The relationship between Matthew Cox's psychologically charged realist paintings and large-scale rubber stamp drawings rests on a tangent connecting these two enduring mediums. His renaissance influenced paintings are technically impressive as well as engaging. Characters seemingly inspired from eastern European ancestry coupled with modern American details create narrative with subtle comedy.
Somewhere between printmaking and watercolor, Cox's ink drawings (created by laboriously stamping every line and shadow with office-supply style rubber stamps), have recently become more elaborate, involving several objects in the same piece, each with different stamps. They are rendered with deft nuance so one is often not aware of the novel approach in "drawing" method. Earlier works on view are portraits printed with a single stamp, one using the text from a personals ad (SWM, likes art, seeks...). Some great irony is gleaned relating text in the stamp, to subjects and choices of ink color.
To triangulate the exhibition, a small series of embroidered x-rays will be shown for the first time. These are hung with various medical clamps and surgical devices. Cox's multifarious bodies of work strengthen one another by balancing technical and conceptual concerns with humor and formal beauty. This is Cox's first solo exhibition in Chicago.