Featured solo-artist Friedhard Kiekeben is a master of new design technique, but not necessarily of message. The artist flirts with old and new printmaking techniques and delivers you in the arms of up-close digital information with at Caro d’Offay Gallery in Wicker Park. The sound artistic digital designs on paper and plates are of no wonder for the seasoned Columbia College Chicago professor. It is the artist’s safer printmaking means that remain his most intriguing factor. His special salt-instead-of-acid technique cuts the setting-time in less than half and is easier on the artist’s health. The technique is best showcased in the focal point of the exhibit, a silver and purple variously paneled wall-sized salt etching. With digital images made of huge vertical panels going every which way, the artist breaks conventions with every step and turn he takes. Far away the silver component is dull. Close up, a diamond-like steady luminance overcomes the mind with irregularities everywhere within contrast of its entirety. Disoriented is an accurate feeling. The other prints, paper tiles, are more regular. However, these pieces show variant and vibrant Easter-egg colors induced with a certain vinegar power-stamped-out forty times over to create a family of design to enjoy, not to mull over. (Stacie Boudros)
Through June 6 at Caro d’Offay Gallery 2204 W. North, (773)235-7400.