Critics’ Picks

Lancaster (04-03), 2004.

Chicago

Richard Rezac

Rhona Hoffman Gallery
1711 West Chicago Avenue
June 9–July 21

In this sparse and eloquent exhibition, Chicago artist Richard Rezac employs a complex sculptural language that evokes both early-twentieth-century Constructivist design and Baroque architectural motifs while maintaining the intimacy of human scale. In Glisan, 2006, a pale yellow structure placed atop an aluminum wall-mounted base suggests turned columns rendered with the materials and exquisite austerity of high-end modern furniture. Similarly, Lancaster (04-03), 2004, the most suggestively literal of the works on view, creates a symmetrical opposition between the suggestion of a hand railing and the abstract artwork itself, which comprises a frosted orange and blue double balustrade. Rezac here reorders the familiarity of the mundane through a reduction of scale, thereby almost comically obstructing the functionality it suggests. The exhibition also includes several two-dimensional studies, rendered in colored pencil, that serve as blueprints for the sculptural works. They illuminate Rezac’s finely nuanced process of transposing line and color into sculptural form and reiterate the sculptures’ impact as unified, singular images. Untitled (05-04), 2005, a wall-hanging sculpture employing stark geometry, contrasts a rust- and gold-colored Neo-Plasticist design printed on the support with a diagonal array of painted blue bands hovering above. The diagonals not only connect the printed figures but also epitomize the subtle interplay between and reversibility of color, shadow, image, and object in Rezac’s sculpture. Like the other three-dimensional works here, this sculpture renders virtual architectural motifs with a vaguely familiar yet beautifully alien materiality.