The idea of perfection comes with so much baggage that most artists avoid it like the plague. Chicago-based sculptor Richard Rezac can't be counted among such reasonable people.
At Marc Foxx, three modestly sized wall sculptures by Rezac are so wondrously wacky in their efficiently engineered eccentricity that they make precision and goofiness seem to be a match made in heaven — just the right mix of impossible-to-improve-upon resolution and out-of-left-field nuttiness.
Rezac's sculptures slip, promiscuously and provocatively, between and among the categories into which we usually put objects. As works of art, they function as sculptural reliefs, geometric paintings and abstract drawings. As components of architecture, they put you in mind of scaled-down models and life-size ornamentation. As pieces of domestic hardware, they occupy the same space as doorknobs and drawer pulls, but they make the space around them seem to expand, as if there were more room in the world because they are in it.
Each consists of 10 to 12 parts, usually impeccably polished cuboids, pint-sized beams and rectangular boards. All pair wood (bare and painted) with metal (bare and plated). The palette is machine elegant: copper, bronze and chrome as well as bright yellow, pale white, soft blue, frothy aqua and warm beige.
The joints are tight: precisely measured, masterfully fastened and seamlessly fitted. The impeccable orderliness is offset by Rezac's compositions, which tend to be diagonal, off-kilter and out of step with rational expectations, the laws of gravity and the structural logic of conventional systems.
If dyslexic minimalism were a movement, Rezac would be its leader. Each of his perception-enhancing pieces demonstrates that face-to-face experiences are far more nuanced than the categories into which we put them and the words we use to describe them.
The devil may be in the details, but so is everything else.