Control C, Control V | Ebersb9 | Galleries | Chicago Reader

Control C, Control V Recommended Member Picks Free Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Mondays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 15 2009

One of the pleasures of collage is its tactile sense of process: you often get to see how the magician does his tricks. But in "Control C, Control V," a collage show curated by Ryan Christian at Ebersb9, the very best pieces aren't so easily parsed. Matt Irie's Loomy Tombs looks like Jackson Pollock imitating Mondrian: lines of paint are arranged in dense, overlapping vertical and horizontal lines. The more you stare at it, the more you wonder how on earth it was put together, and the answer--Irie says it's made of drips from the sides of paint cans, peeled off and painstakingly attached to the canvas--is an ingenious surprise. Eric Yahnker's Bearded Asterisk, a large picture composed of portraits of hirsute patriarchs like Brahms and Ayatollah Khomeini arranged in a circle with their beards converging at the center, appears at first to be collaged from digitized etchings or photos. But when you get closer, you see it's actually a graphite drawing--a faux collage, composed of minute pencil smudges applied by hand. It's not at all clear how Yahnker could start with such tiny, rough blots and end up with these life-size, carbon-copy heads, nor will the artist himself provide any clues--he refused to tell even Christian how the drawing was done. What you see, then, is all you get: detritus transformed into mystery. --Noah Berlatsky


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