Zander Blom Plunders Art History in his Fragmented Abstract Paintings
May 6, 2015 3:49pm
Installation view of “Zander Blom: New Works,” Galerie Hans Mayer, Düsseldorf. Courtesy Galerie Hans Mayer and the artist.
“The history of art is in a way a sort of dictionary that can assist one in writing new stories in the present,” says Blom. “The way I see it is that history is only useful if we can plunder it. The social and political aspects of the artists and movements that I reference cannot be nullified, (in fact they add value and depth to my own work) but I am also free to use the parts that interest me and discard the rest.”
Building off of his previous work, which used colorful fragmented compositions, Blom’s new paintings feature similarly patterned grisaille abstractions. Blom creates his artworks by applying oil paint directly to the canvas and allowing it to seep into the fibers, staining and degrading them. He often builds patterned fragments that coalesce into a fractured image of gyrating sections, similar to paintings by
. In Untitled [1.726] and Untitled [1.715] (all works 2015), the painting is made of one central image, a form that is stretched over the canvas’s surface like a flayed hide. The crystal-like strata and swirls are various tints of grayscale mixed with a range of color from brown and blue, to purples and yellows. This follows as a reductive move from his other work, such as Untitled [1.697] and Untitled [1.701], which contain more color in bright, rich swaths.
, the discrete placement of painted forms highlights the artwork’s materiality and its painted nature. In Untitled [1.710] and Untitled [1.711], painted fragments float on pools of oil, pushed into the center of the compositional frame. Blom reaches for compositional balance in Untitled [1.732]with a network of spidery forms skittering over the canvas and drawing the viewer’s eyes throughout the painting.