Tuesday, July 23, 2013

dnj Artists Max MacKenzie and Jody Zellen featured on The Huffington Post

Recent exhibitions by dnj Artists Max MacKenzie and Jody Zellen have been featured in a review by Peter Frank on The Huffington Post.

Max MacKenzie, Near Pomme de Terre Lake, Grant County, Minnesota - 1997, color print, 9" x 28"

Jody Zellen, Hermitage, 1996, c-print, 40" x 40"

"Max Mackenzie's large color photographs of American landscapes, images in which the atypical is drawn from the typical, contrasted strikingly with the intricate, concept-driven photomontages of Jody Zellen - although Zellen's work, too, is devoted to the revelation of the unusual amidst the standard. The optically bountiful aesthetic Mackenzie exploits elsewhere supports an entire postcard industry, but his sensibility leaves no room for such saccharine banality. Rather, by focusing on near-abstract patterns in tilled fields and, even more pungently, abandoned structures isolated amidst glorious landscapes, Mackenzie at once abstracts American topography into painterly fantasy and sets a tone of mystery and melancholy even while saturating his images with glorious, hyper-natural color. Indeed, Mackenzie's amplification of the picturesque, as well as his architectonic sense of space, serves to de-romanticize his subjects without divesting them of their pathos. Zellen's aesthetic is as dense and urban as Mackenzie's is vast and rural, and by populating her collaged, often text-filled cityscapes with computer-drawn or - captured human figures - and by installing her small prints in clusters spreading out across the wall in all directions - she goes to great lengths to convey a heightened sense of metropolitan anxiety. Ultimately, however, the sense of dread pervading Zellen's stylized cityscapes mirrors the horror vacui with which Mackenzie imbues the American outback. The beauty of his images and the antic charm of Zellen's both warn us of our presumptions." - Peter Frank

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