Jesse Moretti at Mondo Cane

A few weeks ago, someone on our Facebook page coined the term “zigzag expressionism” to describe the current prevailing aesthetic in art and graphic design. At the time, we laughed, gave the comment a thumbs up, and moved on. But in the weeks since, the phrase has stuck with us — and never more so than when we caught a glimpse on Instagram of the work of recent Cranbrook MFA grad Jesse Moretti, on view now at Mondo Cane gallery in New York. What we like about this phrase in general is its laughable obviousness, but in the context of Moretti’s work it actually does describe not only a visual language but a thematic one as well. As she explains in her artist’s statement: “I create surfaces that flutter between the flat and dimensional. Utilizing collage, design and op-art perceptual techniques, they exist in a liminal state, an active position between flatness and dimensionality, the real and imagined. These idealized images supplant reality and point to a lack of representational fixity with a continual play between the literal and illusionistic. The forms reference architecture, landscape, design and myth, reimagining them to become something other. I am interested in how historical references may collapse into the present and create a proposition towards an alternate conception of cultural objects. In so doing they act as points of departure from pure image and offer a parallax view.”

It’s a literal bouncing back between ideas, dimensionality, and materials (she often uses acrylic, paint, and wood in some combination). Even the name of the show — her first solo exhibition — has an intensional frisson: “Meet Me at the Horizon Line” is on view until July 12.

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Between Two Planes