In his new solo show at ZG gallery, Bill Frederick moves quietly across the country in watercolors and graphite drawings of highways, landscapes, gas stations, parking lots and automobiles. Frederick is a realist, but it is an imprecise realism marked by distortions of human and mechanical vision, movement within the frame, and the effects of natural and electrical light on metallic, earthen and concrete surfaces. It’s as if realism has become a placeholder for Frederick’s experience of the world, the skillfully rendered specificity of his subjects’ structure and material superceded by the generalizable: a lake cottage, abandoned roads punctuated by the odd rundown auto-service station or roadside diner, a picnic table, a bright orange truck. The impact of the work depends on an instantaneous recognition of these places and the characteristic distance from them brought about by the shelter and privacy we enjoy in our cars—a framing which stands in for our relationship to the picture plane itself. (Rachel Furnari)
Through May 31 at Zg Gallery, 300 W. Superior.