Feature

Where to buy...C.J. Pyle

The pencil-and-ink works of C.J. Pyle are on display and for sale at the Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago.

Faces look strange in the art of C.J. Pyle. The Indiana-born artist’s pencil-and-ink grotesques at first challenge a viewer’s facial-recognition capacities before each coiled labyrinth eventually reveals itself to be an odd and sinewy yet human-like visage. Pyle reports that these portraits grew out of his childhood fascinations with both rope knots and the cartoons of Basil Wolverton. Each work is executed in just two colors on a discarded LP sleeve or some other found paper, and every one borders on the repulsive. Always, though, a creature of sympathy emerges, challenging our reaction to ugliness and our bias in favor of the conventionally beautiful. At Carl Hammer Gallery, 740 N. Wells St., Chicago, (312) 266-8512. Prices range from $3,500 to $4,500.

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