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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.

        Vertical Gallery turns NINE

        Vertical Gallery turns NINE

        Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, is very proud to present ‘NINE,’ its nine-year anniversary exhibition.

        ‘NINE,’ which runs from April 2-23 at Vertical’s 1016 N. Western Ave. location, includes ten artists, each contributing nine original 12”x12” works. The show features Ben Frost, Mau Mau, Liz Flores, Jeremy Yamamura, FNNCH, Helen Proctor, Chris Uphues, Jamiah Calvin, 2choey and Flog. Vertical will also release new prints from Frost and Yamamura on opening day, and from Kayla Mahaffey on April 15.

        “We’re thankful to all of our artists and collectors for their support over the past nine years,” says Patrick Hull, owner of Vertical Gallery. “We’re thrilled to have this group of amazing artists in our anniversary show. With 90 original works and multiple print releases, there is something for everyone.”

        While Vertical originally planned to include nine artists in the ‘NINE’ roster, the gallery evolved the theme to encompass ten artists representing nine years — plus one to grow on. Many of the names will be familiar to longtime fans of the gallery. Australian Ben Frost has been exhibiting with Vertical since June 2013; he curated “Paper Jam,” its first anniversary show, and has headlined four art fair solo exhibits over the years. UK street artist Mau Mau, known for his mischievous fox, has also featured in numerous Vertical group shows as well as two solo shows.

        While 2choey from Bangkok is showing for his second time, following his participation in Vertical’s recent Winter Group Show, four of the ‘NINE’ artists are showing at the gallery for the first time. Tokyo-based Jeremy Yamamura brings his signature Dogzzz; San Francisco-based FNNCH offers his trademark honey bears; French artist Flog is showing for the first time in the U.S. with his whimsical “glass people” series; and Australian artist Helen Proctor will feature her colorful abstract landscape paintings.

        Last but not least, ‘NINE’ features three Chicago artists. Liz Flores, who participated in a couple of previous Vertical group shows, will present a solo exhibit at the gallery in December 2022, while Jamiah Calvin follows his sold-out September 2021 Vertical Project Space solo show with new drawings. Chris Uphues has participated in many Vertical group shows since 2015, and brings a new series of intricate acrylic paintings to the ‘NINE’ show.

        Vertical Gallery, established in April 2013 in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood, focuses on work influenced by street art, urban environments, graffiti, pop culture, graphic design and illustration. The gallery has distinguished itself as a pioneer through its consistent programming of significant emerging and established local, national and international artists.

        April 2 – 23, 2022
        Opening Day: Saturday, April 2nd, noon-6pm
        Vertical Gallery, 1016 N. Western Ave., Chicago

        Vertical Gallery brings Miami heat to Chicago with all-star winter group show

        Vertical Gallery brings Miami heat to Chicago with all-star winter group show

        Vertical Gallery, Chicago’s premier urban-contemporary art gallery, presents “Miami in Chicago,” a winter group show running Dec. 1–26, 2020.

        “Miami in Chicago” features new work from the same talent — Martin Whatson, Alex Face, Mau Mau, Collin van der Sluijs, Joseph Renda Jr., Mysterious Al and David Heo — that Vertical planned to feature in Miami Beach in conjunction with Art Basel’s postponed Miami Art Week 2020 event. Vertical kicks off the month-long exhibit Tuesday, Dec. 1 from noon to 6:00 pm at the gallery’s 1016 N. Western Ave location.

        “Just because the in-person art fairs have been cancelled doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate the artists that have been working all year on their collection of work,” says Patrick Hull, owner of Vertical Gallery. “We have a very strong group show roster for Miami Art Week, and are excited to feature all of the artists in our Chicago gallery for the entire month of December.”

        “Miami in Chicago” gathers artists from across the globe:

        Martin Whatson is a Norwegian street artist best known for calligraphic scribbles in grayscale voids. Over the past decade, Whatson has developed an unmistakable aesthetic combining abstract movement with figurative stenciled compositions: His works mirror the rise and fall of the streets, as he symbolically recreates the urban environment, then vandalizes it to reveal his vibrant transformations.

        Alex Face is one of Thailand’s most respected and prolific street artists. On the surface, his work appears playful and lighthearted, but upon closer inspection each of his pieces explores deeper themes of poverty, environmental crisis and the present and future of society. His iconic bunny character, Mardi — initially inspired by his daughter — represents the feeling of confronting a troubled world as a vulnerable child.

