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        News — Hama Woods

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        11-Year Anniversary Show

        11-Year Anniversary Show

        Vertical Gallery is excited to present their 11-Year Anniversary Group Show. Thank you to everyone that has supported the gallery over the years. The show runs April 5 – 27, 2024 with an opening reception on Friday April 5, 5:00-8:00pm. The show features an international roster of artists: Akio Harada (JP), Arne Spangereid (NO), Blake Jones (US), Chris Uphues (US), Euan Roberts (UK), Ezra Brown (US), Flog (FR), Graham Franciose (US), Hama Woods (NO), Louis (Masai) Michel (UK), Mau Mau (UK), Oscar Joyo (US), Pipsqueak Was Here!!! (NL), Richard Ankrom (US), Sweler (AU), Troy Scat (US), and Yusuke Toda (JP).

        Akio Harada (JP): Showing with Vertical for the first time, Akio’s layered animal shaped work depicts human emotions while navigating between imagination and reality. His work features sharp silhouettes with multiple layers of paint, creating work that is both flat and deep.

        Arne Spangereid (NO): Showing with Vertical for the first time, Arne is a celebrated artist known for his intriguing fusion of classical techniques and modern expressions. By blending old masters, impressionism, and cartoon art, he crafts playful interior scenes featuring unconventional elements.

        Blake Jones (US): Blake has been showing with Vertical since 2020, including a solo show and curating a group show. Blake’s use of graphic line work and bright color palettes illustrates narratives of complex worlds inhabited by his own iconic characters, objects, and landscapes.

        Chris Uphues (US): Chris has been showing with Vertical since 2014. His imagery as a designer, artist and street painter is inspired by facets of pop culture, such as comic books, animation, and video games.

        Euan Roberts (UK): Showing with Vertical for the first time, Euan’s artistic practice is focused on analyzing the human condition, distilling feelings of humor, hope, suffering, joy, love and longing via his distinctive cast of animal avatars and visual metaphors.

        Ezra Brown (US): Ezra encapsulates his many experiences, emotions, and feelings using his character ‘Happy the Clown’ as a reflection of himself to portray his message. His character is used to cope with events in the world around us today. This is his second group show at Vertical.

        Graham Franciose (US): Showing in his second group show at Vertical, Graham’s whimsical, and sometimes emotional, illustrations share a glimpse of a story. A moment between the action, leaving the exact circumstances and narrative up to the viewer. There is sense of familiarity and honesty within his characters and scenes, as well as a sense of mystery and wonder.

        Hama Woods (NO): Hama’s work shows a deep respect for nature and its immediate connection to humanity. Hama’s stencil intuitively reflects and introduces a sociological approach to greed and human consumption, and its direct impact on our natural environment. She has been showing with Vertical since 2019, including her sold out show in May 2022.

        Louis (Masai) Michel (UK): Louis uses his art in the form of murals, paintings and installations as a way to highlight extinction, climate change and species equality. His solo show at Vertical in May 2021 featured interactive remote-control robot chickens — letting viewers experience the show and explore the gallery setting in real time from the comforts of home.

        Mau Mau (UK): A renowned British graffiti artist, Mau Mau has been showing with Vertical for many years – including two solo shows. His work is politically and environmentally focused, usually with a mischievous fox as its hero. The artist has traveled across the globe, including the UK, USA, Jamaica, Thailand and Australia, painting on everything from shipwrecks and surfboards to billboards and city walls.

        Oscar Joyo (US): Oscar is a Malawian-born, Chicago-based artist known for expressive portraiture that features his unique combination of photo realism and tribal patterning. His practice fuses both traditional and digital mediums to explore imagery and themes connected to Afrofuturism and afrosurrealism. He has been in many group shows at Vertical over the years.

        Pipsqueak Was Here!!! (NL): With two sold-out solo shows at Vertical (September 2018 and October 2020) and multiple group shows, Pipsqueak has become a Vertical fan-favorite. Using children and animals in their work, they make us aware of the tender relationship that exists between nature and human nature. They aim to invoke contemplation and discussion about issues in the world today and let us look at the way we humans treat our globe.

        Richard Ankrom (US): Richard reacts to his mundane surroundings, redefining found objects and environments. Since 2012, his figurines series creates a more intimate scale, creating BDSM masks for household trinkets. He takes sentimental goods that target nostalgic consumers and change them to make them individual and surreal by dipping or pouring them several times with synthetic rubber and tucked zippers. This is his first time showing with Vertical.

        Sweler (AU): Sweler has participated in multiple group shows at Vertical over the years and every work has sold out. Influenced by the street art graffiti scene, his whimsical world of characters create their own unique stories. 

        Troy Scat (US): Troy is a fine artist, illustrator, and tattoo artist from Chicago, now residing in LA. Frequently using realism portraiture, he’s created his own visual aesthetic. He has participated in multiple group shows at Vertical.

        Yusuke Toda (JP): Returning to Vertical for his second group show, Yusuke’s work combines Japanese culture and pop art. His feature character named "yum" expresses how we and the environment around us are living in harmony together. Yusuke has been globally recognized for his dynamic blend of traditional and modern styles, with exhibitions selling out and receiving significant attention within the art world.

        And a special print release from Flog:

        Flog (FR): Flog has developed his unique graphic signature through his "People of Glass" series, a universe of transparent characters filled with colors. Against the contrasting background of an increasingly hard and gray world, the “People of Glass” share their colors subtly by interacting with each other or their environment. Flog has been showing with Vertical since 2022, including his sold out solo show at the SCOPE international art fair in December 2023.

        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.

        Hama Woods 'Enjoy the Silence'

        Hama Woods 'Enjoy the Silence'

        Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, is very proud to present ‘Enjoy the Silence,’ the debut U.S. solo exhibition from Norwegian stencil artist Hama Woods.

        ‘Enjoy the Silence’ runs from May 7-28 at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location, with an opening-day reception on Saturday, May 7 from noon to 6:00 pm. The exhibit features a series of original canvases continuing Woods’ long-running preoccupation with consumerism’s effects on the world we inhabit, a theme she explores via black-and-white mammals and birds painted into colorful but unnatural geometric environments. 

        Woods’ art is characterized by her use of hand-cut, multi-layered stencils and spray paint. Since beginning her career in 2009, her work has consistently challenged viewers to contemplate the choices they make and the impact of their decisions on both the present and the future. In addition to exhibits and murals across Europe and the U.S., Woods has participated in multiple Vertical Gallery group shows over the years, most recently 2021’s ‘Atomic Number 13.’

        Hama Woods
        'Enjoy the Silence'
        May 7 - 28, 2022
        Opening day: Saturday, May 7th, 12-6