Artist: Richard Rezac (American, b. 1952)
Materials: glazed brick, hand-formed ceramic ovals
Provenance: Commissioned by the Art in Architecture Program, State of Illinois Capital Development Board
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Richard Rezac lives and works in Chicago. He earned a BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. Rezac exhibits widely and recently completed the prestigious Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. Art of the Baroque period and an interest in architecture influence his work.
The largest of Rezac’s works to date, Frame exemplifies the artist’s spare approach to geometry and form. The piece, " . . . functions in two specific ways: as a framing device that takes in the prairie landscape from two directions, and as an independent two-dimensional composition, like a picture itself, with each side of the wall offering a different reference."
Rezac often challenges viewers’ expectations through the use of unanticipated materials. Here, he has enlisted commercially available glazed brick and created hand-formed ceramic ovals, fired to commercial specifications. Glazed brick was a commonly used architectural cladding material during the early 20th century and, for example, covers Chicago’s landmark Wrigley Building on Michigan Avenue.
The ovals are set along two intersecting axes allowing " . . . greater activation of the view through and to the landscape and sky." On a clear day, the windows trace an intangible record of the sun’s transit.
Of his color choice, Rezac writes, " . . . green and white directly engage the prime colors present in this landscape during summer and winter."