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Chicago’s Monique Meloche Gallery Will Move to City’s West Town Arts District

Jeff Sonhouse, Grafted Populist, 2017, oil on paper.


Chicago gallery Monique Meloche will relocate from its space in Wicker Park to the city’s West Town arts district next month. The inaugural exhibition will be a solo show of Jeff Sonhouse, which will open on June 9.

Meloche, who had previously worked as a director for Chicago stalwarts Kavi Gupta and Rhona Hoffman, began her gallery in her home with a group exhibition, titled “Homewrecker,” in October 2000, and opened in May 2001 in the West Loop. After a few years the gallery moved to another location in the West Loop, and then relocated to its current Wicker Park space in 2009.

“I’ve been west for many years,” Meloche told ARTnews by phone. “I’ve been a pioneer in the west [of Chicago] for a long time. I moved to the Wicker Park location for pure economic reasons when everything tanked, and we had to downsize. We’ve since outgrown that location.”

Meloche said she had been looking to move her gallery for about two years, noting that this space would allow the gallery to increase its capabilities in mounting multiple shows at the same time and exhibiting large-scale work, as the new space’s ceilings are about 15-and-a-half-feet tall, compared to the 10-feet-tall ceilings at the current location.

For the Sonhouse exhibition, the New York–based artist will present a suite of new paintings and works on paper. Meloche said she had been wanting to present a solo show of Sonhouse’s work in Chicago since 2005 when Franklin Sirmans, then an independent curator, organized a group show and included a piece by Sonhouse.

The new space, which was designed by Dirk Denison Architects, will also consolidate the gallery’s operations, bringing together its exhibition galleries and its storage and private viewing room, which had both been previously located offsite. The viewing room in the West Town location will double as a flexible space for exhibitions and other programming, and will host work by Abigail DeVille, Caroline Kent, and Sheree Hovsepian, timed to their inclusion in a three-venue exhibition, “Out of Easy Reach,” that opened in Chicago last month at the DePaul Art Museum, Gallery 400 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Stony Island Arts Bank. That space will also host work by Chicago-based artist Jarvis Boyland.

The West Town space, which will be at 451 North Paulina Street near Grand Avenue, is located a few blocks south of other galleries, including Document, Volume, Western Exhibitions, and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, which moved earlier this year from its space in the West Loop. To the gallery’s south is the Gray Warehouse, a large exhibition space maintained by the Richard Gray Gallery.

On deck for the gallery’s programming are solo exhibitions by Sanford Biggers and Ebony G. Patterson later this year, and solos of Genevieve Gaignard, Maia Cruz Palileo, and Brendan Fernandes in 2019.

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