Pushing Up Daisies

Opening Reception: March 27th, 2018  7 pm - 10 pm

Through April 27th, 2018

Gallery Hours: 10 am - 6 pm Monday through Friday or by appointment (info@peanaprojects.com)

PEANA is delighted to present Pushing Up Daisies, a group exhibition organized in collaboration with Triumph Chicago. 


Dear Ana,

Ryan came up with “Pushing Up Daisies” while I was desperately searching for a title for the show. Late at night, I was systematically going through books of poetry. Olson, Stein, Ginsberg... none of them revealed a thing to me. He came back home, took his shoes off, asked what I was doing, and came up with the title. I did not know what it meant, pushing up daisies. He explained that it's a nice way to say that someone is about to die; "soon, I will be pushing up daisies." Why death? We spoke about Ginsberg. I damaged one of his books, that is, Ginsberg’s, that Ryan owns, “Gay Sunshine Interview.” Dipped it in water, that yellow thing. Ginsberg talks there about gayness; gayness as in sexual orientation, and as in happiness. Carefree happiness that touches madness, madness that arrives with freedom. Then he told me about that movie that Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie directed, a mediocre -though pretty fun to watch- movie with Ginsberg and Kerouac, and others, called “Pull My Daisy.” The film's title is taken from a poem by Ginsberg, Cassady, and Kerouac, from around the late 40". It is said that “Pull My Daisy” was written in the “exquisite corpse” style, though I think that the poem was written while the three were dictating and transcribing it. Here are few lines: 

Pull my daisy
Tip my cup
All my doors are open
Cut my thoughts
For coconuts
All my eggs are broken
Jack my Arden
Gate my shades
Woe my road is spoken
Silk my garden
Rose my days
Now my prayers awaken

Ryan is against Press Releases. Perhaps “against” is of a too harsh term here; he finds them useless. I tend to agree with him. Press Releases seem to operate as a signifier shortcut. “Don’t bother to think about the work - we will tell you what it's all about.” And there must be always "about"! But, why? Why there must be “about”? When and why did we forget, that art can be; be without references. When did we lose “it is what it is”? So here it is. The artists in this show share few things, though they carry distinctive practices. Releasing themselves from the world as it is, from the net of the referential, they work without, or rather outside of language. Instead of pointing back, they draw new vectors. It is a skill that necessitates unlearning. Unlearning, forgetting, silencing noises; truly difficult abilities to conquer. There, one finds herself in darkness, with no clear ground and no ego to affirm. There are no mirrors, therefore the death that I brought up earlier. Death, because these artists are committed to a continuous transformation. Also, they don't give a fuck about the market. I mean, they would love to sell more and so on, but they do what they do regardless. Lastly, death, because they are not afraid. Like the daisies, their work is stupefying in its beauty, while also troubling and sometimes gross. 

We hope you will enjoy the show, 

Ruslana and Ryan


Triumph Chicago

Was born in 2017 out of passion and necessity, and, in a rush. We, Ryan Coffey and Ruslana Lichtzier, she a curator/writer/educator and he an artist and educator, operate through categorical disaccord, as a method. We cannot agree on whether it is a Project Space or a Gallery, do we collaborate with artists or do we represent them, are we operating and therefore complicit in the framework of contemporary late-capitalism or are we attempting to subvert it only. These dichotomies, and many other matters which relate to the complexity of relationship based partnership, are the reason that Triumph is what it is. Triumph is a space of passions, compassion, and always temporal resolutions. We subscribe to no one but to each other. We have no mission statement but that of going through life, which is making and thinking of Art. In the meantime, we attempt to be attentive, to look, observe and to love. We embrace failure, we are fascinated by states of collapse; most importantly, we learn and we adapt.

Triumph is not about winning, or being on top.  Triumph is about the work, and the work is everywhere.


Ruslana Lichtzier

Born in Siberia, Russia and raised in Israel, Ruslana Lichtzier is a curator, writer, and educator. Her background as a migrant propels cultural productions that aim to nest radical imagination of difference and change. She is the initiator and co-director of Triumph School Manual Project, in Triumph, Illinois, and of the project space Triumph, Chicago. Recent productions include the group exhibition The Dangerous Professors, Triumph, Chicago, and the research project in form of a group exhibition Terrorists in The Library, Harold Washington College (Chicago, Illinois). She is a Core fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX) and the Co-Director of Jewish Artist Fellowship, at Spertus, Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership. She is also a contributor writer for The Seen Magazine (EXPO Chicago). Most recently she taught at the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and Spertus Institute.


Ryan Coffey

Ryan Coffey received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013 and his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003, after three years at the School of Visual Arts, N. From 1999 to 2011, he moved between San Francisco and New York, exhibiting repeatedly in both cities. Recent solo exhibitions include “Ryan Coffey I/S,” at Triumph, Chicago (Chicago, IL, 2017) an “Ryan Coffey: On Permanent Display,” at Efrain Lopez Gallery, (Chicago, IL, 2016). Recent group exhibitions include “The Annual,” at the Chicago Artists Coalition (Chicago, IL, 2017), and "No Regrets" at the Neiman Gallery in (NYC, NY, 2017).  He is the co-founder and co-director of Triumph, Chicago, and Triumph Manual School Project, in Triumph, IL.


About the artists:


Leslie Baum, 1971

Lives and works in Chicago.

