Mary Lou Zelazny

1956    Chicago, IL
1980    BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1978    California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA
Academic Affiliation:
1990-Present. Adjunct Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Selected One Person Exhibitions:
2011    The Cake Lady Returns. Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
    Flags and Swags. Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL
2009    Altogether Mutable: The Work of Mary Lou Zelazny, Hyde Park Center  (catalog)
    Online Exhibition: Altogether Mutable, National Museum of Women in the Arts,   
            Washington DC
2007    The Lake is Not an Ocean, Union League Club, Chicago
2007    Repeating the Habit, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
2004     Next in the Gallery, Herron Gallery, Indianapolis, IN
2004    Break the Charm, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
2001    What Was the Question Again?, IUN Gallery for Contemporary Art, Indiana     University Northwest, Gary IN
2000    What Was the Question?, Thomas McCormick Gallery, Chicago
1996    Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago
1994    Soundings, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago
1992    Living with Memorabilia, Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago
1991    Mary Lou Zelazny: Solo Series, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL
1990    Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago
1988    History of Tools, Peter Miller Gallery, Chicago
1987    Peter Miller Gallery
1986    Peter Miller Gallery
1984    Famous Women and Interesting Men, Bookspace, Chicago

Selected Group Exhibitions:
2014     Making Space, Zolla/Lieberman Gallery, curated by Susanne Doremus, Chicago
2013    Creating a New Whole, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
2012    4800 W: Artists of Portage Park, Klee Building, Chicago
2011    Cut Ups, Peter Paul Luce Gallery, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA
    This is Paul Halupka, C33 Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago and Robert F.     DeCaprio Art Gallery, Moraine Valley Community College, Palos Hills, IL (with     catalog)
2010    Beyond the Arches: Selected Works from McDonald's Corporate Art Collection,     Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN 
    Chicago Imagism(s), Natalie and James Thompson art Gallery, San José State     University, San José, CA
    Faculty Projects, Betty Rymer Gallery, School of the Art Institute of Chicago,     Chicago
    Touch and Go: Ray Yoshida and His Spheres of Influence, Sullivan Galleries,     School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
    Twos, O'Connor Art Gallery, Dominican University, River Forest, IL
2008    Ahh, Decadence!, Sullivan Galleries, Sullivan Center SAIC, Chicago
    Not Just Another Pretty Face, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago 
2007    Fresh Takes, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
    Girl on Guy, A & D Gallery, Chicago
2006    Creative Imagining, The Howard A. and Judith Tullman Collection, The Mobile     Museum of Art, Mobile AL
            Putting it All Together, The Art of Collage, Hinsdale Center for the Arts,     Hinsdale, IL
2005    All About Women, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
2004    The Flat-Round World, Three Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago
            The Reflected/Refracted Self. Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
            Hard Candy, Sextablos, Works on Metal, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art,     San Jose, CA
            Time Travel: Truth, Beauty, and Justice, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
2003    Emergence: Women Artists in the New Millennium, William Bachman Gallery,     Munster, IN
            Color and Form, Forum  Plus Gallery, Chicago
2002    Transcultural Visions: Polish-American Contemporary Art, National Museum of     Szczecin, Poland
            Natural History, Aaron Packer Gallery, Chicago
            Evoking Histories/Memory of Water: Spoleto 2002, curated by Mary Jane Jacob     and Tumelo Musako, Charleston, SC
            Pasted On, A Survey of Collage Strategies, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago
2001    Reflections: Fifteenth Anniversary Show, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago
            Transcultural Visions: Polish-American Contemporary Art, Hyde Park Art     Center, Chicago
2000    Synthesis, Collage and Mixed Media, Sonnenschein Gallery, Lake Forest College,     Lake Forest, IL
            Sextablos, Works on Metal, Barrister's Gallery, New Orleans, LA
1999    It Looks Easy, Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago
            Collage '99, Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, IA
            Sextablos, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
1998    The Velvet Show, Café Bocci, Chicago
1997    Breadth of Aesthetic, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago
            Pink, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago
1996    International Exhibit of Collage, Parkland College, Champaign, IL
            Revelries, Ford Center for the Arts, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
            Visual Feasting, Suburban Fine Arts Center, Highland Park, IL
            Views of a Lady, Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York City
            Pleasure (Beyond Guilt), Artemesia Gallery, Chicago
            Selected Works in Collage, Merwyn-Wakeley Galleries, Illinois Wesleyan     University, Bloomington, IL
1995    Some New Faces, Phyllis Kind Gallery, Chicago
            Art About Life: Contemporary American Culture, Indiana University Fine Arts     Gallery, Bloomington, IN (catalog)
1994    Something in Common, The Women Faculty in Painting and Drawing from the     School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Artemisia 
            Gallery, Chicago (catalog)
1993    A(t)Tension to the Moment, Bowling Green State University College of Musical     Arts, Fine Arts Center, Bowling Green, OH 
            Chicago Drawings, Galleria Porta 33, Madeira, Portugal
            The Return of the Cadavre Exquis, The Drawing Center, New York City
            Chicago Art Group in Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany (catalog)
            Garment as Metaphor, Suburban Fine Arts Center, Highland Park, IL
            Collages: Faulkner, Sensemann, Zelazny, Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago
1992    Quotations from America's Studio: Drawing New Conclusions, Betty Rymer     Gallery, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 
            Face to Face, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago (catalog)
1991    Spirited Visions: Protraits of Chicago Artists, State of Illinois Gallery Chicago     (traveling-1993) (catalog)
1990    The Chicago Show, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago (catalog)
            Indianapolis Collects,  Herron Gallery, Indianapolis Center for Contemporary     Art, IN
            Our Corner of the World: Seventeen Illinois Artists, University Galleries, Illinois     State University, Normal, IL (catalog)
1989    Material Matters, College of DuPage Arts Center Gallery, Glen Ellyn, IL
            Chicago Artists in the European Tradition, Museum of Contemporary Art,     Chicago (catalog)
1988    Endangered Species, Klein Gallery, Chicago
            Field and Seam, Roy Boyd Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
            Only a Woman Could, Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago
            The Truncated Figure, Artemisia Gallery, Chicago
1987    Egg Tempera: Archaic Methods/Modern Minds, Contemporary Art Workshop,     Chicago
            Masks, Klein Gallery, Chicago
            Artagogo, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
            Surfaces: Two Decades of Painting in Chicago, Terra Museum of American Art,     Chicago (catalog)
            Endsville, 1480 W. Webster, Chicago
1986    New Horizons in Art, 1986, Chicago Public Library Cultural Center, Chicago
            Self-Protraits: Then or Now, ARC Gallery, Chicago (catalog)
1985    Mary Lou Zelazny, Andre Ferella, Peter Miller Gallery, Chicago
            UNScene, ARC Gallery, Chicago
            14th Union League Art Competition and Exhibition, Artemisia Gallery, Chicago
1984    Chicago Head, Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago
1983    The Big Pitcher: 20 years of the Abstracted Figure in Chicago Art, Hyde Park Art     Center, Chicago (catalog)
            Sex Show, The Northside Auditorium Building, Chicago
1981    Some Girls, A Celebration of Chicago Women Artists, The Donahue Building,     Chicago

