chicago

Bill Conger

Kenyon Gallery

Bill Conger’s oil paintings begin simply as a way to organize a flat surface, but they go beyond that fundamental. Conger is an eclectic, an appropriate disposition in the city of Chicago, where people, objects, and other influences continually come and go; and his work might appear “dated” in art history’s sequence. But if art is a changing, overlapping “mosaic,” as Lawrence Alloway suggests, rather than a “crystallized” mainstream, the concept of datedness is irrelevant to Conger’s work. It has a metaphysical light, a cubist spatial orientation, a surreal juxtaposition of elements, and an intuitive Abstract-Expressionist color development. Each initially geometric design is modeled with dense earth-tone or “Easter”-color paints and a “neon” illumination that has no visible source and casts no logical shadows. The paintings appear as webs of linear and disclike elements that cross, push,

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