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Review: Joseph Cassan/Golden Gallery

Lakeview, Sculpture Add comments


Sculptor Tony Tasset’s hard-edged, smart-assed esthetic has for years provided Chicago’s answer to similar high-craft pseudo-lowbrow snark conceptualists Charles Ray and Maurizio Cattelan. Tasset’s icy satirical influence is certainly in evidence at Joseph Cassan’s dazzling show at Golden, which continues to provide Lakeview with crowd-pleasers other than baseball, improv and latex boutiques. While echoing his UIC mentor’s naturalistic deployment of artificial materials (resin, epoxy, silicone, acrylic), Cassan makes a unique formal statement by incorporating delicate handicraft, selected “real” materials and implied invisible forms. The latter is exemplified in a floating pair of gorgeous lace panties with the title “Venus Inferred.” Another brilliant moniker is applied to a painted basswood bar of soap with hand-cut glass bubbles: “Minimalist Construct.” The most heroic pieces are a swan perched atop its own distorted reflection as a pedestal, “The End of the End,” and a disembodied human nervous system, “Nothing More Than Feelings.” Less monumental but equally pleasurable is “Dedicated to All Human Beings,” a low pedestal featuring a wadded paper towel as the bed for a bloody Band-Aid woven from fine copper thread. Historical nods to Minimalism and Earth Art are provided in a painting-sized section of cut out wall, “A Moment of Clarity,” and “Small Section of the World,” a clear plastic puddle in a small gravel depression; as low-key monochromes these offered relief in an otherwise eye-popping parade of fine-motor virtuosity. (Bert Stabler)

Through February 20 at Golden, 816 W. Newport

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