“Color. I like it,” said Chicago artist Martina Nehrling. “I can’t think of any other language that resists so much being translated to the verbal, and that alone seduces me. I love how we perceive it in such an internal, intimate, abstract way.”
Martina Nehrling at the opening of her exhibition at the Union League Club.
With her paintings “Hours on End” and “Blue Expanding” as a backdrop, Nehrling was speaking to an enthusiastic audience at the opening of “Wonderstruck,” an exhibition of her exuberant, colorful works at the Union League Club in downtown Chicago.
“I think of my paintings as visual rhythms, recording and responding to the cacophony of daily life,” said Nehrling during her remarks. “There’s a significant auditory experience in my painting process…. I almost hear color, color patterns, shapes, spatial relationships.”
As her current exhibition shows, Nehrling is active in Chicago’s arts community. She’s also an instructor at the ACM Chicago Arts program and at Lake Forest College, and the audience at the reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibition included her colleagues and students, as well as friends and members of the Union League Club.
Nehrling works alongside Chicago Arts Director Dave Amrein to offer the program’s blend of academic and experiential education. This semester, she’s leading the arts seminar, “The Creative Process,” which uses the resources of the city – artists, museums, arts events, and performances – to explore how creators, performers, and scholars in various artistic fields approach their process.
Nehrling (third from right) at the Cultural Center with spring 2010 Chicago Arts students.
During the fall 2009 semester, Nehrling led the studio art and art history workshop and guided the visual arts students in their independent study projects. Students on the program also complete an arts-related internship and take the Chicago Programs Core Course, an interdisciplinary introduction to the city and urban issues.
For the past decade, Nehrling has regularly exhibited her work throughout the Chicago area and elsewhere, including at the Chicago Cultural Center, Hyde Park Arts Center, the Durand Art Institute, and the South Bend (IN) Regional Art Museum. She will have an exhibition this spring at Zg Gallery in Chicago. Nehrling received her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and her M.F.A. in painting from the University of Chicago.
“Wonderstruck” will be at the Union League Club’s Third Floor Art Gallery throughout the month of February.
Established in 1879, the Union League Club is recognized as having one of the most important privately held art collections in the region, with more than 750 works of art, including paintings, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts – with particular strength in Midwestern artists. The Club produces monthly exhibitions of contemporary art, sponsors arts lectures, and is the only club in Chicago with a full-time curator and an in-house paintings conservator.
- ACM Chicago Arts program and the Chicago Programs
- For more information about Martina Nehrling and her art, visit the Zg Gallery website and www.martinanehrling.com
- Union League Club of Chicago
Photos courtesy of Sally Noble.