Wright Hosts Ron Gilad’s ‘Exercise in Utility’

(Photos: Wright)

As far as were concerned, Wright can do no wrong. Bolstering our position is the design-focused auction house’s current exhibition of new work by designer Ron Gilad. On view through Saturday at Wright’s Chicago gallery, “Spaces Etc. / An Exercise in Utility” is Gilad’s first solo show in the United States, and the artist-designed installation ranges from pops of superealism (the “Butler No. 1” table, perched atop a pair of trouser-clad human legs) to the edges of abstraction (three-dimensional line drawings made into forms that wink at the work of Sol Lewitt). In Gilad’s fasctinating “Spaces” works, fragments of architectural space become functional objects, including playful coffee tables (one with a slabby monumentality reminiscent of the work of Rachel Whiteread), a trompe l’oeil skylight, and a glass stool within a stool (“Void Stool,” pictured at right). “The process of translating ideas into three dimensional functional objects is something that has always intrigued me,” explains Gilad in the catalog essay by Zoe Ryan, curator of design at the Art Institute of Chicago. “I am not inventing anything new. I’m basing my thinking, research, and creative process on what I see, know, and what already exists. Almost naively I ask the question, why is it like this?”