Opening Reception: 6-9pm, June 7th, 2019
On display from June 7th-August 4th, 2019
Raw Reckoning is veteran Chicago artist Michael K. Paxton’s one-person exhibition of large-scale paintings and works on paper that derive their structure from the study of slide sections of the effect of black lung disease on coalminers. Paxton, a sixth generation West Virginian creates pillar size fields of chalk, charcoal, gesso and acrylic on raw canvas that embrace this ongoing devastation from coal in an effort to point to a place and people not heard from often in contemporary art. Through a well ingrained working process of size and materials, the open-ended approach of how each painting is developed produces a colorful and awkward work of aggressive mark making that refuses to stand still. Pushing hard against expectations an otherness surrounds his work as he looks for the exact point where his bone deep Appalachian heritage can carve out a place for a heart’s desire to speak of something important, personal and yet as common as dirt.