Jo Hormuth is a multidisciplinary artist whose ideas spring from a fascination with perceptual, cognitive, and linguistic contradiction, backed by research into the architecture, history, and material conditions of the situation in which a work will be developed and shown. Recent public projects integrate the function and spatial idiosyncrasies of newly constructed educational facilities. The Big Picture (Sestina), a six-panel, mural-scale painting, provides a poetic focus, contemplative yet conceptually rigorous, in the study commons of Grand Valley State University’s Center for Interprofessional Health. Better Grammar–Garden wraps the atrium of the Chicago Botanic Garden's Learning Center with eight large color compositions, assemblages of monochrome macro photographs of plants taken over the course of a year, which together form a portrait of the Garden—itself an abstraction.
As founder of Chicago Architectural Arts, Jo focuses on the restoration of historically significant interiors and the design and fabrication of period rooms for museum exhibitions. Over the course of a decade, she researched and re-created interior finishes for the Darwin Martin House Museum Complex in Buffalo, New York, Frank Lloyd Wright’s largest Prairie-style residence. For the recent restoration of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow, Scotland, she oversaw the color palette, recovered designs for original carpets and fixtures, and re-created numerous textile elements.
Hormuth holds a BFA from Grand Valley State Colleges and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she teaches in the Department of Painting and Drawing. She also studied at the Slade School of Art, University College London. She exhibits internationally, has work in numerous museum and private collections, and is represented by Kusseneers Gallery, Brussels.