Nazi rams, winged cats, hermaphrodites, impenetrable power plants, lingerie-clad fetish girls, hydrants spilling filth into the streets—perversions both natural and manmade factor into the drawings of self-taught artist Chris Hipkiss (born 1964 in a suburb of London). Culled mostly from American collections and curated by author and Mellon Fellowship recipient Annie Carlano, “Chris Hipkiss: Drawings” gathers a decade’s worth of medium and large-format works in Intuit’s main gallery. Working mostly in pencil (with sporadic traces of coffee, red ink, gold and silver leaf), Hipkiss arranges his compositions with an obsessive eye for line and detail. “In Europe A.G.E. Feral” (1999) organizes horizontal rows of flailing, sore-covered women, a diagonal run of dying trees and an arrangement of feeding bowls labeled “sick” to startling effect. The immense “Doddington” (1991) is pure optic overload: ribbed phalluses, barbed wire, hyper-sexualized women and stereo speakers all compete for the viewer’s attention. “A Lucy for the Threes” (2004) forces an uneasy juxtaposition of nature and industry with its inclusion of the text “IOWA” (known unofficially as the “Tall Corn State”) and a solemn procession of prison-like structures. “Talus Sexus: Our Little Fetish of C” (2004) offers the written passage “Make my heart a fake whisper,” which makes one wonder if Hipkiss is praying for calm or emphasizing the real screams of the natural world as man goes about his dirty business. (August Forte)
Through Aug 30 at Intuit, 756 N. Milwaukee, (312) 243-9088.