This series of variably sized mixed media works on canvas, posterboard and packing cardboard involve indexically brushed brightly colored structural schemes often overlayed on top of calico like mottled washes that “…variably synthesize layers of ecstatically colored mottled fields, thickly painted segmented hexagrids… and moments of atmospheric interruption..” — from a forthcoming catalog essay by Christopher Michlig, Associate Professor at the University of Oregon
Ship of Fools
“Ship of Fools” is a series, in progress, of paintings on birch panel that appropriate, re-scale and recompose works by three 20th century artists and one 15th century artist.
The panels borrow from Richard Pettibone; his miniature 'Duchamp Profile' 1965 itself a borrowing of Duchamp's Self-Portrait in Profile 1957 as well as Pettibone's 'Andy Warhol, Flowers,' 1965 (itself a miniature of Warhol's own silk screened "Flowers," which Warhol originally "lifted" from a photograph of hibiscus blossoms he found in the 1964 issue of Modern Photography) and Albrecht Dürer. Details from Frank Stella's Black Series II, a portfolio of eight lithographs published by Gemini G.E.L in 1967 as well as other works by Stella (Marrakech 1964-5 and Harran II 1967) are also used.
These appropriations have been been hand drawn and re-painted from memory while scenes from Albrecht Dürer's woodcut illustrations have been hand drawn in sign writer's marker.
Duchamp's profile is filled in with a detail-- hand drawn in sign writer's marker-- from Albrecht Dürer's woodcut illustrations for Sebastian Brant’s satirical verses "The Ship of Fools" (1494).
Interlopers & Avatars
C. Michlig, Catalog Essay.
“Zellner sets up shop in his balanced line renderings of recognizable renaissance, avant-garde and pop references, mostly figurative, carefully arranged or sprawling across the surface of his paintings,as interlopers, avatars, and central characters. “The Story of Isaac” composes a raucous cast of characters all looking in different directions, diverting their attention and ours away from the impending event happening on the upper left edge – Abraham’s axe is fully raised, and in this moment of pause a cartoon figure mostly nose and moustache, with a painters cap and paint bucket is perched atop Abraham’s axe, apparently adding a final touch to the corner of the painting. Pikachu, the Pink Panther himself donning a Picasso-skull mask, and a chicken wearing glasses, among others, all stand by.
In “The Death of Saul”, Zellner overlays cubist linework, borrowed and flipped, from Picasso’s 1946 “Still life with skull on an armchair”, one of the prolific artists’ many skull paintings, with choreography from Elie Marcuse’s 1848 “Death of Saul”. The result is an uncanny co-sublimation of cause and effect, Picasso’s green angular framework diagramming the disquieting gestures of Marcuse’s figures painted in purple. The synthesis is complimentary and contradictory, Saul’s eyes closed while the skull looks straight out at us through the painting. The Tazmanian Devil hoovers in the upper left corner of the painting as though on our shoulder, hands clasped and radiating hearts adoringly as he looks diagonally across and through the field of detail at an inverted rendering of a Jean Arp sculpture, rendered in near trompe l'oeil detail. The Tazmanian Devils’ apparent state of pure visual pleasure resulting from Arp’s biomorphic abstraction is an effective distraction, anecdotally and earnestly, from the pictorial trauma of Marcuse’s imported narrative.
Zellner draws from sources as varied as Brueghel the Elder, David Reed, and Sigmar Polke, to name a few. Like Polke, Zellner pursues the act of painting as a form of time travel, pushing and pulling references in and out of the work through clashing grammars that constitute painting’s economy of difference. Working on multiple canvases at once, Zellner opens channels of communication between the works, attenuating or strengthening their confluent and divergent qualities.”
7 paper studies for small sculptures or larger pavilions based on several recent paintings.
Digital collage studies for several desktop-sized combines.
Reduced in scale from often monumental proportions, the Desktop Combines mix, re-scale, stretch, miniaturize and re-color works by sculptors such as Arp, Benglis, Bove, Brâncuși, Caro, Deacon, Larner, Koons, Meadmore and Moore.
The desktop sculptures will be converted from photos to mesh models using machine learning apps and then developed in various 3d softwares. They will be realized as both Porcelite Resin and Ceramic Powder 3D printed sculptures and as AR (Augmented Reality) objects viewable with a stand-alone app developed with Apple’s IOS ARKitdeveloper tool.
The sculptures will be made available physically and virtually in the spring of 2019. Both formats will be accessed via an online portal for 3D printed physical editions and/or for download and viewing in a dedicated IOS Apple AR App.
Tom Mix Furniture
“The characters in my novels, from the very first one, are always on some quixotic effort of attempting to control something that is uncontrollable - some element of the world that is essentially random and out of control.” John Irving
The “Tom Mix” furniture set is a proposal for a group of functional art pieces that are staged as characters in a scene.
They are as much designed set pieces— in dialogue and sometimes in contest with each other— as they are curiosities.
The set includes the “Prima Belladonna” dining table with four “Jane Ciracylides” chairs. This is a dining set with a planter that might either encourage or discourage a pleasant evening’s conversation.
Other cast members include “Tom Mix,” a living room lamp and potted plant holder, “the Rhetorizer,” a living room lamp and table, the “Memes Chair Duo” a domestic loveseat and “Excuse me, I’m here to see about those desert rocks?” a desk in carrera marble, granite, and steel with an optional glass top.
Production on “the Rhetorizer” will start in the fall of 2019.