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First solo museum exhibition by Heidi Norton opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Heidi Norton, The Radicant, 2012. Courtesy of the artist.

CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents the first solo museum exhibition of Chicago artist Heidi Norton as part of the BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works series. Known for using houseplants in her work, Norton often captures botanical material in resin or wax, emphasizing cycles of life and death and natural changes in color and form. In addition to plants, Norton also works with sheets of glass as a material. These recurring elements appear in her work as both photographic imagery and physical objects, developing a complex set of relationships between her sculptures and photographs. Norton’s exhibition, curated by MCA Curatorial Assistant Karsten Lund, opens on Tuesday, August 7, and runs through October 23, 2012.

Methods of reuse play a role in Norton’s practice, and this exhibition continues her interest in cycles of change and regeneration. She is creating several large, new sculptural works using glass from old MCA display cases. Similarly, in a series of photographs, she incorporates shards of glass that she has salvaged from her own earlier sculptures. Her varied works allude to both biological life cycles and conscious acts of recycling, and reflect on human attitudes about nature, change, and mortality.

Heidi Norton is a professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also received her MFA. Norton has had solo exhibitions at Johalla Projects, Northeastern Illinois University, and Ebersmoore in Chicago, and HungryMan in San Francisco. Her work is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago and is represented in the Midwest Photographers Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago. Since 2011 Norton has co-written a column titled Mantras for Plants for the visual art blog Bad at Sports.

BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works is a series dedicated to artists of all generations, and at various points in their careers, living and working in Chicago. The exhibition series, which launched in November 2011, presents new work by four artists each year.

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