Wed 27 Apr 2022 to Sat 18 Jun 2022
Artist: Zach Bruder
Opening: Wednesday 27 April, 6pm-9pm
Greeter is Zach Bruder’s second exhibition at Harlan Levey Projects. The Cleveland-born, New York-based painter constructs allegorical paintings based on an extensive archive of images, collected by the artist over the past two decades. Within his distinct process of transferring image to canvas, Bruder engages with our collective history, touching on the very human need for myth making and storytelling.
Throughout the exhibition, Bruder uses cumulative layers of graphic images and color that allude to a narrator, a central figure welcoming viewers into the work to quell any singular reading. The works included are coded with signs and symbols that simultaneously abstract and retain their universal legibility, touching on the complexities of interpretation.
Bruder paints personal reflections and objects that call upon cultural associations to build a disorienting feed of contemporary life. His allegorical depictions are generally humorous and portray moments pulled from a larger narrative with figures often in transit, moving from one place to another. The artist’s research process begins with gathering source material from an intense and constant cribbing of images from art history, advertisements, Greek and Roman mythology, modern political theory, literature and events. The paintings begin as a reconfiguration of these pre-existing visual images that the artist continues to work and rework.
Bruder’ mix and match approach is constantly shifting and always in motion but sustains a deep engagement with culture and society are entangled with issues of agency, labor, and power. Central to this exhibition is a series of works titled Opportune. Across five different canvases, Bruder focuses on a tarnished gold watch face, a stand-in for the doomsday clock. An archetypal salesman on the move is set inside the clock, multiplying across the series, referring to the skeleton figures of the danse macabre. As a total group, these memento mori remind us that there is life to live up to the last moment.