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        News — AJ Ainscough

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        Vertical Gallery Celebrates 10 Years

        Vertical Gallery Celebrates 10 Years

        Vertical Gallery is excited to present two special shows celebrating our 10-Year Anniversary! 

        Opening first on March 11 at Vertical Project Space:
        March 11 - April 16: Vertical Gallery 10-Year Anniversary Show Part 1 at Vertical Project Space featuring: Chris Uphues, Rae Denise (Racheal Scotland), AJ Ainscough, Laura Catherwood, Van Dam One, Goosenek, Melissa Villarreal, Angel Onofre, Matt Zuska and Jordan Ferguson.

        Vertical Project Space is located at 2006 W Chicago Ave #1R (entrance in alley off Damen). Open weekends 12-5.


        Opening on April 1 at Vertical Gallery:
        April 1 - 29: Vertical Gallery 10-Year Anniversary Show Part 2 at Vertical Gallery featuring: AlexFace, Martin Whatson, Flog, 2CHOEY, Hama Woods, Sergio Farfan, Collin Van Der Sluijs, Mr. Kreme, Mau Mau, and Pipsqueak Was Here!!! 

        Vertical Gallery is located at 1016 N Western Ave. Open Tues-Sat 12-6.

        Thank you to everyone that has visited and collected work from us over the past 10 years. And special thanks to all of the artists that have shown with us over the past 134 shows! 

        Email us at if you have any questions.

        AJ Ainscough 'Back Outside'

        AJ Ainscough 'Back Outside'

        Vertical Gallery, AJ Ainscough take you inside ‘Back Outside’

        Vertical Gallery is very proud to present ‘Back Outside,’ the debut solo exhibit from Chicago-based painter AJ Ainscough. ‘Back Outside,’ which runs from Aug. 13 through Sept. 4 at Vertical Project Space’s West Town location (2006 W. Chicago Ave. #1R; enter via the alley off Damen Ave.), features 13 new canvases rendered in Ainscough’s already inimitable style — a controlled chaos that embraces and subverts traditions including pop art, cartoon realism, impressionism and surrealism.

        ‘Back Outside’ — which arrives six months after ‘A Warrior in the Garden,’ the Line Dot Editions joint showcase pairing Ainscough with Chicago printmaker and painter Steve Seeley — explores the artist’s efforts to navigate the increasingly precarious twists and turns of everyday life situations. “This body of work is about restlessness,” Ainscough explains. “It’s about never relaxing, and about an inability to really let go and enjoy the space around you because of the thoughts in your head.”

        The outsize, fantastical imagery dominating ‘Back Outside’ belies the autobiographical intimacy of Ainscough’s work. “Each figure in each painting is a version of myself,” he says. “It’s a different adaptation of what I’m feeling, but I interpret and exaggerate my experiences to emphasize whatever feeling I’m trying to create.”

        Ainscough was born and raised in Chicago Heights, Ill. He began sketching as a toddler, later churning through artistic influences ranging from Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Clues to the Garbage Pail Kids trading card series to the underground comix of R. Crumb. He initially aspired to a career in animation, but switched his focus to painting while a student at Eastern Illinois University under the tutelage of mentor Chris Kahler.

        Ainscough has since contributed to group shows in Chicago, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Los Angeles, and later in 2022 his work will appear in the Vertical Gallery group show ‘Atomic Number 13 Part 2’ as well as ‘#INK 2’ at Vertical Project Space. His portfolio also includes a summer 2022 mural for Soho House Chicago.    

        AJ Ainscough
        ‘Back Outside’
        Aug 13 - Sept 4, 2022
        Opening day: Saturday August 13th, 12-5
        AJ will be in attendance on opening day
        Vertical Project Space, 2006 W Chicago Ave #1R, open weekends noon-5pm