Visiting Artist:
2011    Loyola University, Chicago
2010    Loyola University, Chicago
2004    Maine College of Art, Portland, ME
2002    Williams College, Art Department, Williamstown, MA
1998    University of Iowa, School of Art and Architecture, Iowa City, IA
1996    DePaul University, Department of Fine Art, Chicago
1994    Columbia College, Department of Art, Chicago
    University of Chicago, Chicago
1992    Northwestern University, Department of Art, Evanston IL
            Oxbow, Saugatuck, MI
1989    Rockford College, Department of Art, Rockford, IL
Public Commissions:
2006    McCormick Place Expansion Project, Chicago

Awards and Fellowships:
2008    Illinois Arts Council Special Assistance Grant
2007    Faculty Enrichment Grant, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
2007    Illinois Arts Council Special Assistance Grant
2003    Margaret Klimek Phillips Fellowship
1998    Faculty Enrichment Grant, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1992    Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Visual Arts Fellowship     Award
1986    Dorland Mountain Colony Residency

Selected Collections:
Elmhurst College of Art, Elmhurst, IL
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
First Chicago Bank, Chicago
Kemper National Insurance Companies
Nagin and Associates, Miami, FL
Prudential Insurance Company, Newark, NJ
Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL
Weichman and Associates, Munster, IN

