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Rezac in studio
Rezac in studio

Sculptor Richard Rezac talks in his Chicago studio with Renaissance Society director Solveig Ovstebo in January as they discuss which pieces will go into Rezac's solo show. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune)

When you walk through Richard Rezac's new exhibition, "Address," it seems to make perfect sense. In the white-walled, window-interrupted, vaulted-ceiling room that is the Renaissance Society's main gallery, 20 meticulous objects shaped by the longtime Chicagoan jut out from the walls, drop from the ceiling, rest on the floor.

They don't dominate the space. Most of these are bookshelf speakers rather than hulking sound towers. But they draw you into their individual orbits, their sound fields, with craftsmanship as exquisite as the composition can be subtly playful.

In Rezac's elegant but slightly off-kilter forms, cherry wood looks like plastic, bronze looks like pine, a stone resembles a bell (but the "stone" is actually bronze). They are abstractions that suggest something real without giving the ambition away. The untitled work hovering overhead, in soft red painted wood and cast aluminum, seems to imagine a 1950s diner sign around what may be a hint of an airplane wing. You want to remember eating there.

"Address" features mostly new work from the artist, who's been teaching at the School of the Art Institute since 1985. He says the city's architecture, and its tradition of thinking and talking about architecture, have been profoundly influential to his work.

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