Gone to Fair
Zach Bruder reveals new and recent paintings in "Gone to Fair," his second solo show with Magenta Plains. In each of Bruder's compositions, a spate of representational imagery coalesces over an abstract backdrop into a symbolically rich mosaic. This allegorical dimension manifests through whatever remains visible amid the topmost layers on a canvas—while rendering earlier versions invisible.
"There's a lot of erasure in the works," says Bruder. "It's like different memories or different ideas being pushed back. They are still there, but they are covered over."
Bruder gravitates toward motifs that carry strong associations beyond their literal meanings—such as animals and architectural forms. Among the latter category, residential-style houses make frequent appearances. "As this personal space, that is a refuge...it's something that I refer back to a lot," says Bruder. "You think about living, and what are the goals of living? The house is a good stand-in for that, and a guidepost for our goals in living. What are we collecting? What are we storing? What are we protecting?"
Across "Gone to Fair," the houses depicted also channel a post-apocalyptic undercurrent—one concealed behind their picturesque facades. This contrast becomes pronounced within The Lesson (2020) and Made Ready (2020) [pictured]: wherein bunkers ostensibly serve as functional shelters—while a row of identical houses circling either painting's border does not transcend the role of ornamentation.
Zach Bruder, Made Ready, 2020. Acrylic and Flashe on linen, 50 (h) x 60 (w) inches.