press release

Johannes Vogt Gallery is proud to present Zach Storm’s first solo show at the gallery. Using an innovative combination of chemicals, spray paint, and pigments, Storm’s compositions on aluminum or paper draw heavily from the logic of color field painting as well as the materiality of process-based art. The show brings together three recent bodies of work entitled “Solitaire,” “Inferno,” and “Horizons.”

Storm’s aluminum works are executed in a process that involves consecutive applications of layers of pigments. As a consequence of using pigmented urethane in this process, each layer that is added to the work must cure in a time intensive process. As such, each layer added by Storm not only increases the spatial depth of the work, but also the amount of time encoded in its production. In addition to the references to process art and post-minimalism, and despite the industrial origins of his metal backings and automotive paints, the work opens a dialogue with the atmospheric paintings of the sixties by artists such as Jules Olitski and the like.

In the series Solitaire, Storm presents five paintings in which the compiled history of the work’s creation is presented sequentially over the panels. With each painting having one additional layer of pigment, the presentation increases both in chromaticism, tension, and opacity. The reference to the card game of Solitaire evokes the repeated rhythms of a game played by one, and a challenge being worked through over a series of stacks. Horizons, a group of three paintings, depicts what Storm refers to as “layer collapse.” If in the process of producing these works a layer of urethane does not have sufficient time to harden, it will be destroyed by the weight of the subsequent layer. When this happens, Storm excises these areas with a razor, exposing the aluminum support and beginning anew. The border between these two zones forms a horizon line, thus transforming the material’s unpredictability and instability into a set of determining conditions through which ruin turns to representation.

The third series, Inferno, comprises thirteen paintings on paper. While channeling visions of catastrophe and doom, Storm sprays pigment into fiery compositions of ambiguous haze. The works, in their representation of mood but not image, recall blurred photographs, static-filled television screens, and corrupted digital files.

Zach Storm was born in Los Angeles, California in 1983. He received his M.F.A in 2012 from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, where he currently lives and works. His work has been exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; The Cell Project Space, London; and Deutscher Kuenstlerbund, Berlin, Germany.

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Zach Storm