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This exhibition of over 40 years of painting and drawing by Chicago artist Eleanor Spiess-Ferris traces the development of her distinctive figures across her career and compares studies and sketches with final works.  Spiess-Ferris’s figures are narrative bodies, telling stories of personal, spiritual and environmental crises. The exhibition includes studies and large-scale life studies. Spiess-Ferris has been drawing from a live model since the beginning of her career; an essential practice for her experimentation with the narrative figure. Her life studies often transform into their mythic selves in the process of a drawing session, shifting from observation into invention through distorting proportions and imposing natural forms as essential elements of the body. Note about the title: Daphne’s Sister. Daphne is an ancient Greek nymph who is transformed into a tree to save her from the god Apollo’s unwanted advances. That moment of Daphne’s transformation from a woman into a tree has appeared throughout art history. Eleanor Spiess-Ferris’s figures often are depicted as hybrid creature part human and part natural form. Trees and birds especially become attributes of the human figure in her work, an acknowledgement of the reciprocal relationship we have to the natural world as a place of both solace and struggle

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