May 07, 2019 - September 22, 2019
Featured at the Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art this summer, Evan Gruzis’ works recall slick commercial graphics of the late eighties. They are, in fact, precisely rendered ink paintings of the late aughts. Laced with a range of art-historical and pop-commercial references—from 18th Century Dutch still life and 1970s abstraction, to Patrick Nagel and Kai’s Power Tools—the seductive illusionism of Gruzis’ work is matched by a beguiling sense of nostalgia.
Drained of color or awash in twilight hues, Gruzis’ palm trees, LPs, geometric shapes, and texts are defined by drop shadows and glowing silhouettes. Hovering in the shallow pictorial space of logos or advertisements, they also seem caught somewhere between the artist’s own affectionate humor and sense of critical distance. With his absorbing images of nearly empty subjects, Gruzis asks us to think about our own compulsion to look.