Peter Wegner | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Peter Wegner 

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The linchpins in Peter Wegner's current exhibition are conceptual riffs on the relationship between color and name. 42 Unnamed Blues is exactly that--a large sheet of identical rectangles, each painted a different shade of blue. The rich hues stir the emotions, which tempts you to try to label the colors, to translate their mysterious power into words. The futility of such efforts is illuminated by 1 and 9 Yellows, a gigantic paint chip on which nine luminous yellows are set next to a jumble of trite names such as "deep yellow" and "vivid yellow." For the three works in his "Microfiche Series" Wegner silk-screened what appears to be enlarged text from someone's microfiche investment records onto a blue background; the illegible streams of words resemble constellations in the evening sky--a reminder of how we look to language to orient our lives. Less abstract are four paper collages made from reference materials such as books and ledgers. For Land and Water Wegner sliced apart a world map, then rearranged the tiny bits of paper so that all the brown segments of "land" form a circle in the middle and are surrounded by shards of "water." The piece could be Wegner's message in a nutshell: as humanity tries to impose order on the world, the best it can do is put civilization in the center, drowning in impenetrable blue. Rhona Hoffman, 118 N. Peoria, through December 7. Hours are 10 to 5:30 Monday through Friday, 11 to 5:30 Saturday; 312-455-1990.

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