'Scienceology': Jeff Geesa and Ryan Szeszycki 

***1/2
click to enlarge Jeff Geesa, "Quarky" (detail)
  • Jeff Geesa, "Quarky" (detail)

Scienceology, a new body of work from Chicago-based Herron alumni Jeff Geesa and Ryan Szeszycki, takes a hard look at human knowledge. The artwork is done in micron pen or acrylic on masonite, with a few canvases and a large collaborative site-specific drawing. Sarcastic titles such as “Constan’t,” “Benign Intervention,” and “Calculating Insanity” abound.

There's almost no color present in this body of work; Geesa told me that he defaults to black, white and grey for aesthetic and metaphorical reasons. The artists state that they are making art about knowledge and ignorance — and celebrating both. Some pieces seem to be about the realization of finite ideas; others may symbolize the jumbled human mind.

Some of Szeszycki's artwork consists of literally meaningless combinations of Greek symbols and numbers. Painted to appear as chalkboards, the pieces lightheartedly resurrect the feeling of wandering into a classroom of math or physics and having absolutely no idea what is going on. A little more didactic material may have helped to make clear to the general audience what I gleaned from talking with the artists. This exhibition may leave viewers scratching their heads, but in this case, that's sort of the point. Through Feb. 17 at Primary Gallery.

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