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Review: Alex Valentine/Devening Projects + Editions

Garfield Park, Prints Add comments


The opening reception for Alex Valentine’s “Blonder Tongue Audio Baton” at Devening Projects felt more like a Vice magazine release party than the buttoned-down opening receptions of yore, and appropriately so; Valentine’s work is not stuffy. His distinctive, colorful offset prints nonchalantly hung from strings as if they were drying laundry, and visitors were encouraged to leaf through prints scattered on a table nearby. Valentine, a print instructor at SAIC, is a champion of offset printing—a difficult to master form of commercial lithography, traditionally used to make books, magazines and posters in large runs. Valentine’s style is that of playful doodles and collaged clippings, corralled into tightly controlled and edited compositions with fun titles like “Hallucination Glitter Scheme” and “Transparent Dream Bucket.” It seems that he has carefully selected motifs from a sketchbook, or perhaps off the side of a dumpster, and beat them into submission. Their spirit, however, does not appear broken. (Kelly Reaves)

Through March 3 at Devening Projects + Editions, 3039 West Carroll

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