Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago
April 02, 2021 – May 08, 2021
Rhona Hoffman Gallery is pleased to present Cast, a solo exhibition by Richard Rezac. Featuring a series of works made within the last year, the exhibition underscores Rezac’s four-decade career of invention and permutation in sculpture. Since the 1990s, the artist has crafted modulations of the Baroque, presenting the control and calibration of architectural details and subjects in unexpected and elegant combinations.
Following a residency at the American Academy in Rome from 2006-07, Rezac’s ongoing interest in Italian architects Francesco Borromini and Andrea Palladio are revisited in Cast, combining elements such as readymade doorknobs, crown moldings, Florentine costume, and structural building plans in expressions of enigmatic geometry. Whether floor-based, wall-bound, or suspended, Rezac’s relational objects possess an inextricable connection to the body of the artist and the viewer alike.
From arabesques fashioned to the scale of the artist’s forearm, to the miniaturized scale-shift of a skyscraper transformed into an abstract architectural model, Cast embodies each of the functions its title implies – how one form is poured into the outer edges of another, how actors enter and exit a stage, how a shadow falls.
In a lecture on Louise Bourgeois, speaking on the Insomnia Drawings, artist Moyra Davey quotes the artist, who states, “In the social world, everything goes wrong. In the physical world, something always goes wrong. In the world of geometry, it is safe.” What did Bourgeois mean by ‘safe’? In thinking about Rezac’s work in Cast, which opens nearly one year since the beginning of pandemic-enforced quarantine, this question reverberates through the affect of the work. A safety that serves as a protection from chaos, from unraveling, born of logic and based on rules. In geometry, exactitude is requisite. Elegance is not merely an aesthetic quality, but a mathematical necessity.
As the artist notes, “There is a misconception that Baroque architecture is the most complex yet underlying the visual splendor of its ornamentation exists a structure that allows it to stand, a simplicity.” In the case of Rezac, whose objects are derived and transposed into the three-dimensional via his own meticulous drawings, like blueprints, the final shape of the artwork is only gleaned once it comes off the page and begins to exist in space. The parts not pictured on paper must be resolved in the flesh – a geometry that heals once the cast is removed.