Set | Golden Gallery | Galleries | Chicago Reader

Set All Ages Closing (Theater and Galleries) Free Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: April 2-24 2010

Minimalism done well is nothing if not disorienting. I don't mean the modernist minimalism of clean lines and untreated surfaces that the Bauhaus bequeathed to Ikea, but the art that presents everyday objects in a state of brutal perfection, that melts into both the architecture containing it and the consciousness viewing it. This paradox is wonderfully summed up by Mike Schuh's all but invisible Seats--narrow red velvet pillows placed on the ledges of windows whose panes have been obscured with white Foamcore--and by his video loop called It Wasn't Night, It Wasn't Day. Consisting entirely of a screen door creaking back and forth in perpetual twilight, the loop is both hypnotic and nerve-wracking--at once a mantra and evidence of a poltergeist. The spirit of aggressive ambiguity continues throughout Schuh's show, "Set," at Golden. The hallway of the railroad-apartment gallery features small framed pencil drawings of dead vultures, each titled Vulture, Dead, and one of the white rooms contains a shapely but unremarkable end table, carefully fabricated in white plaster and titled End. Store-bought mirror tiles, clock numerals, and a decal of a zero create modest intrusions on other surfaces in the pristine space. At the far end of the show, in the kitchen, gloriously banal and interchangeable slides of sunrises and sunsets--culled from an online image search--bring Schuh's series of empty metaphors to a neat close. --Bert Stabler

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