san-francisco

Chris Finley

Rena Bransten Gallery

ZIPPER Alan, GUTT Alex, DICKENSHEET Dean & Shirley . . . The collaged list of names, depicted in a large digital print by Chris Finley titled Lord Slug, 2004, appears random at first. But it soon becomes clear that the artist has picked out those most likely to have elicited taunts from elementary school classmates. Indeed, he apparently read the San Francisco White Pages from cover to cover in a gleefully puerile search that makes this work an immediate guilty pleasure. Unless, perhaps, your name happens to be SHATS Sofia. It’s a digression from Finley’s more labor-intensive, thematically weighty paintings, but one that points to an absurdist vision that is provocative and compelling.

Adolescent whims and conceptual strategies have always formed a compelling mix in Finley’s free-wheeling works. In the mid-’90s he translated computer desktop protocol into sculpture (turning Tupperware

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