While Megan Greene’s new exhibition “Short Story” is comprised of two-dimensional work that likens itself to the complexities of narrative, it might be more analogous to the formal nuances of improvisational jazz. That is to say, within Greene’s drawing and collage work, the devil is in the laborious but subtle details. The interconnected aspects within the drawings that initially seem loose become more apparent in their intentionality as strategies of dimension, balance and atmosphere are revealed with a careful eye.
Polite pacing is initiated upon arrival. At first glance, the gallery is neutral in all the ways a gallery is supposed to be; seven works are hung and spaced accordingly, offering enough room to view everything with a sense of ease. But, the work is sized at an almost approachable scale, demanding a closer look and for good reason—every line rendered by drawing, folding, tearing, cutting or brushing onto the surface seems to be made within the tensions of creative control.
The drawings do not settle into one category. One or two may lean more toward collage and principles of form while others point toward highly technical abstraction. However, they are all working around issues of subtle framing that place the work into an atmosphere of inquiry into illusion and compression. For instance, in “Pie” (2016), the impressive linework and shading draw your attention at once, but the shadows that are insinuated by a light that isn’t there do not make sense at all.
Which then begs the question, does any of this have to make sense? Of course not. The images that Greene presents are committed to a ethos of implication, not representation, cleverly disguised by a simplicity of form. (Brit Barton)
Through December 17 at Regards Gallery, 2216 West Chicago