Zack Lobdell (b. 1977) creates outsize, high-energy abstract paintings that merge street art, expressionism, and the chance-based creative practices of Surrealism. Painting from a place where hope and critical awareness collide, Lobdell is prolific beyond compare, creating densely packed paintings that appear at first loose and freeform, then give way to minute, linear details. Gestural explosions become, in turn, regimented and systematized. Dynamic swaths of color are punctuated by a mysterious cuneiform, architectonic configurations, and the occasional cartoon-like animal. Canvases radiating vibrant yellows and pinks are incongruously dystopic.
Lobdell began as a Photorealist painter, then shifted to abstraction early in his career. He favors monumental canvases whose scale harkens to murals, graffiti, and the Abstract Expressionists. Lobdell’s rich, active surfaces speak less of his tools and techniques than of the intensity of his physical enterprise—and of the act of painting as both producing and responding to a shared cultural ethos.
Ethos surveys Zack Lobdell’s work from the past three years, including a twenty-foot painting titled The Hustle—an enthralling cityscape that encapsulates Lobdell’s strangely dark but exuberant pictorial vision.