HYDE PARK — The Renaissance Society's last exhibit for the season is a new show from the self-proclaimed “friendliest black artist in America.”
Chicago-based artist William Pope.L’s work is praised in the art world as accessible and profound — and often humorous.
For the “Forlesen” show, which runs through June 23 at the gallery, 5811 S. Ellis Ave., Pope.L has created a series of works that explore how economic, social, political and cultural differences are defined.
The pieces include the 10-foot tall wooden sculpture “Du Bois Machine” and an video work created from bargain-bin VHS pornography.
“The new work is provocative and ingenious — a demanding puzzle,” said Chief Curator Susanne Ghez. The show is one of the last in Ghez’s more-than-40-year tenure at the University of Chicago gallery.
The exhibit is Pope.L’s first solo exhibition in Chicago since moving to the city to join the University of Chicago faculty in the department of visual arts.
The show takes cues from a short story by the same name by science fiction writer Gene Wolfe, which leads the reader through a series of bizarre episodes as an opaque parable. The exhibit is similarly cohesive, but leaves the meaning open to the interpretation of the viewer.
The exhibit is free and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.