September 2, 2023 - September 23, 2023

Dan Lydersen

Plasticene Dream (Gallery II)

Opening Reception with the Artist(s): Saturday, September 2, 2023 6:00-10:00pm

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Gallery II:
‘Plasticine Dream’

Opening Reception:
Saturday, September 2 from 6-10pm

On view September 2 – September 23, 2023

The “Plasticene Epoch” is a hypothetical idea that sometime in the future plastics will be so ubiquitous in the environment that they’ll be traceable in the fossil record and will define a new epoch in geologic time. ‘Plasticene Dream’ takes this idea a step further to imagine an outlandish scenario where plastics have entirely merged with organic matter so that the two are indistinguishable from one another.

Taking form as a series of absurdist portraits, sentient still lifes and fanciful visions of inanimate objects come to life, the paintings are filled with strange amalgamations of plastic, clay, and various synthetic and organic materials. They present an odd array of characters whose nature and purpose are ambiguous, open-ended, and enigmatic. The work dabbles in the trappings of traditional portraiture and still life painting but is thoroughly removed from the narrative and allegorical inclinations that define those genres.

Much of this is the result of my experience raising two young children over the past several years and being fully immersed in the idiosyncrasies of their developing imaginations. With children every little object is met with wonder and possibility. Everything is anthropomorphized. Stories about imaginary characters erupt from nowhere only to wander and meander before fizzling away without any narrative conclusion. Over time these qualities worked their way into my own art, as did the countless number of clay sculptures, trinkets, toys, and other playthings that have amassed in my household.

The result is a more refined version of a wild scribble with googly eyes pasted on, or a pummeled piece of Playdoh with pipe-cleaner arms jammed into it. Not an attempt to emulate a child’s imagination but to embrace its adventurous and exploratory nature. To revel in improvisation, free association, and creative musing by dumping

About Dan Lydersen:
Dan Lydersen is a visual artist best known for his intricately detailed oil paintings that depict a surreal and darkly comedic view of the American landscape and the humans that inhabit it. Dan’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the US and abroad, including four solo exhibitions at Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco and a two-person exhibition at Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City, California.

In addition to painting, Dan has performed music in numerous venues across the US with instrumental group The Roots of Orchis. He has also worked as an animation designer and scenic artist for live theatre productions at Capital Stage in Sacramento and City Lights Theater in San Jose. Dan studied art at the American University of Rome and received a bachelor’s degree in fine art from UC Santa Cruz in 2002. He received an MFA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2007 and currently resides in Sacramento.