Root's Plan (Monadnock), 2020
Painted Cherry Wood and Aluminum
19.5 x 37 x 37.5 inches
Limb (Section), 2020
10.75 x 2.75 x 3.25 inches
Limb (Yellow), 2020
Cast Bronze and Oil Paint
17.25 x 7.25 x 3.25 inches
Cast Bronze and Aluminum
15 x 37 x 9.25 inches
Untitled (Corner), 2019
Cast Bronze and Digital Print
60 x 16 x 1.75 inches
Untitled (21-01), 2021
Cast Bronze and Aluminum
28 x 23 x 8.5 inches
Untitled (21-02), 2021
Cast Pigmented Hydrocal and Aluminum
25 x 32.5 x 1.75 inches
Untitled (14-07), 2014
Maple wood and nickel-plated aluminum
46.5 x 12.75 x 1.75 inches
Untitled (13-04), 2013
Nickel-plated cast bronze (unique)
32.5 x 16.75 x 1.75 inches
Untitled (15-04), 2015
Painted maple wood and aluminum
25.5 x 15.5 x 1.75 inches
Untitled (92-09), 1992
15 x 26.75 x 2.75 inches
Untitled (11-02), 2011
Cast hydrocal and aluminum
10.5 x 19 x 18.75 inches
Tendril (Thomaskirche), 2016
Cast bronze and painted wood
36 x 16 x 4.25 inches
Glen Elder, 2017-18
Painted poplar, cast aluminum and welded aluminum
25 feet x 120 inches x 48 inches (installation)
Study for Untitled (12-07), 2012
Colored pencil and graphite on paper
38.75 x 24 inches, framed
Study for Untitled (13-06), 2013
Colored pencil and graphite on paper
19 x 24 inches, framed
Richard Rezac (b. Nebraska, 1952) lives and works in Chicago. Since the mid-1980’s he has primarily made object-sculptures, essentially abstract in form. His sculpture is reliant on a deliberative process with each work, which allows for an on-going re-definition, however subtle. All of his sculpture has originated from drawing with the aim of synthesis and simplification. He has received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, among others.
Since 2000, he has had 22 solo exhibitions, including at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Feature Inc., New York, Marc Foxx, Los Angeles and James Harris Gallery, Seattle. His sculpture is in the collections of The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Dallas Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, among others. He is Adjunct Full Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in both the Painting and Sculpture Departments.
The Philadelphia Art Alliance at University of the Arts is pleased to present an exhibit of four contemporary American sculptors who reach beyond the restraints of Minimalism in a neo-constructivist manner. Each of these artists’ works are variously informed by domestic forms, additive practice and exuberant color. Reconfiguring modernism, they adapt pictorial modes that address the traditional floor and the wall sites of sculpture.
For his solo exhibition “Pleat,” Richard Rezac transformed the gallery into a cabinet of wonders. All fourteen of the objets d’art on display—two mobiles, two stabiles, and ten wall pieces—were curious constructions, at once eccentric and rarefied. His sculptures occasionally call to mind pieces by Alexander Calder in their formal inventiveness, but are more gnomic and, of course, less monumental. Each work is crafted from an ingenious combination of contradictory materials, such as hard inorganic metal or cement (aluminum, bronze, Hydrocal) and soft organic wood (cherry, maple, pine), the dialectical conundrums suggesting the inherent absurdity of art by reason of its alienness to lived experience, its remoteness from reality.
There is something reassuring about living in a city stretched along a lake. In Chicago, once you figure out where you are in relation to Lake Michigan, your sense of direction crystallizes. Streets snap against a grid whose point of origin is downtown at the intersection of State and Madison. Addresses increase or decrease from that center, with odd numbers on the south and east sides of the streets, and even numbers to the north and west. A longtime graphic designer who grew up here once told me that he could determine exactly where he was in the city just by looking at the addresses. That might seem mundane—and we do of course now have Google Maps—but I believe this sense of order in Chicago has a grounding effect in subtle ways that can be specific and unexpected and diffusely felt.
Richard Rezac, an artist in his late sixties, practices in Chicago. In 2018, the Renaissance Society, a space under the auspices of the University of Chicago, held a retrospective of three decades of the artist’s work, to considerable acclaim. In “Pleat,” the artist’s show now up in New York, Rezac’s work defies easy description, being a complex amalgam of truly ordinary materials placed as wall works, with one or two pieces hanging from the ceiling, which are all resolutely abstract. One looks for obvious influences without much success; the art may be a consequence of looking at minimalist sculpture, but this presupposes a concern with modernism, which Rezac shows little interest in. Instead, these are assemblages made of everyday materials, in which the substance and the theme are oriented toward a sophisticated populism, in today’s culture not a paradox in terms.
The relevance of object-image to Rezac’s works is spot-on. What should be frivolous in his art is not, because the object’s physical properties forge a connection through strong antinomies. The image comes into sharp enigmatic focus through an unapologetic assertion of difference.Take Soliloquy (2019) for example. In some parallel universe, a carpenter’s workbench and underground grain vaults cohabit, and the resulting tool plays a practical role.
Through various motifs, Rezac questions and addresses the problems of articulation and elision within formal and metaphorical relationships. One favored theme is based on framings, moldings, and enclosures; another involves the interactive pairing of volumetric forms on tables. Several works in the show relate to the Baroque architect Francesco Borromini and others Rezac studied during a recent residency at the American Academy of Rome. Rezac’s aesthetic logic appropriately resists clear, easy conclusions. His affinity for structure and artisanal materiality leads to distilled syntheses of form, prompting us to assess his intriguing propositions with engaged, extended looking.
Richard Rezac presents 14 new sculptural works in his first show at Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York. Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 the gallery is open by appointment only. Please contact the gallery to make an appointment, or engage virutally with Richard's works on their website.
Rezac and curator Solveig Ovstebo discuss Address at the Renaissance Society.