The Chicago Tribune

Artworks’ beauty comes from their simplicity

By Alan G. Artner

October 17, 2008

Ian Pedigo's new assemblages and collages at 65GRAND gallery (***) make virtues out of slightness and fragility. Made from found and industrial materials that sometimes look more brute than they are, the pieces engage through minimal geometric forms precisely adjusted and a delicacy of form and color that can surprise given the materials' everyday origins.

The largest works engage both the wall and floor, commanding space more strongly than is suggested by their means. But the free-standing floor piece "Of Practicable Equanimity" raises the stakes with additional references to architecture and landscape. Here precariously stacked lampshades, a fluorescent light cover and drinking cups come to suggest power plant cooling towers in addition to a Constructivist abstraction while not being aggressive in the least.

The two wall-mounted collages—one of wood and photo images, the other of strips of floor covering—are weaker, though the latter again has winning simplicity and an apparent offhandedness bound to deceive. It is once more a work that's mild, graceful, slight, and wholly at ease.