Phillip Zaiser

Galerie Michael Neff

Catch an artist stepping out of the comfort zone of his established, even feted practice, while leaning into nascent work, and the impending split into distinct parts follows the course of cellular division. Biologists call it “binary fission,” and judging from Phillip Zaiser’s new exhibition, it’s what he’s experiencing. Since 1997, Zaiser has been staging droll mise-en-scènes such as a rocker’s trashed hotel suite or the smoking room in a private club—all mockery and pastiche, with artifice as its heart. His latest exhibition, “Expedition,” though also the visible manifestation of an elaborate fiction, this time a make-believe safari, also suggests that Zaiser is on an excursion along his own artistic frontier.

Without apparent rhyme or reason, twelve life-size beasts populate Zaiser’s menagerie, among them a flamingo, a panther, a polar bear, a crocodile, and a kangaroo keeping one

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