She has shown her work nationally and internationally, including exhibitions in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Mexico City, Rome, and South Korea. Recent exhibitions include Night brings Day/Day Brings Night at Heaven Gallery, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, Waterworld, the Glass Curtain Gallery at Columbia College, Here Comes the Rainbow, the Cleve Carney Gallery at the College of DuPage IL, UnFunction at the Weston Art Gallery Aronoff Center for the Arts, Cincinnati, Excuse Me If I get Too Deep, Geary NYC. Her animation short, the Megillat Breakdown, made in collaboration with Frederick Wells, was included in the Wisconsin Union Film Committee at the University of Wisconsin 2015 experimental film series and in the 2014 Eyeworks Festival. Her drawings and paintings are in the permanent collections of the Chicago Art institute, the Elmhurst Art Museum, and the University of Michigan C.S. Mott’s Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. Her work has been reviewed extensively including in ArtForum, Art in America, Hyperallergic, and the Chicago Tribune. She is included in New American Paintings vol. 119 and 100 Painters of Tomorrow. She has received residencies from Yaddo and the Vermont Studio Center.

Allison Wade, 1978

Lives and works in Chicago.

She received an MFA from the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, completed a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and holds a BA in English literature from Stanford University. Recent exhibitions include Know Better at devening projects + editions (Chicago). Wade has been awarded residencies at Ox-Box, ACRE, Mustarinda (Findland), and the Vermont Studio Center and has been a visiting artist at the Kansas City Art Institute, Miami University, Rhodes College, the Cranbrook Academy of Art’s Ceramics Department, and the School of Art Institute of Chicago’s interlink.


Dan Devening, 1958

Lives and works in Chicago.

He is Adjunct Professor of Art in the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he was taught since 1988. His work has been exhibited internationally for over 35 years, including recent projects in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, and Toronto, among others. In April, he will open a solo show at Groelle Pass: Projects in Wuppertal, Germany; in May he presents a group-person show at Hawigara Projects in Tokyo. He was recently awarded a Brown Foundation Fellowship and will be a resident artist at the Dora Maar House in Menerbes, France for a the month of June. As a curator, he has been directing Devening Projects since 2007. Devening Projects is an exhibition space featuring experimental installations and events by international emerging and established artists.


Anastasia Douka, 1979

Lives and works in Athens.

Has had multiple gallery and museum exhibitions, including Animalier with no taste for the Sublime (solo) at Werft 5, Kunsthaus Rhenania, Cologne, 2017. DESTE Prize Anniversary Exhibition at Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, 2017, Les Mains sans sommeil, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2017 Doubt at Percy Street, London. Douka has been awarded the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship (Chicago, 2013), the SAIC Skowhegan Fellowship (2013) and the DESTE Foundation Prize (Athens, 2011). She has held residencies with Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès at John Lobb&CO, Yaddo Colony, NY, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME and Salzburg International Summer Academy. Douka is a graduate of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she received the New Artist Society Trustees Merit Scholarship. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Digital and New Media and a BFA in Sculpture from the Athens School of Fine Arts.


Sacha Ingber, 1987

Lives and works in New York.

She received her MFA in Sculpture from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013. Ingber has been an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center (2010), Catwalk Artist Residency (2009), and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2013). Recent exhibitions were held at Hometown Gallery, NY, Reynolds Gallery, VA, Hillyer art space, DC, Vox Populi, PA, DaSilva Gallery in New Haven, CT, Kunstraum, NY, and Coustof Waxman, NY. Ingber‘ s first Chicago solo exhibition will be held at Triumph Gallery in the spring of 2018.

Billy James Joyce, 1983

Lives and works in Chicago.

He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Recent exhibitions include Presence Interrupted at Julius Caesar in Chicago. That’s Us at Land and Sea In Oakland and Interview with a Bear at Devening Projects in Chicago. From 2012 to 2015 he co-founded and co-curated projects at Forever and Always, an experimental artist run space in Pilsen.


Matt Mancini, 1987

Lives and works in Chicago.

He completed his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2014 and holds a BFA from Rutgers University. He has been included in group shows at Little Berlin in Philadelphia, Casa Blanca in Puerto Rico, and Julius Caesar, Fernway, LVL3, Ballroom Projects, Heaven Gallery, Chicago Artist Coalition, and Roots and Culture in Chicago. He has participated in residencies at ACRE (Wisconsin) and was a Hatch resident at Chicago Artist Coalition from 2017-2018.


Lior Modan, 1983

Lives and works in New York.

He received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University (2013) and his BFA with honors from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Triumph, Chicago; Golconda Gallery, Tel Aviv; NURTUREart Gallery in New York. His work has been shown at the Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel; NEWD Art Show, Brooklyn; Peninsula Art Space, Brooklyn; Neiman Gallery, New York; Coustof Waxman Gallery, New York; Hometown Gallery, Brooklyn, Petach-Tikva Museum, Israel; and Haifa Museum Israel. He has been the recipient of the AICF Award, the Bezalel Excellence Prize, the Phi Kappa Phi Award, a VSC Fellowship supported by the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and was a 2013-2014 Artist-in-Residence at the LMCC Workspace program.


Dan Rizzo-Orr, 1989

Lives and works in Chicago.
He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. Dan Rizzo-Orr’s work is a hybrid of mythologies, coincidence, sexuality, and alternate realities. His paintings rely on a compendium of materials, references, and elements that combine personal history with the greater visual history and evolution of painting. Rizzo-Orr exhibited with Andrew Rafacz Gallery, Chicago, IL, the Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL, and 4th Ward project Space, Chicago, IL. Recent solo and duo shows include "Midnight Sun," at Triumph, Chicago, IL (2017),  and "we no longer see it," at LVL3, Chicago, IL (2016).