Through a dialogue between playfulness and discomfort, abstraction and figuration, I am confronting the obligations of domestic labor and the realities of desire.
Bobbi Meier is a Chicago-based visual artist working in sculpture, drawing, photography, and installation.
Growing up in the Midwest, raised by a Southern Belle and a NY prep-school Catholic—proper manners, repressed sensuality, and keeping the “dirty laundry” hidden—are important underpinnings to Meier's work. Objects and installations are fashioned as emotional repositories for life situations which cannot be changed: death, illness, separation, and now the pandemic. Her process-based practice juxtaposes delicate and aggressive material manipulation within body-referential, non-objective forms, producing work that is sensuously humorous and grotesquely beautiful, often bringing together organic forms found in nature with references to classical figurative sculpture. Tactility exists in her work through both process and intent confronting the challenges of life through a dialogue between hard and soft, playfulness and discomfort, abstraction and figuration. The layering of sheer and opaque materials reveals and disguises memories of loss, pain, joy, and disco dancing. Her work reflects the complexity of lived experiences, encouraging an emotional response from those who view it.
Meier’s work is in the permanent collections of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and the Kohler Foundation. In 2023 she was a finalist for the Chicago Artadia Award. She has been awarded residencies at John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Program, Ragdale Foundation, Anderson Ranch, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artist's Residency, and The Vermont Studio Center. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at The Hyde Park Art Center, International Museum of Surgical Science, Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center, Evanston Art Center, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Hyde Park Art Center, Manifest Gallery, The Franklin, and Miami Basel Art Week. Meier served as a member and director of ADDS Donna artist collective in Chicago. She earned both her MA in Art Education and MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.