Michael Zahn
Power, Corruption, and Lies (Version), 2009

Manchester band New Order in 1983. Art director Peter Saville’s iconic design for the sleeve shows a cropped reproduction of A Basket of Roses (1866) by the French artist Henri Fantin-Latour, the painting juxtaposed with the components of a modular graphic strip which functions as alpha-chromatic typography. A wheel on the sleeve’s reverse provides the key for deciphering the mute blocks of color. Michael Zahn’s Power, Corruption, and Lies (Version) is a painting of a JPEG of the album sleeve. The artist has enlarged this selected thumbnail into a grid of two-inch squares. In doing so, Zahn addresses the degraded, nth-generation subject of what he considers a form of contemporary still-life, magnifying overlooked aspects of workaday late capitalist commodity culture, with its perpetual cycles of novelty and obsolescence. Light, hue and texture are the focus of Zahn’s attention. The result brings forth a somewhat convincing likeness that is apparently real, even as the depicted image itself never coheres as such. What is seen in this case is nothing more than pigment and surface, the illusion of color simply floating in the air, or perhaps, in its unique suggestion of endless possibility, a picture of infinity.

Michael Zahn

* 1963 Cleveland (OH), USA
Lives and works in New York City (NY), USA
Michael Zahn
Untitled (Palette with Objects), 2002
Acrylic on acrylic glass
Michael Zahn
Alias (Solid Grey Medium), 2005
Digital print and acrylic on Paper, Collage
Michael Zahn
Alias (Solid Mint Aqua), 2005
Digital print and acrylic on paper, Collage
Michael Zahn
Untitled (Menu with Sub-Menu), 2002
Acrylic on acrylic glass

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