In an attempt to transform the family album of a century ago into a thoroughly postmodern presentation, Preston Wadley opens an old book, coats it unsparingly with rust-colored paint, and uses it as a base upon which to affix vintage photographic portraits of the time and some found object like a miniature wooden canoe or a little bird figurine that he has painted in aqua tones. Were it only for the photographs, Wadley’s constructions would exude nostalgia, but when the images are embedded in obviously contemporary fabrications, the works evoke ironic playfulness awakened by the juxtaposition of opposite sensibilities. A comfortably confounded little boy holding a big ball would fill us with nostalgic compassion were he not placed next to a beautiful little metal tray partly painted in aqua to simulate corrosion, upon which reposes a bent rust- colored spoon. (Michael Weinstein)
Through December 13 at Schneider Gallery, 230 W. Superior, (312)988-4033.