of figurative expressionism in 1960s New York, before undergoing a stylistic metamorphosis during a decade in Chicago, where he taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Cruz returned to New York in 1982, gradually developing a vivid, aggressive style that modulated between brilliant washes of color, sgraffito etching, and volumetric forms. His fantastical and allegorical scenes of hybrid human-animal figures integrate images adapted from studies of African ethnographic art together with painterly techniques drawn from Abstract Expressionism.
About the Gallery
Corbett vs. Dempsey LLC was founded by Jim Dempsey and John Corbett and opened its previous space on North Ashland Avenue in September 2004. Since opening, Corbett vs. Dempsey has presented a range of international artists and artists connected with the historical and contemporary legacy of Chicago. The gallery's mission has included extensive exploration of widely known artists including Ellen Berkenblit, Brian Calvin, Arturo Herrera, Charline von Heyl, Dick Higgins, Rebecca Morris, Albert Oehlen, Joyce Pensato, Arlene Shechet, and Christopher Wool, supporting emerging and mid-career figures including Christina Forrer, Gabrielle Garland, Magalie Guérin, David Hartt, Celeste Rapone, Rebecca Shore, Lui Shtini, Cauleen Smith, John Sparagana, Omar Velázquez, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, and championing artists of critical significance to post-war Chicago including Margot Bergman, Dominick Di Meo, Edward Flood, Philip Hanson, Thomas H. Kapsalis, Robert Lostutter, Christina Ramberg, Diane Simpson, Karl Wirsum, and Jimmy Wright. Creative music has always been a feature of the gallery's activities; in addition to having its own record label, CvsD is proud to represent Peter Brötzmann and the estate of Sun Ra.
Emilio Cruz, 1989, courtesy Corbett vs. Dempsey
Emilio Cruz, Bone Scape, 1986, oil on canvas, 85 x 72 x 3/4 inches, framed, courtesy Corbett vs. Dempsey © Emilio Cruz