Cheryl Pope is a visual artist who questions and responds to issues of identity as it relates to the individual and the community, specifically regarding race, gender, class, history, power, and place. Her practice emerges from the act and politics of listening, and recently introduces a novel material to explore the artist’s memories. Referencing the familiar repertoire of the French Post-Impressionist, Intimist, and Imagist paintings, Pope recreates deeply personal recollections that cinematically compose the silent complexities of beautiful and tragic oscillations between love and loss in our everyday lives. Through a unique process involving punched wool roving onto a cashmere backing, images of couples are drawn from memory, referencing the artist’s own relationships and moments of disconnect, anxiety, and desire, while beach scenes depicting a mother and child accentuate a tender stillness of caregiving. Portraits of women–often friends of the artist–reveal an orchestra of silence depicted through the subjects’ inward gaze and the psychology of interior spaces. In these scenes, the figures exist in a nest of choreography–a rotating stage of mystery, tragedy, and poetry of day-to-day living with feelings of presence and absence woven throughout.
Pope (b.1980, Chicago, IL) received her MA in Design (2010) and BFA (2003) from the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, IL, where she is an Adjunct Professor. Pope has had recent solo exhibitions at moniquemeloche, Chicago, IL (2022, 2019); The Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS (2022); Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL (2019); Galleria Bianconi, Milan, Italy (2019); Andres Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2018); and Fort Gansevoort, New York, NY (2017). Notable group presentations include Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI (2022-23); Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Chicago, IL (2022); Skin in the Game curated by Zoe Lukov, Chicago, IL (2022); The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY (2021); Fountainhead, Miami, FL (2021); Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA (2021); Virginia MOCA, Virgina Beach, VA (2021); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2020).
Pope’s work is in the collections of MoCA Jacksonville, FL; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Joan Flasche Artists Book Collection, Chicago, IL; Seattle Art Museum, WA; Honolulu Museum of Art, HI; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Poetry Foundation, Chicago, IL; DePaul University Art Museum, Chicago, IL; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; United States Embassy, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; The Jackson West Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL; and The Ulrich Museum of Art, W, KS. She has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the Public Artist Award, Franklin Works, Minneapolis, MN (2017); Selected Artist, Year of Public Art, Chicago Cultural Center, IL (2017); Mellon Fellowship, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH (2016); and 3Arts Award, Chicago, IL (2015). Pope lives and works in Chicago, IL and Miami, FL.