John Bannon Time of the Signs No. 1
Fireproof fabric with burn marks, neon tubing
44 x 97 x 3 in., 2002.
Chicago artist John Bannon offers a tribute to the neon sign industry. Burn marks on fireproof shop cloths show years of commercial sign production; the artist has fused bits of neon tubing to link notes and measurements in a summation that reveals the cloth as a print of one often-denigrated sector of America's visual landscape. The remarkably expressive marks situate the work in the realm of drawing despite its debt to found object sculpture, and the pieces effectively pay homage to a largely unsung craft.