Daniel Zeller. Drawings 1998 - 2020
Until May 29, Michel Soskine Inc will present the third single exhibition of Daniel Zeller in Madrid, american artist born in San Rafael (California, 1965) and currently living in New York. The selection of works in the current exhibition, from the last decade and recents, overcome that simplistic classification and offer a macroscopic vision entwined with a microscopic vision. Woven by intricate lines, Zeller’s drawings cover the paper surface in an intuitive manner, a complex rendering of infinitely repeated curves and lines, a combination of biological forms and topographic aerial views, not far from the rhythmic qualities of serial music.
Drawn “all over'' the sheet of paper, or , at times, leaving areas of white spaces untouched, the vibrant colored ink and large graphite drawings offer an imaginary organic world where emptiness and fullness contrast with elegance, in an uncertain tension between predictability and spontaneity. Although non specific, these microscopic organisms are part of a larger topographic map, filled with cellular forms, imaginary rivers , canals , mountains seen far from above, complex unknown planetary systems, a voyage where the eye, travelling inside a delicate web of lines and colors explores at the same time the entire space of the sheet of paper. Zeller’s process is direct and dynamic: Freedom and rigor combined in gestures repeated to the verge of automatism. Like in oriental calligraphy, gestures become strokes driven by auto-imposed conditions whose aim is to avoid the chaos. A main rule is to always respect what has already been put on the paper, where “every line is sovereign territory”, not to be crossed, nor obscured. The artist visual references - topographical maps, satellite, planet and stars photography, biological and schematic diagrams- are essentially bi-dimensional images translating a three dimensional world.
The influence of this specific imagery was parly nurtured in Zeller's youth by his father´s experience as a scientific investigador. This combination of scientific interest and poetic territory becomes clearer in evocative titles such as Polymorphic Reservoir (2013) Foregone Conclusion (2018) or Spillover (2020). Zeller drawing’s, in the artist’s own words, are “an intuitive response to the parallels and contradictions inherent in the enormous variety of imagery available to us now “. In conclusion, Zeller’s work forms a unique recognizable cosmology with its geographic - organic inventions, bright and “electric” colors together with a profound mastery and understanding of the subtlety of pencil drawing.
Daniel Zeller drawings can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY, The Whitney Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art,The Arkansas Museum, The Crocker Art Museum and various US and European private collections.