        Mau Mau is a renowned British urban graffiti artist who’s gained an international following with his humorous street, print and graffiti work. His efforts incorporate political, environmental and cultural commentary, often featuring his trademark character, a mischievous and fun-loving fox. With roots planted in the surf and country vibes of the North Devon coast, Mau Mau brings an air of rural sophistication to the art he has been creating for 20 years.

        Collin van der Sluijs is a category-defying Netherlands-based artist whose dreamlike, deeply personal work employs a rich color palette and vibrant brush strokes evoking the Dutch masters of centuries past. His third and most recent Vertical Gallery solo exhibit, 2020’s “A Garden of Trust,” revealed profound new depths and dimensions, with van der Sluijs drawing on influences as diverse as vintage comics and his grandfather’s exotic bird aviary to produce his most ambitious, immersive canvases to date.

        Joseph Renda Jr. is a Chicago-based artist whose paintings capture the symbiotic connection between humans and the natural world. Inspired by leaders in surrealism including Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, Renda often depicts highly realistic human forms interwoven with illusive natural elements; his use of classical oil painting methods and modern materials, such as spray paint, provide his work with a distinct combination of old and new artistic techniques.

        Mysterious Al is an Australian-based contemporary artist who rose to fame in the early 2000’s alongside contemporaries/fellow street art pioneers D*face and Banksy, developing a notoriety for wall paintings, paste-ups and street installations. His latest paintings are based on ancient tribal masks, reimagined in wild contemporary colors. His work is striking and at first glance intimidating — but look closer, and you’ll see pieces that poke fun at man’s vulnerable psyche and fragile sense of self.

        David Heo is a Chicago-based artist known for paintings and collages using non-traditional materials like crayons, house paint and construction paper. Named one of New City’s Breakout Artists for 2020, Heo’s visceral, provocative work frequently documents observations and experiences from his own life, with an emphasis on the complex, emotionally charged interactions taking place in bars, nightclubs and other after-hours milieus. “Honey and Smoke” — his debut solo show at Vertical in March 2020 — sold out on opening night.

        Miami in Chicago
        December 1 - 26, 2020
        Opening day, Tuesday, December 1st, noon - 6:00pm
        Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago

        Mau Mau and Beejoir in Chicago!

        Mau Mau and Beejoir in Chicago!

        We are very excited to have Mau Mau and Beejoir in Chicago for their upcoming exhibition opening on July 8. We have been personally collecting their work since 2010, and can't wait to see what they bring to the gallery. If you don't know these two artists, you should definitely check them out. Come see this very special exhibition and see why their shows in the UK, Japan and Thailand have sold-out.

        Mau Mau is a renowned British urban graffiti artist who’s gained an international following with his humorous street, print and graffiti work. He incorporates political, environmental and cultural commentary to his work – often with his trademark character of a mischievous and fun loving Fox. With roots planted in surf and country vibes of the North Devon coast, Mau Mau brings an air of rural sophistication to the art he has been creating for twenty years. He has painted his way around the world, his artwork appearing on everything from shipwrecks to surfboards and billboards to city walls.

        Mau Mau has produced work for World Land Trust, Greenpeace, Surfers Against Sewage and the Glastonbury Festival, and for record companies such as Ninja Tunes and Lowlife Records. He is the architect of cult brands Sewerside Boardwear and Fear Trade. His street work can also been seen all over the world including the UK, Jamaica, Thailand and Australia.

        Beejoir was born in the UK and currently resides between Tokyo and Bangkok. Using varied practice's and methods of installation, sculpture, painting, spray painting and drawing, Beejoir explores modern society, conveying the way in which he sees the changing world around him and where he sees it heading. He is known for his irreverent work that is both provocative and powerful.

        Beejoir has successfully shown, curated and exhibited in over 70 solo and group shows across the world in some of the leading private galleries, institutions and auction houses. His work is collected by hip hop artists, celebrities and members of the royal family and has been featured in sell-out shows throughout the world. Beejoir has also been featured in several publications, including being recognized in 'Beyond the Street’ as one the world’s 100 leading figures in street art. He has also spent over 10 years growing the careers of like-minded artists with his company Souled Out Studios.

        Beejoir x Mau Mau: Foreign Policy
        July 8 – 29, 2017
        Opening reception with artists, Saturday, July 8, 6:00 – 10:00 pm.
        Vertical Gallery, 1016 N Western Ave., Chicago