I CAN DO THAT



Opening reception: 13 April 2012, 7–10pm
Closing reception: 27 April 2012, 7–10pm
Gallery hours: MW, 10am4pm, and by appointment


“I can do that.” –Everyone, ever.

Ahhh, the four most frequently uttered words in the art world. Commonly the cause of much frustration and eye-rolling among artists, art historians, and art lovers, this [occasionally hubristic, occasionally accurate] assertion is usually countered with the retort, “But you didn’t do it.” Oftentimes, it is the concept behind a work of art that lends that work significance and meaning. Other times, some art really does suck.

What if we give you, o’ self-appointed art critic, the opportunity to play an active role in creating the kind of work that you so vocally long to see?

I CAN DO THAT is independent curator Jenny Lam’s highly anticipated follow-up to last fall’s acclaimed Exquisite Corpse show. At the exhibition, in front of each piece will be the art supplies the show’s artists used to create their respective works. With these supplies:

  • Exhibition visitors will be invited to “improve” some of the artwork as they see fit, directly applying medium to the work itself. This could mean anything from dotting one small corrective brushstroke to smearing paint all over and slashing the canvas. (Self-expression, fuck yeah!) Each subsequent visitor is encouraged to make further changes. Consequently, the exhibition will constantly be in flux. There will be photo and video documentation of this continuous evolution.

  • In front of other artwork will be blank canvases—or whatever foundation the artist used—for visitors to replicate the pieces.


Most gallery and museum shows tell you not to touch the artwork. In I CAN DO THAT, you can touch it, change it, destroy it, perfect it. This is your show.


Participating artists hail from across the country and around the world. They include Alyssa Trainor, Angela Hearld, Avisheh Mohsenin, Brandon Kirkman, Brooks Golden, Caitlin Bergh, Carisa Mitchell, Chris Barrett, Chris Busse, Clarisse Perrette, David del Bosque, Dead Squirrel (Kurt Chiang & Caitlin Stainken), DRIP-EX (Chris Wille & Melanie Scott-Dockery), Dubi Kaufmann, Emmanuel L White Eagle, Fernanda Quaglia, Gabor E. Nagy, Gabriel Garcia-Fraire, Glendalys Medina, Gracie Cannell, Imaginathan (Nathan Stanton), Janet Mamon, Jared Haberman, Kathleen Enright, Kev Anderson, Kyra Termini, Lee Eun Young, Left Handed Wave, Mister Vibe, Nancy Bechtol, Nikolas Burkhart, Noel DeGaetano, Pancho Panoptes, Patricia Biesen, Peggy Shearn, Peter Dzubay, Predrag Djordjevic, Rachel Dennis, Robin Jiro Margerin, Scot West, Sioban Lombardi, Zachary Trebellas, and you.


Jenny Lam is a 24-year-old artist, artist agent, independent curator, and freelance writer. She graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a Bachelors degree in Visual Arts. While in New York, she served as the President of Postcrypt, Columbias undergraduate art gallery, and interned at Christies and at Eyebeam. After graduation, she moved to Chicago and joined 4Art Gallery as its Head Curator. She currently runs her own business and contributes to Sixty Inches From Center.


I CAN DO THAT is located at:

Variable Space
1564 N. Damen Ave., #303 (at Milwaukee Ave. in the heart of Wicker Park)
Chicago, IL 60622

Admission is free.


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Update 1: Photos on Flickr and Facebook.

Update 2: Named the audience choice for 2012Best Art Exhibit in the 20th anniversary edition of NewCitys Best of Chicago issue.

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