May 6th - May 15th, 2020
Zach Bruder’s metaphorical approach to painting results in inventive compositions in which both pictorial and illusionistic space play roles. Often humorous and allegorical, his paintings involve flora, architecture, and anthropomorphism. His canvases revive and repurpose familiar motifs, referencing folklore while finding new metaphors in simple objects and creatures. The source material—archetypal and drawing from classical and vernacular mythology—is culled from the artist’s extensive archive of imagery amassed over a decade.
His paintings, though timeless, speak of today’s world. Affected deeply by current events such as government decisions, medical discoveries, technology breakthroughs, and viral news media, Bruder captures images on canvas which seem to float in the collective unconscious. Often visually and compositionally harmonious, Bruder’s paintings conflate divergent pictorial influences from advertisements, caricatures, cartoons, photos, and paintings from this century and the last, flaunting the artist’s ability to render different spatial dimensions and finding a humorous irony and cohesive unity in their discordance.
Addressing mythologies both cultural and personal, Bruder’s paintings offer multiple interpretations of social and religious narratives and urgent responses to the societal and political moment in which they were produced. Far from cynical, however, his work is not about denouncing hypocrisies but rather centered on capturing everyday paradoxes. Faced with one of Bruder’s canvases, the viewer takes an active role, deciphering the intertextuality between the literary, historical, and folkloric references he often cites simultaneously.
Zach Bruder (b.1984, Cleveland, OH) received his BFA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Madison, WI. Bruder presented his first solo show at Magenta Plains in January 2018 in New York, NY and has an upcoming show at Magenta Plains in 2020. Solo exhibitions have also been held at Harlan Levey, Brussels, BE; galerie l’inlassable, Paris, FR; Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, CA; and LaMaMa Galleria, New York, NY. Bruder has been included in group shows at Peter Freeman, New York, NY; Ratio 3, San Francisco, CA; The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Phillip Slein Gallery, St. Louis, MO; and Magenta Plains, New York, NY. The artist lives and works in New York, NY.