Chicago

Vincent Fecteau

The Art Institute of Chicago

The viewer may find it disconcerting when Vincent Fecteau’s wonderfully erudite abstract sculptures reveal themselves, on close inspection, to be made of papier-mâché. Plaster, ceramic, or cast bronze seem the obvious media in which to produce such classically formal exercises reveling in unpretentious plays of shape, volume, color, and contour. But Fecteau is not compelled by elaborate lost-wax casting techniques; instead he uses simple means, building up these recent works with paper, glue, and gesso.

Curator James Rondeau notes in the exhibition brochure that “few artists have made such deceptively modest and idiosyncratic works so assured, involuted, and transformative.” Rondeau’s designations are right, though one of them only partially so, for while the exhibition’s eight small objects (all works Untitled, 2008) may be idiosyncratic in their individual forms, Fecteau’s abstract practice

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