Above: Install shots from Ladies Night in Lascaux, Roots and Culture, Chicago, IL, 2017

Above: Install shots from Ladies Night in Lascaux, ExGirlfriend Gallery, Berlin, Germany, 2017

Ladies Night in Lascaux

Hope Esser & Liz McCarthy


Ladies Night in Lascaux is a two-person exhibition by Chicago-based artists Hope Esser and Liz McCarthy, consisting of objects that shift their role between theater set and artwork. Both artists call attention to how material can hold a physical human action. The works, which include sculpture, video, and installation vignettes, highlight the function of objects as they become performers on the stage of our collective experience.


Both Esser and McCarthy are interested in the complex history and identity that material can take on through its form and function. While Esser strives to find the romanticism in janky materials such as bubble wrap or a broken umbrella, McCarthy is attracted to the rich history of clay. By testing the implicit fiction in these materials, we aim to shift comfortable contemporary archetypes and myths. The title of the exhibition playfully references the location of Paleolithic cave paintings in France, the theater of a nightclub, and the misconception that the first artists were men.

The sculptures and installations in Ladies Night in Lascaux seeks to explore and mutate the function of the body to perform the role of maker, female, usher, musician, magician, icon, or muse.