Bobbi Meier is a Chicago-based visual artist working in various mediums, including; sculpture, collage, drawing, photography and most recently performance. Her work is realized through provocative use of materials, such as pantyhose, spandex, porcelain, and found home furnishings, embedding themes of emotional history, struggle and loss in its making.
Recent accomplishments include: 3-month residency awarded at The John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program, Kohler WI, where she transformed her soft sculptural forms into a new body of work made from industrial porcelain. She has also been an artist-in-residence at The Ragdale Foundation, The Vermont Studio Center, Anderson Ranch and Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, Michigan to name a few. Her work has been shown extensively in the Chicago area. Recent Solo/2 person exhibitions include; Strange Etiquette, Salonlb, Visceral, Extra Projects Gallery, Magnolias Bloom in Spring at Gretchen Charlton Gallery, Perspiration Glitz, Roots & Culture. Group exhibitions include; The Hyde Park Art Center, International Museum of Surgical Science, Evanston Art Center, Chicago Artists Coalition, Gallery Pink, Woman Made Gallery, The Franklin, Heaven Gallery, ADDS Donna Gallery and the Terrain Biennial in 2015 & 2017. Additionally her work has been on view in galleries in Florida, Kansas, Vermont and Tennessee. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Kohler Foundation and The John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
Meier serves as a member and director of ADDS Donna Artist collective in Chicago. She earned her MAAE (2000), and MFA in Fiber and Material Studies (2011), from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
"Sex, Secrets, and Surgery provide the impetus for abstract body-referential sculptures, photo-based collage, and installations created as emotional repositories to life situations which cannot be changed. Growing up in the Midwest, raised by a Southern Belle and a NY prep.school Catholic; proper manners, keeping the “dirty laundry” hidden away, and repressed sensuality are important underpinnings to my work.
I create voyeuristic invitations to visit uncomfortable situations with desire and embarrassment towards the body. Manipulating sexually loaded materials; spandex and pantyhose, intermingled with bits of lace, appliqué flowers, beaded fringe, medical tubing, porcelain, furniture and found domestic materials result in abstract, provocative forms that question viewer perceptions. Organic shapes allude to creases and folds of the body. A dichotomy of seduction and revulsion exists, where fragments are reconstructed to become assemblages of grotesque beauty.
Hand sewn production is simultaneously an act of aggression, catharsis and remembrance of surgeries, illnesses and my role as caregiver. The physicality of suturing, stabbing, binding and constricting are reactions to emotional stresses and are actions important in my production process to transform and arouse emotional response. Additive and reductive layering of materials in sculptures and collages reveal and disguise personal histories of loss, pain, joy and disco dancing, offering evidence of time passing."