Part of a series by the artist, this work is inspired by 19th- and 20th-century American Landscape Painting, with a nod to the Renaissance. The composition, void of figures or objects, is built upon multiple perspectives and intersecting vignettes. In this painting, Zehnder produces a fictitious map that engages anxiety and uncertainty—expressing cartographically the untrustworthiness of the post-digital era. The landscape's multiple horizon lines offer viewers an uncanny form of depth and expansiveness.
The day before beginning work on this painting, Zehnder spent time in front of Giovanni Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert (c. 1480, Frick Collection, also known as St. Francis in Ecstasy). In Bellini’s painting, the figure of St. Francis, undergoing a spiritual transfiguration, has a look of ecstasy and astonishment—his eyes are rolled back as he walks into the light from his shelter. Responding to this image, Zehnder's work evokes a similar drama.
② Represented by:
Robert Zehnder’s multi-perspective compositions depict expansive and deep landscapes—both self-devouring and unpopulated. The artist employs a cartographic approach that evokes anxiety and uncertainty. The pictorial logic of Zehnder’s landscapes offers the viewer an unreliable foundation and a compromised vantage point true to the post-digital era.