Doug Cocker | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The elegant but spare sculptures of Doug Cocker, a resident of rural Scotland, are crafted of unstained wood without nails, screws, or glue and shaped to echo farm implements or natural scenes. The 16 pieces of Speaking in Tongues, part of the exhibit at the John David Mooney Foundation, include wooden plows and yokes; mirrored in clean wood on a gallery wall, the tools' dynamic forms are more apparent--one can almost feel the plow's curves cutting into the land. 8 Horizons offers wood models of horizons, but Cocker doesn't simply mime the outlines of hills. Curves sometimes jut out from the wall, creating depth effects that are true to the complexities of any distant landscape, where the horizon can seem to press forward in some places and recede in others. Despite the self-referentiality of the current art scene, among art viewing's highest rewards is having one's sense of ordinary objects and natural scenes enriched. Also on view are works by Cocker's colleague Arthur Watson. John David Mooney Foundation, 114 W. Kinzie, through June 27. Hours are noon to 6:00 Monday through Friday; 312-822-0483.

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