September 10, 2022 - January 29, 2023
Twelve Animals 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 idosyncrasies. Sometimes picturesque like a postcard or iconic like an advertisement, at other times the paintings self-consciously contend wiht the weight of symbolic representation. The method of layering encaustics and adjoinging 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 wiht emotional fluctuations. Together, they offer new perspectives on iconic animal forms while paying homage to the meanings that have accumulated over centuries.