Michael Lazarus’ mixed media panels made of paint, wood, glass, adhesive lettering, and, in some cases, plastic reflectors and other found materials, share a vocabulary of pared down imagery, color, and response to materials culled from the artist's everyday surroundings. Modest in size, Lazarus envisions these panels in relationship to the body, where paint and found materials cohabitate and lean into each other. Each work presents itself as a possible painting, sculpture, portrait, mirror, sign, grave marker.
What propels Michael Lazarus’ work into a radical contemporaneity is the artists' situating of directives not only spatially, but also and foremost dialogically. The artist's use and combination of appropriated signage and adhesive lettering, that recur in almost every painting, impart performative commands of speech, soliciting viewers to partake in its language. Through this engagement, portraiture is also proposed, through which messages of caution, fear, joy, and regret get communicated. In Lazarus’ words, “Maybe a portrait of a landscape. No… I’d say each one is more like a portrait of a condition. Similar to how Bosch portrayed hell–not merely a place, but as a condition of being.”
He has had solo exhibitions at Walter Galleries at San Francisco Art Institute, Fairbanks Gallery at Oregon State University in Corvalis, Feature Inc in New York, and ANP in Antwerp, among others. His work has been included in group exhibitions at institutions including Andrea Rosen Gallery, MoMA/PS1, Acme in Los Angeles, Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery in Saratoga Springs, Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, Las Vegas Museum of Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.
Courtesy of Participant Inc