April 9 – June 5, 2010
Opening reception Friday April 9, 5:00 – 8:00PM

Thomas Robertello Gallery is pleased to present Bad Boys; a solo exhibition of work by Noelle Mason investigating and critiquing the idea of hysterical masculinity. Exploring extreme masculine drag and brutality, Mason depicts the distinctly irrational behaviors of men and boys, who in fear of acknowledging their own frailties, seek to expunge weakness through accessorizing and violence.

Included in the exhibition is Nothing much happened today (for Eric and Dyan), 2005 – 2009. This cross-stitched work combines a pixelated image from Columbine High School’s cafeteria surveillance camera taken during the April 20, 1999 massacre, with a process related to domesticity. The artist’s massive five-year endeavor captures the iconic image representing 1/30 of a second of the event. Viewed as a mourning cloth or evidence, the work acts as a gadfly reopening old wounds. Its process-driven, slow, calculated, conservative physicality is at extreme odds with the messy, disposable, video still made indelible by the media. Further exploring the Columbine shootings, Mason includes Love Letter (white flag), 2010; a series of 39 handkerchiefs embroidered with excerpts from Eric Harris’ journal.

Sonata, 2010 is derived from remediated video footage of beheadings performed by Al-Qaeda over the last decade. Intended to terrorize through the power of imagery, the videos themselves have been in a sense ‘beheaded’ and are stripped of visual content. Instead, they are reinterpreted as sheet music laser cut on leather vellum; a translation or transposition of video image into notation, craft object, and ultimately sound.

Fond (fingerbang) 2010, is a video shot at Dia Beacon, NY depicting the artist violating a Joseph Beuys sculpture in the Dia Foundation’s permanent collection. Mason’s performance of institutional transgression effeminizes Beuys’ felt stacks, and by association, Beuys himself. The video is viewed through a navel high ‘glory hole’ in the wall, forcing the viewer to assume a vulnerable position, doubly breaking the erectness of the body as well as the social erectness of high art.

Born in 1977, Noelle Mason lives in Chicago and Tampa where she is an Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of South Florida. Mason graduated from the School of the Art Institute in 2005 with an MFA in Sculpture, and UC Irvine’s BA studio art program in 2002. This is her first solo exhibition with the gallery.


Chicago Critical by Paul Germanos

Artwrit by Britt Julious

TimeOut Chicago by Candice Weber

Chicago Art Magazine by Jeffery McNary and Robin Dluzen

Newcity Art by Ian Epstein

Neoteric Art by Jeffery McNary

Noelle Mason

Bad Boys
April 9 - June 5, 2010
Opens April 9, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Installation Views


Love Letters (white flag)

Noelle Mason, Love Letters (white flag), 2010


Noelle Mason, Sonata, 2010

Sonata (detail)

Noelle Mason, Sonata (detail), 2010

Sonata (detail)

Noelle Mason, Sonata (detail), 2010

Big Stick (dithyramb)

Noelle Mason, Big Stick (dithyramb), 2010

Fond (fingerbang)

Noelle Mason, Fond (fingerbang), 2010

Fond (fingerbang) - installation

Noelle Mason, Fond (fingerbang) - installation, 2010


Noelle Mason, Torch, 2010

Nothing Much Happened Today (for Eric and Dylan), 2005-2009

Noelle Mason, Nothing Much Happened Today (for Eric and Dylan), 2005-2009, 2009

LAN Party, or "National Take Your Daughter to Work Day"

Noelle Mason, LAN Party, or "National Take Your Daughter to Work Day", 2005

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