Self-made Chicago art darling Derek Erdman’s iconic and ironic paintings are finally given solo space for ample consideration beyond the confines of his Bucktown home-studio. Foursided Custom Framing Gallery curates twenty-five paintings, many of which are significantly larger in scale than Erdman’s usual 24″x 24″, featuring images that range from gibbons on a skateboard to pink Winnebagos juxtaposed with anything from lemons to penguins to the Eiffel Tower. Standout pieces include clever visual puns “Pink Brown Bear” and “Charles Manson in a Sno-Caps Hat.” Erdman’s ever-changing palette of pop-culture chimera has expanded to include such notables as Mayor Daley and Mr. Peanut alongside Larry Hagman and Alexander Graham Bell—a good rule of thumb being the absurdity of the ordinary renders it extraordinary, and vice versa. Comparisons to the 1960s Pop Art and Readymade movements might be detected in terms of a shared visual vocabulary, but playful pandas and floating pigs gesture toward something smarter and even more sincere. (Angeline Gragasin)
Derek Erdman shows at Foursided Gallery, 5061 North Clark, through November 30.