Contrasting Aesthetics Abound in Split Complementary Exhibition at DePaul Art Museum

Richard Rezac's “Web” was made in 1996 and is sculpted from cast bronze. The piece is from the College of DuPage collection and will be on display as part of the Split Complementary exhibition opening at DePaul Art Museum opening Jan. 28. (Photo courtesy of Richard Rezac)

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With refined appreciation for materials, but very different approaches, the work of artists Dianna Frid and Richard Rezac meets on complementary grounds at the DePaul University Art Museum’s new Split Complementary exhibition. 

Opening January 28, the exhibition will feature installations, sculptures, books and wall art by the artists, as well as rare books from the Special Collections Department of DePaul’s John T. Richard Library, and a variety of objects from the DePaul Art Museum’s permanent collection. The items from the museum’s collection include a red hat from South Africa, a Turkish Ottoman miniature painting covered with written notations, South American photographs from the 1930s and other objects and images.

“The artists’ works complement each other and enhance each other, but don’t necessarily finish each other,” said Matthew Girson, curator of the exhibition and professor in the Department of Art, Media and Design at DePaul University.

According to Girson, the pieces he selected from the two DePaul collections share formal qualities and reveal surprising connections to Frid’s and Rezac’s work.

In her work, Frid utilizes a wide variety of materials including cloth, embroidery floss, foil, minerals and rocks to make two-and three-dimensional objects and installations. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at institutions such as MoMA PS1, an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art in New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; and the Neues Kunstforum in Cologne, Germany. Her work is also housed in public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cleveland Clinic.

Frid was born in Mexico City and immigrated to Vancouver, Canada, with her family when she was a teenager. Frid studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts. She currently lives in Chicago and teaches at the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Cast bronze is Rezac’s material of choice for sculptures in this exhibition. He uses paint to embellish surfaces and add design elements into his art. His work has been exhibited internationally at the Twig Gallery in Brussels, Belgium, and throughout the United States including the Portland Art Museum, James Harris Gallery in Washington and Feature Inc. in New York. Rezac’s work also resides in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Dallas Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, University of Chicago Smart Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery.

“One of the great things about their art is that it invites participation and suggests some known idea,” added Girson. “Their work always seems to bring content to the tip of the tongue, but it never delivers it, leaving the work open to individual interpretation.”

Split Contemporary will be on display at the DePaul Art Museum Jan. 28-April 24.

For more on the DePaul Art Museum’s upcoming exhibitions and events, call 773-325-7506. Admission is free to the museum.

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