DayGlo orange is a color whose commercial applications once gave it an ugly name (think Dayglo Abortions.) Matt Hanner uses this color to fill in the forms of four soldier-like silhouettes in his “Four Ghosts” installation at mini dutch, the Logan Square apartment gallery. The painting is based on drawing work that Hanner took many months to prepare. A two-color scheme, where the DayGlo figures are imposed on a brilliant blue, the blue of uniforms, is a visual assault. The two colors seem almost technically calibrated to precisely offset one another. This contrast is so complete and final that there is a virtual gap at the border between the figure and the ground. This gap is the drawing. In many drawings the line demarcates bodies and regions of space, but in Hanner’s work the line is a vanishing point. The two regions charged with color are mobile, and their texture changes with the light. The north-facing bay window receives the last hours of sunlight on these longest days of the year, and the low-wavelength, sometimes red-tinged light creates a strong effect, changing the rhythm and texture of the brushstrokes. And, at a certain hour of the evening, when windows stop looking outward and begin to mirror what is inside, the gallery-goer is suddenly surrounded by multiples of this aggressive image. All of this is a tribute to curator Lucia Fabio’s resourcefulness and economy; but unfortunately the gallery is only open on Sunday afternoons, so an after-hours visit must be arranged to see the work in its full military splendor. (David Mark Wise)
Through July 5 at Mini Dutch Gallery, 3111 W. Diversey, (773)235 5687.