Chris Hipkiss: Drawings | Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art | Galleries | Chicago Reader
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When: Aug. 1-30 2008
There's no weeping or gnashing of teeth in Chris Hipkiss's dizzyingly meticulous postapocalyptic pencil drawings. Instead, women loiter on pedestals and pose in dominatrix outfits. Maniacal Beavis and Butt-head-esque hermaphrodites run amok in the overgrown vegetation, happily ejaculating into weed beds. Squirming plants with groping tendrils create a cacophony of movement while legions of crops goose-step across the paper. A brutish, sexualized utilitarianism stomps on whatever's left of the world's goodness. The maddening images in the work of this self-taught British environmentalist depict nature's war with urbanization and development. Hipkiss's 1991 masterwork Doddington (shown for the first time in America as part of this show) is a prime example. It has no epicenter, but instead reads like a perverse ancient scroll. The phallic image on the far right side is enough to make even Freud blush. Though repetitive, Hipkiss’s works fascinate with their scale and intricacy—his razor-sharp shading technique, his masterfully drawn borders, his vast doodle of an Iowa cornfield. It’s impossible not to get swept up in his reeling pathology. --K.N. Wilson

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