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The first few lines made by Robert Howsare's Drawing Apparatus don't look like much more than scribbles. But after only three more rotations, the marker lines start to take a more calculated form. After 30 seconds, the form suddenly takes on some dimensionality. The apparatus, built from two turntables, some thin pieces of pine, and a marker is one of Howsare's experiments in using "nontraditional matrices and processes to explore the anomalies that occur within systems." It reminds some of us of the Spirograph toys we had as kids.

Robert Howsare holds graduate degrees in printmaking and lives and works in Kansas City. Prints made with the Drawing Apparatus are available for $160.

Photo by: Justin Hopkins/RareBit | Give Up the Headache

Justin Hopkins, who makes music and visual art under the name RareBit, created this series of drawings using only Micron pens, regular 8 1/2" x 11" computer paper, and a photocopier. He calls the series "Give Up The Headache," and with each image he explores a different relationship between the texture and color of his background and the static image of a brainy-looking skull. Hopkins calls the series an "experiment in Xerox and image layering" and we like the idea that some level of chance was incoporated to make such intricate images. By the way, that skull is actually somewhat of a recurring image in RareBit's work. 

In addition to his drawings and music as RareBit, Hopkins also moonlights as a sound designer. 

Photo by: Becca Mann | A Georgian Aristocrat from Tiflis, 2009

Venice, California-bsed artist (and co-founder of Okla Press) Becca Mann returns to her former homebase of Chicago for "Wane's World: A History of 'Things'"—a gallery show featuring her painting and drawing. There's an opening tonight featuring a live set from the band Running.

Mann's work might make you uneasy at first. She makes drawings and paintings from photographs. Her subtly edited final images are analogues of the original photo. Most interestingly, Mann uses a color layering process in creating her images that she likens to the mechanics of CMYK printing. The results are images that are quite realistic on one level, but not obviously hand-made. That might be part of the point. Mann plays with the relationship between objects and their context within the photographic or painter's frame.

"Becca Mann: Wane's World: A History of 'Things'"
Feb 8–Feb 28, 2013
The Soccer Club Club
2923 N Cicero Ave, Chicago, IL 60641

Opening Reception: Friday, February 8, 8-11pm with a special live performance by Running

Photo by: Thomas Matthews

Despite being an English illustrator, and living and working in Cambridge, Thomas Matthews has a fascination with the American suburbs. His interest doesn't stem from a scarringly dull trip there as a child, but from characters in John Cheever and Raymond Carver stories and the prolonged anxious purgatory they live in. 

Matthews' figures aren't far off from the middle-aged protagonists of American literary classics: they're presented at a moment of crisis. But, in broader terms, Matthews' minimal drawings and paintings focus on the banal. His simple composition allows things like subtle textures and strong colors to deliver the dismal personalities he's illustrating. The images are far from miserable; however, there's always a touch of black humor as well.  

Follow Thomas Matthews on Tumblr