Michael Zwack's large-scale paintings on paper depicting close-ups and crowd scenes are more in the realm of sensation than representation. While the source of the image (generally photographs from European news magazines) is specific, the intention and process of execution reduces the descriptive quality of the work. Zwack uses projected images, rubbing dry pigment into the surface of the paper and then applying an oil wash to the overall image. The original precision of the subject is subverted by the luxuriousness of the technique that results in moody foggy visages with muted coloration. Each piece presents a differently affecting image varying in color from pale pastel to deep brown and in mood from lyrical to mysterious.
Michael Zwack was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1949 and studied at SUNY. He was one of the founders of Hallwalls, an alternative exhibition space in Buffalo. He has had one-person exhibitions at Hallwalls and Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo; Artists Space and Metro Pictures in New York; and Studio Cannaviello in Milan. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions in the United States and Europe.
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