The work of these Chicago-based artists may seem like an unlikely match for a two-person show, as Richard Rezac works mostly in sculpture and Dianna Frid is an interdisciplinary artist who focuses on process. Yet both take a minimalist approach to their pieces, with an eye toward surfaces and materials. In curating the show, DePaul professor Matthew Girson decided, in collaboration with the artists, to add rare books from DePaul’s Special Collections and objects from the museum’s permanent collection, which serve to expand our understanding of where these works are situated in an art-historical context.
Frid, a University of Illinois at Chicago professor, has a more direct connection to the historical texts as she has hand-crafted artist books since 1993. The Mexican-born artist has included two in this show. The gorgeous “Esta Mina,” featuring canvas pages that open to reveal cutouts holding colorful amethyst and lapis lazuli mineral rocks, was inspired by a worm-devoured encyclopedia she found in Oaxaca. “Fuerzas y Formas” is another one-of-a-kind book held together with rainbow-colored magnets. The muslin sheets are hand-embroidered, with the work showing through to the other side; each page can be considered a separate artwork.
Rezac’s pieces are compared to a wider array of references, from Brancusi’s clean forms to Audubon’s sense of movement. The bird reference is seen directly in the School of the Art Institute professor’s “A’s robins,” a simple cast aluminum and wood wall-hanging elegantly suggesting two birds in flight. In a first-floor gallery, the two artist’s work overlaps as Rezac’s “Untitled (15.07),” a sparse, geometric wood painting, is hung over Frid’s “Evidence of the Material World,” a massive stretch of black graphite on paper adhered directly to the wall, and near another of Frid’s wall-covering graphite works. These minimal efforts work well together. Frid’s “Banner for Skylight,” a silk flag dotted with aluminum spots, is a stunning work on the second floor. Its reflective simplicity recalls Rezac’s “Pacific Sailor,” a nickel-plated, cast bronze sculpture, perfectly smooth save for four off-center rings. The permanent collection pieces help to engage a viewer’s neurons, encouraging us to make connections between the artists as well as between different periods, styles and locations.
Through April 24 at the DePaul Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton.