Audible Gallery

March 31 - May 7




Experimental Sound Studio's Audible Gallery is pleased to present The Shaping Light, an exhibition of new visual works by ROB MAZUREK. The Shaping Light is Mazurek's first solo gallery exhibition in Chicago.

Internationally acclaimed musician and composer Rob Mazurek has maintained a serious visual arts practice for many years. In both the musical and visual realms, his output is prolific, focused, expansive, evocative, nuanced, and explosive. For The Shaping Light, Mazurek presents new works that represent his full range of visual arts practice: installation, sculpture, and two-dimensional pieces that incorporate neon light, metal, collage, and paint. For those familiar with his music, the attitude, sensibility, and craft in his visual work will come as no surprise, exuding the same combination of neo-expressive clarity and dense materiality, sometimes in corrosive collision, at other times in stark harmony. Gesture is paramount: Mazurek's hand is always apparent, always engaged - like his cornet sound, in which one feels the body intimately shaping the melody, his visual works embody breath and hand shaping light, surface, color and line. The Shaping Light also shapes the space, extending from Audible Gallery's intimate warmth through the building's interior and outside along the roof and garden. Recalling some of Mazurek titles, these pieces loop and holler through the space in a fluid syncopated trip like a New Orleans second-line strut.

In conjunction with The Shaping Light, ESS is presenting three concerts by Rob Mazurek with invited guests, and Psychotropic Electric Eel Dream IV, a four-channel sound composition for the ESS Florasonic sound installation series at Lincoln Park Conservatory.


Audible Gallery Calendar of Events


About the Artist

Rob Mazurek

Rob Mazurek

Rob Mazurek is an American electro-acoustic composer, cornetist, improviser and multi-media artist. Known as one of today's most intrepid and sought after sound explorers, Mazurek works within a multitude of stylistic contexts. He first rose to prominence in the fertile mid-1990s Chicago creative music scene, quickly venturing beyond the traditional tenets of the jazz idiom to become one of the most compelling improvising composers of his generation.

Mazurek’s broad electro-acoustic palette defies simple categorization. The August 2013 and November 2000 editions of The Wire magazine feature Mazurek on the cover and describes him as a prolific and venerable force in new music. His work has also earned him praise in the DownBeat Critics Poll, recognition as International Musician of the Year in Italy’s Musica Jazz magazine, and Top 10 Records in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

His expansive vision and vast catalogue of over 350 compositions and 61 recordings have kept him on the cutting edge of creative music for the past three decades. Mazurek's solo endeavors utilizing modular synthesizer, electronics, an assortment of keyboards and computer reflect his interest in musique concrete and electronic sound manipulation. Solo records, released on Corbett vs. Dempsey, Delmark, Moikai, Mego, Astral Spirits and Adluna, highlight the breadth of his virtuosity and creativity from exotic melodies to experimental noise. His next solo record, Rome, will be released by Clean Feed in fall 2017. His multi-media works often involve solo performance with visual scores and exhibitions of his video, painting, lithography and sculpture.

Mazurek also leads and composes for a wide variety of ensembles, including Exploding Star Orchestra, Chicago Underground Duo, São Paulo Underground, Black Cube SP, Pharoah & the Underground (featuring Pharoah Sanders), Alternate Moon Cycles, Jeff Parker + Rob Mazurek, Thollem / Mazurek and his newest project Chicago / London Underground (featuring Alexander Hawkins and John Edwards). His collaborations include a wide cross section of leading figures and ensembles in jazz, electronic, rock, and improvised music, including the late Bill Dixon, Yusef Lateef and Fred Anderson, Pharoah Sanders, Roscoe Mitchell, Naná Vasconcelos, Mike Ladd, Jim O’Rourke, Kevin Drumm, Emmett Kelly, Sam Prekop and Isotope 217.

Mazurek has received a number of commissions and awards from top festivals and institutions throughout North America, South America and Europe including: SESC, São Paulo, Brazil; Frankfurt Jazz Festival, Frankfurt, Germany; Sant’Anna Arresi Festival, Sardinia, Italy; The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Philadelphia, PA; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; Jazz Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; The Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Foundation, Chicago, IL and The Robert D. Bielecki Foundation, New York, NY, among others.

More than a prolific composer, Mazurek is increasingly recognized by major arts institutions as an accomplished visual artist and has received a number of grants and commissions for multi-media projects and collaborations. In 2016, he was awarded a grant from Chicago’s Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for a film shot in collaboration with Lee Anne Schmitt at Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House.

In 2015, Marfa Book Company presented “Marfa Loops Shouts and Hollers,” a solo exhibition of paintings, sculpture and sound by Mazurek. In 2013, he received a residency at the famed URDLA Centre International Estampe & Livre in Villeurbanne, France where he realized four 3D lithographs to be used as graphic scores for improvisation. In 2010, Mazurek received a Commissioning Music USA grant from New Music USA for a multi-media work developed in collaboration with video artist and choreographer Marianne Kim. In 2005, he was awarded a prestigious artist residency at the French Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, which gave him the opportunity to hone his interest in multi-media works.



Audible Gallery at ESS is a 400 square foot project space focusing on intimate exhibitions that feature or are somehow driven by sound as medium, subject, or a cultural force. Exhibitions are curated by the ESS staff or by other curators and partner organizations focusing on intersections of sound, media, and culture.


Are you an artist, group, or curator who has a proposal for an exhibition in Audible Gallery? Visit our Contact page and submit a proposal.


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