Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Rhys Ziemba

Rhys Ziemba is an artist and musician in New York City

As part of his practice, Ziemba collects various objects, such as medical skeleton models, traffic cones, paint buckets, inflatable flamingos, or kettlebells, and assembles them in his basement studio. The basement serves as a stage for his paintings which in turn become documentation of the arranged eclectic elements. His works are carefully rendered with consideration to the objects and the space which surrounds them. Balancing between Ziemba’s close observation and saturated imagination, his paintings record time.

On view at Art Cake is a selection of intimately scaled oil paintings made by Ziemba. Many of the paintings illustrate urban environments or landscapes in Florida created from direct observation, en plein air, or photographs taken by the artist. Other paintings were developed from drawings the artist made during a recent trip to Crete, Greece.

Each of the paintings, measuring eight by ten inches, illustrates scenes within nature and contains a prominent horizon line and vast depth of field to emphasize the nature of light as it travels through space. Like his earlier works, Ziemba introduces inconsequential ephemera that disrupt the harmonious landscape. For the artist, the addition of these elements, whether it is a suggestion of an emotional pair of eyes, a finger pointing, a piece of trash, or a referential object, is partly a graphical device meant to draw the viewer’s eye across the composition and partly a way to allow each element to reify itself in a way that is meant to surprise even the artist. In some paintings, such as Beach Hat (2022), however, the element is so prominent within the detailed landscape that it becomes the subject of the painting.

The solo exhibition at Art Cake is on view, September 1 through October 8th, 2022, will be a selection of the artist’s most recent paintings.

I was wrong, 8 x 10, 2022 oil on panel
Mother Courage at the height of her business career, 24 x 36, 2020, oil on panel
They were those from the wilderness of stars that had expected more, 24 x 18, 2022, oil on panel
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