Eye Exam: Chicago's Own Surrealist,  Jason Foumberg, New City Art, February 16, 2009
Altogether Mutable: The Work of Mary Lou Zelazny, Karsten Lund,, February 2009
Mary Lou Zelazny, Laura, Feb 19–25, 2009
Altogether Mutable, Bert Stabler, Chicago Reader, Feb 2009
The Art of Collage, Alan G. Artner,Chicago Tribune, March, 2009
Piecing perfect puzzles, Robert Loerzel, Pioneer Press, Chicago April 2007
Artist's eclecticism runs more than canvas-deep, Kevin Nance, Chicago Sun-Times,     March 2007
Zelazny's Work Has Come a Very Long Way, Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune, December     2003
Mary Lou Zelazny, Fred Camper, Chicago Reader, December 2003
New American Paintings, Number 35, 2001
New American Paintings, Number 11, 1997
Superior and Huron Bring on a New Season with Style, Margaret Hawkins, Chicago Sun     Times, September 1996
Mary Lou Zelazny,  Thomas Connors, New Art Examiner, 1996
Art Exhibition Explores Metaphorical Works of Four Contemporary Collage Artists, Gisele Atterberry, News Gazette, Champaign, IL, 1996
Dedicated to Paint, Mary Jane Jacob, Something in Common (catalog), 1994

Zelazny Takes Giant Step with Latest Show, Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune,  September     1994
A(T)Tension to the Moment, Jacqueline Nathan (catalog), Bowling Green State     University, OH, 1993
Artists Take Collage on a Joyride of Perspectives, David McCracken, Chicago Tribune,     April 1993
The Best Art Exhibitions, Alan Artner and David McCracken, Chicago Tribune,     December 1992
Mary Lou Zelazny,  Kathryn Hixson, Flash Art, Summer 1992
Art People: Mary Lou Zelazny's Feminine Perspective, Judith Lin Eftekhar, Chicago     Reader, March 1992
Zelazny Seamlessly Blends Collage, Paint. David McCracken, Chicago Tribune, March     1992
Face to Face, A Chance to Meet 80 Chicago Artists as They See Themselves on Canvas, Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune, March 1992
Mary Lou Zelazny,  James Yood, Art Forum, Summer 1992
Spirited Visions, Portraits of Chicago Artists, photographs by Patty Carrol, text by James     Yood. University of Illinois Press, 1991
Rockford Art Museum Keeps Contemporary, Cindy Kranz, Rockford Register, September     1991
Mary Lou Zelazny, Kathryn Hixson, Arts Magazine, April 1990
Artist's Latest Works Show She's Joined the Major Leagues, Gordon Ligocki, The     Hammond Times, January 1990
Mary Lou Zelazny, Garrett Holg, Art News, April 1990
Our Corner of the World, Laurie Dahlberg, catalog, Illinois State University 1989
The Persistence of Modernism, Lynn Warren, catalog, Chicago Museum of     Contemporary Art, 1989
Mary Lou Zelazny, Alan Artner, Chicago Tribune, September 1998
Mary Lou Zelazny, Jeff Abell, New Art Examiner, December 1998
Mary Lou Zelazny,  Buzz Spector, Art Forum, February 1988
Collage's Pictorial Variations on a Theme, David McCracken, Chicago Tribune, March     1988
Mary Lou Zelazny at Peter Miller, Sue Taylor, Art in America, January 1988
Surfaces, Two Decades of Painting in Chicago, Seventies and Eighties, Judith Krishner,     catalog. Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, 1987
Two Decades of Painting in Chicago, Denis Adrian, New Art Examiner, December 1987
Review, Garrett Hold, New Art Examiner, September 1986
Collages Depict Us as Seekers of Goods, Sue Taylor, Chicago Sun Times, July 1986
The Big Pitcher: 20 Years of Abstracted Figure in Chicago Art, catalog, 1983


As in past memorable performances here at Carl Hammer Gallery, Mary Lou Zelazny’s skillful craft acts as a viewer’s transport to other worlds and planes of existence.  The illusion of our conveyance succeeds due to her incorporation of found popular culture media images seamlessly combined with the gestural fluidity of a painted background resulting in dualistic, dreamlike scenarios.  Her combining of paint with the slickness of the clipped photograph/image creates an end result both expressive and stimulating.  Figuration dominates the viewer’s first visual encounter with these hybrid images, but it is the abstraction of figure and background alike which draws and cements the work into unified, intriguing, visual experiences.


To view Mary Lou's website, click here.