Johannes Zits | commentary

Wrestling With Abstraction

In his painting, Face Off at Devil’s Elbow (1982), John Boyle contrasts a feminized, decorative landscape with hyper-masculine action that includes fighter jets zooming overhead. In my collage-based work, entitled Wrestling With Abstraction, I pay homage to Boyle’s painting by depicting men who are energetically engaged in a game of arm wrestling. In both works, the landscapes are lush and highly abstracted. The collage and pixelization in my work simultaneously makes reference to print technology and Colour Field painting, and emphasizes its relationship to the exaggerated patterning in Boyle’s work. The collaging of the wrestling figures in my work also presents a contrast between masculine vigour and images from fashion advertising that sell whatever is current.

Johannes Zits

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