1224 W Loyola Ave is a storefront project space for exhibitions and events in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Roman Susan encourages and accepts artist proposals for new projects at this space. 152 artist-led projects have taken place at this location from November 2012 to February 2024.

1224 W Loyola Ave has three descending stairs to a recessed floor; regrettably, the interior of the exhibition space is not wheelchair accessible. The public washroom is a very confined space, up two stairs from the exhibition floor. If these factors or others present a barrier for your visit, please write to art@romansusan.org or leave a voicemail at (773) 270-1224 in advance for alternate arrangements. Roman Susan at 1224 W Loyola Ave is located 85 meters northwest of the Loyola CTA Station, with direct access for public transit via the Red Line train and the 147 bus line. A Divvy bike-share hub is located at the west exit of the CTA. There is on-street parking on W Loyola Ave, and a paid parking garage at 1210 W Arthur Ave immediately to the south. For all projects at 1224 W Loyola Ave, open hours are scheduled in advanced, and available at other times by appointment. All projects are visible from the sidewalk immediately outside the space 24/7.

Sandra Binion
Figure, Painting
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
May 18, 2024 

Re-enactment at 4 PM with performer Tara Aisha Willis and cornetist Ben Lamar Gay

Figure, Painting took place in 1983 at The Storefront in San Francisco and at The Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City with cornetist Lawrence "Butch" Morris. Seated in the window, the artist followed a script and painted herself with wide brushes in colors inspired by the early 1920’s Fauvist palette of expressionist Alexej Jawlensky (1864–1941): red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. In a choreography of stylized gestures, she applied each color to her body, which was then contrasted, complemented, or obliterated by the next.

The “figure” in Figure, Painting became the painter as well as the painting.
     ––Sandra Binion

This event is one of a series of re-enactments as a part of Sandra Binion: Autobiography of Looking at Experimental Sound Studio from April 12 to June 9, 2024. The image above is documentation of Sandra Binion performing "Figure, Painting," at The Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York City with cornetist, Lawrence “Butch” Morris, 1983. Photo credit Toyo Tsuchiya.

Madeleine Aguilar
yard model
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
May 11, 2024 - May 25, 2024

Opening Saturday, May 11 at 4 PM

yard model is a modular, multi-functional platform outside of the street facing windows of ROMAN SUSAN. The platform will be a site of activation, collaboration, and play throughout the duration of this exhibition. It will be host to a series of performances and workshops, while also serving as a space for the passerby to sit, loiter, and rest. The platform will consist of modular sections that can be rearranged to suit the needs of its user(s). A series of interactive and performative sculptures will be on view inside of the gallery as well as a public library presenting collaborative book projects produced by bench press.

Saturday, May 11 at 4 PM
Jordan Knecht, Leana E Allen, DC Caldwell, and Madeleine Aguilar
bex ya yolk

Saturday, May 18 at 4 PM
Sandra Binion with Tara Aisha Willis and Ben Lamar Gay

Saturday, May 25 at 4 PM
Elizabeth Flood
Mauricio López

Madeleine Aguilar tells stories, builds archives, maps spaces, constructs furniture, records histories, organizes data, catalogs objects, prints publications, creates frameworks, collects imagery, acquires trades, ties knots, re-purposes materials, imitates structures, utilizes chance, plays instruments, follows intuition, prompts participation, guides observation, leaves evidence, develops routines, takes walks, breaks habits, and makes lists. Using the archive as form, she acknowledges the passing of time by cataloging lived spaces, collected objects, familial histories, personal relationships, natural phenomena, mundane routines, and ephemeral moments. She runs bench press, a collaborative Risograph press based in Chicago, and currently manages the Print Lab in the School of Design at the University of Illinois at Chicago. More information and work at madeleineaguilar.com.

Tallulah Cartalucca
if a tree falls
1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
February 2, 2024 - February 28, 2024

On view from the street 24/7 and visit inside by appointment

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

At the onset of lockdowns in 2020 I found myself in frequent conversations with friends and acquaintances who, like me, live in urban environments. Repeatedly, the sentiment “I need to go be in nature,” echoed between us across virtual space. 

As we spoke of our yearning to spend time in a natural environment and how much we missed the immersive experience of nature, I observed – not for the first time – how our conversation brimmed with subtext: that nature is located somewhere, in a wholly separate place from here – that nature isn’t surrounding us but, rather, is a place to which we must go. The implication is that nature isn't present in spaces we inhabit, but instead, it only exists in an “other” location possessing some specific physical qualifications. As nature is a human construct – and a term with vastly different meanings for different people – the very presence of a person in an environment they deem natural transforms it into nature.

Likewise, it is human presence that enables this unnatural installation to be nature. The forest is activated by human company – by our presence, our movement, and our activity. The trees inflate when they sense passersby; if they feel that someone is watching them; if they feel performers’ movements. When visitors leave, the trees might fall – but we cannot be sure, as there’s no one around to see (or hear) it happen.

The bark of these trees is nylon, coated in printed patterns foraged from the natural environments of Edgewater and Rogers Park. With our presence, the telephone poles, trees, and other natural textures become exuberant and charismatic in nature, dancing and vibrating via a support network of fans, extension cord roots, and motion detectors.

    Tallulah Cartalucca is an artist, writer, educator, arts administrator, and tree lover from Chicago, IL. In 2023, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fibers and Material Studies and Visual Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tallulah currently works as a teacher and the assistant to the director of youth programs at Lillstreet Art Center. The neighborly spirit of Chicago inspires her to foster connections and strengthen bonds between artists and their communities. She curated Overstreet Art+Music (2022), and has recent work shown with Abracadabra Press, CSI Project Space, Propagate Cooperative, No Nation Art Lab, SITE Galleries, SAIC Galleries, Lillstreet Art Center, and 21Minus at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

    This project featured an installation activation with with Steven Hou on February 17, 2024.

    Linhan Zhang
    Floating Ephemera

    1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
    December 28, 2023 - January 17, 2024

    On view from the street, with projections after dark

    Floating Ephemera is one of the works in the My ways of seeing series by Linhan Zhang. It focuses on the intersection of dream and memory. After the memory of the dream has survived like a mayfly for a few hours or even minutes, the memory of reality takes its place and justifies the fragmentary dream. The fleeting fragments of the dream create new memories through a leaking hole of the memory. The only thing that remains sometimes is blank. Do those dreams really belong to me? Am I still me in the world of dream? The artist tries to restore the illogical story in the dream world through the ravings in the dream world and the memories in the real world. 

    Linhan Zhang is a multimedia artist primarily working with video installation and live performance, as well as photography, artist books, and drawing. Their works focus on the themes of time, the unreliability of memory, the transferability of individual experience, and the repetition of the mundane everyday. They want to test the boundaries between different subjects by collecting, altering, and reconfiguring everyday materials. Zhang has received the BFA from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in the Photography Department and the MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in FVNMA Department. They have presented work at places such as Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago, Compound Yellow, No Nation Art Lab, The Plan Gallery, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, and University of the Arts London. Born in China, Zhang recently lives and works in Beijing.