In “For Every Occasion: A Salon Style Exhibition of Contemporary Drawing in Chicago,” Thrones Gallery has assembled more than a hundred works by twenty-six artists in just under 500 square feet, resulting in an entertaining and engaging exhibition. The wall of the main gallery is covered with works on paper, plus a smattering of Jacob Goudreault’s tiny, blocky painting chunks. It can be difficult to figure out which pieces belong to which artist, but Geoffrey Hammerlink is impossible to miss. He owns the most real estate—his cartoony, elated pizza-man character beams from all over, whether he’s eating a slice, offering sex tips or carrying a replica of his own head around with his friends—proving that prolificacy pays off. Some works are more dominant than others, but pieces like “Petition to Get a Roller Coaster in Millennium Park,” which is “signed” by the Ryan Davis (the artist), “Oprah, Everyone on the Bulls, and Homless people,” is worth the dig. Part of the fun is searching for things like Mikie Poland’s contribution: crappy lined paper with a car-shape cut out, and scribbled words, “Diamond Tooth Boner.” Most of the prints and drawings are no bigger than a sheet of notebook paper but, just like the wall, a lot is packed into a confined space.
If the viewer needs a break, Mark Brown’s painstakingly researched and detailed drawing, “Jugurtha,” complete with historically accurate B.C. graffiti, hangs in the secondary gallery with other larger works, like Mike Simon’s woody and colorful Jenga-esque wall sculptures, offering a lighter, less overwhelming salon experience. The salon format serves the material well: many of the pieces demand attention or reading, forcing viewers to get up close to the work and each other. (Natalie Edwards)
Through November 26 at Thrones Gallery, 123 N. Jefferson, 3R, (317)341-0253, by appointment.