I like a little humor with my art, and even a cursory look at the work of Scott Reeder will tell you that he agrees. The pieces in “Put the Cat on the Phone” reference the SAIC associate professor’s recently completed feature-length film, “Moon Dust.” Visitors enter the main gallery through a circular doorway. The entrance makes you feel like you are stepping onto a movie set, a space whose distinction deserves to be noted.
All-white, minimalist sculptures sit around the room, their sparseness drawing attention to the colorful paintings gathered here. All from the “Landlord Painting” series, each piece shows roller marks left by a haphazard room painter. A pair of large, bright blue works hangs on the wall facing the entrance. Their simple color scheme, blue covered in a thin layer of white stipple, gives relief from some of the busier works. Otherwise, the paintings are united by a common palette of pastel pink and purple, yellow, black, white and hints of brighter greens and yellows. In front of the blue paintings lies a sculpture that looks like cartoon stairs on one side, but reveals itself to be a hollow shelf on the other. In a corner sits an object resembling a room divider with cutouts that give it the appearance of Swiss cheese.
Reeder’s one neon piece, situated by itself in a separate room, especially delights. The oversized sculpture hangs from the ceiling and just grazes the floor, casting white light and a low hum around the room. This coil of neon scribbles curled shapes in the air, hanging above a bright yellow rug that brings a little whimsy into the space. In a recent interview with Newcity, Reeder says there is not “a lot of room for experimentation or serious play” for working artists. But he seems to incorporate his sense of humor just fine in this alternate-reality installation, as well as in his curatorial work, like the roving comedy night Club Nutz. (Kerry Cardoza)
Through October 24 at Kavi Gupta, 835 West Washington
Elliot J. Reichert is a Chicago-based curator, critic, and editor. He is a currently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana Unversity, and Hatch Projects Curatorial Resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition. Formerly, he was Art Editor of Newcity and Assistant Curator at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University. His writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Newcity.