Jason McCoy Gallery is pleased to present Teeth Marks, an exhibition of twenty-five new paintings on paper by Balint Zsako.
Known for creating complex figurative compositions that are rich in psychological narratives, Zsako now turns his focus to the notion of absence. In fact, in his latest drawings, each of which measure 9 x 7 inches, one will look for the figure in vain. Instead, the objects that remain begin to take center stage and transform into unusual protagonists. Yet their overall state hints at a human presence nearby: they are well maintained, the balloon is full and floating up, the delicate constructions are standing straight, the plants are watered, and the electricity is connected. Zsako describes it as follows:
“This is a world that takes the language of public sculpture but uses it in an anti-heroic way. The neon construction of a mother’s breast dripping liquid could be an ode or a diagram. The marble sculpture of a man balanced on his nose with a flower tied to his feet could be a joke or a sentimental monument. We see that a lot of effort went into constructing them. It’s possible that these symbols are meant for us, but it’s also possible that we are witnesses to a world of opposing tribes who erect monuments, build walls, set traps, and memorialize their dead. The underlying friction that generates the narratives in these paintings comes from the tension between the natural, the man-made and the metaphorical. Vast open spaces and skies frame deliberately constructed objects, and phenomena that usually don’t have a visible presence become solid shapes. The leaves on a potted plant exactly match the palette of the camouflage directly behind it, the delineation of light from a projector is as sharp as a knife’s edge, and sound from a stereo is given a body that is confined between brick walls. The scenes in the paintings don’t have people in them, but the stories they tell are deeply human. They are about love and conflict, freedom and control.”
Balint Zsako was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1979. After spending two years living as asylum seekers in West Germany, his family immigrated to Canada in 1989, where he later received his B.F.A. in Photography from Ryerson University in Toronto. Institutional exhibitions include The Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago, IL; The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, North Carolina, and the Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria. His work is featured in Sarah Polley’s film “Take This Waltz,” and appears in Phaidon’s Vitamin D2 drawing anthology (2013). He is included in the permanent collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas and The Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, Australia. He was long listed for The Sobey Award, Canada's largest art prize (2014) and is featured in Jason Schmidt's Artists 2, a photographic survey published by Steidl (2015). Zsako’s work has been featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine and in The New Yorker, among others. He lives and works in San Francisco.