Press release – August 2022
Zachary Armstrong: Twelve Animals at Faurschou New York
Twelve Animals, on view at Faurschou New York from September 10, 2022 through January 29, 2023, presents a new series of large-scale wax paintings of animals by Dayton, Ohio-based artist Zachary Armstrong (b. 1984)
In the series, Armstrong emphasizes the universal, iconic quality of animals as well as their individual personalities and idiosyncrasies. Sometimes picturesque like a postcard or iconic like an advertisement, at other times the paintings self-consciously contend with the weight of symbolic representation. The method of layering encaustics and adjoining canvases together for extra fields of depth allows Armstrong to build up a textured surface where figures seem to float free from other elements of the paintings.
Merging imagery across high and low culture as well as time and place, Armstrong’s Twelve Animals are both playful and weighty. The animal portraits look at us as we look at them, expanding how visual cultures can be reworked to form an encompassing experience with emotional fluctuations. Together, they offer new perspectives on iconic animal forms while paying homage to the meanings that have accumulated over centuries.
Zachary Armstrong (b. 1984) lives and works in Dayton, Ohio. He is known for spending very long sessions in his studio, building all of his canvases and stretchers himself. Armstrong often uses his personal storytelling in his works, which are deeply rooted in his childhood and family, but also American culture, folk art, natural history, art history, and literature. His works reference both popular culture and the use of children’s drawings of the artist’s own, his friends’ or his family’s making. These images are transformed into large-scale works, with a variety of motives being repeated throughout several series of paintings and sculptures. Armstrong’s hands-on approach and traditional methods for crafting his works stand in contrast to the pop-cultural references to American life and consumerist culture in the works, exploring and exposing how private space and our everyday lives are shaped by modern capitalism and culture.