Free and open to the public.
Come explore the work of Chicago figurative artist Eleanor Spiess-Ferris in a lively presentation that will look at the influences, ideas, and references in her paintings. We will also look at the history of narrative painting and talk about the various artist movements that come to bear on her signature style.
Eleanor Spiess-Ferris (b. 1941, Las Vegas, NM. Reside, Chicago IL) is known for her distinctive approach to the figure, almost always women, who perform in dramatic settings. Her women are divas; larger than life, central to the story, and, like all good heroines, beset by adversaries and circumstance. Spiess-Ferris’s work is unique in Chicago art history in her attention to the narrative body. The art historical roots of her work dig deep into Mannerist and Baroque arts attenuation of form and emotional atmosphere; Symbolist and Surrealist approaches to the fantastic, unreal situation; and Feminist thought in the conflation of personal and political realities of women through history.
This talk is concurrent with an exhibition of Spiess-Ferris’s work in the Illinois State Museum’s second floor gallery. Exhibition runs October 25, 2019 through February 16, 2020.
Bring your lunch and join us for a different speaker and topic on the third Wednesday of each month. Brown Bag Lectures are held at the ISM Research & Collections Center at 1011 E. Ash St. in Springfield. The Collections Center must be accessed via the gate on Ash St. and approached from 11th Street or further east due to the rail closure at Ash and 10 ½ Streets.