chicago

Gaylen Gerber

Robbin Lockett Gallery

Reflections off the Plexiglas surfaces covering Gaylen Gerber’s graphite drawings, coupled with glare from the stark, white gallery walls, frustrate attempts to read the images, which are rendered with such a gentle touch as to be virtually invisible in the first place. I can’t say what these works picture, because I couldn’t make them out; what I know depends on hearsay and literature, not firsthand experience. With a great expenditure of sweat and time, a few details begin to emerge—a shape, a snarl of lines—but they disappear again on closer inspection. Each image amounts to a spotty collection of hors d’oeuvres that never leads to dinner, and their consumption is interrupted by the reflection of one’s own frustrated face glaring back.

Gerber keeps the viewer suspended in a state of doubt. This uncertainty, however, is not a passive state, but one convulsed by desire—the desire to know

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