Using found quotidian materials, Ian Pedigo assembles sculptural installations that lyricize banal details of our domestic and built environments. In his exhibition at 65Grand, “The Arrows Like Soft Moon Beams,” the New York-based artist reveals three larger-than-human-size totems which nod to Surrealism and resonate particularly well in Chicago, with its rich culture of spaces (6018North) and makers (Alberto Aguilar, Edra Soto) who turn the domestic into the poetic. In “From the Crown to the Earth” a six-foot-tall panel of black stone grounds the playful figural arrangement of a green plastic bowl lampshade with dangling disco ball earrings. Another grouping converts disembodied chair legs into a wing-like form, hung from a floorboard suspended upside down with a backdrop of blinds. “Lights Have Gone Out” features a candelabra painted matte-black which is simultaneously real, faux, classic and kitsch. Pedigo combines elements from different time periods and vacillates between natural and artificial materials, resulting in both visual stimulation and a sense of suspended timelessness.
A body of wall works called “Records” complements the sculptures by offering another view of the same nostalgic sense of visual wonder. Shaped like an album cover but minutely larger and made of hand-folded archival board, each piece contains a wistfully beautiful black and white image coalescing two found images, often juxtaposing architecture or interiors with nature. In “Common Room Streetlight,” the ghost of a Baroque American interior permeates a brick wall pattern with a glowing street lamplight, an artificial vessel for Pedigo’s preoccupation with light. At 65Grand, Pedigo’s practice is positioned to converse with other Chicago makers who utilize the everyday but retains a distinguishing misty Romantic promise that artists are indeed transformative mystics and the mundane can be enchanting, at least in the mind of the maker. (Anastasia Karpova Tinari)
Through May 23 at 65GRAND, 1369 West Grand