Chicago

Bill Conger

Zaks Gallery

Bill Conger’s new paintings consist of architectural sorts of motifs. They divide into windows, hallways, bridges, vents, crossbars and the like, making up fairly quiet, stable containers for a variety of amorphic shapes.

These frameworks contribute to an overall equilibrium in which, despite obliquenesses, concavities and bulbosities, very little seems to agitate. Static frames complement ambiguous shapes and everything seems happy where it “grows.” That’s a surprising equilibrium because Conger’s shapes often resemble functional coverings over some strange type of throbbing organ. Highlights on these weirdly colored bulbs give the surface a rubbery, bloated look.

A painting like Thrush, however, tends to fail because its architecture is so difficult to discern and the pinkish-yellowish-silverish shapes impinge upon one another with too little organization to make sense—a needed “sense” in

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