Artists

Adam Ekberg

Chicago Tribune by Alan Artner

Adam Ekberg’s inkjet-printed images at the Contemporary Art Workshop testify to the hand of man in nature, though it’s a light and unheroic touch. Where a century ago an American landscape photograph might be marked by the romantic crisscrossing of train tracks and a steam locomotive, now the intrusion is more minimal and fanciful.

All of Ekberg’s settings, on both land and water, are deserted and, apparently, remote. They are almost generic shots of forest, field and ocean, uniform in muted or dark color. Their banality is relieved in both color and incident by the oddity of Ekberg’s interventions.

One piece has a mirrored disco ball blazing in the middle of a snow-covered forest. Another shows six colored balloons floating over a field empty except for wildflowers. A third image has a lighted sparkler planted in a frozen lake.

These are pictures of cheap enchantment. Ekberg is, of course, the agent of such feyness, but his pictures are careful to make no fuss over it. Because their tone is deadpan and their content both nominal and nonsensical they look fashionably numbed-out and, therefore, hip. The photographer has created a quiet art out of the smallest gestures.

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