Daniel Zeller’s imaginative, highly detailed drawings suggest alternative landscapes in which undulating mountains, ravines, valleys, and rivers simultaneously reflect an earthly and otherworldly vision. His markmaking process is obsessive and best described as extended-duration doodling. Zeller allows his graphite imagery to emerge from one mark to the next. Over time, dense and intricate patterns, as well as illusionistic depth, build. At first glance, Occupational Hazard appears to be an aerial view, perhaps a photograph of the surface of the moon. Upon closer inspection, however, it becomes something more ordinary, such as stitched and stained fabric. Eventually the work reveals itself to be an illusion—Zeller’s cracked and goopy elements are brought to life entirely through meticulous, two-dimensional pencil marks.
Label from Drawing: The Beginning of Everything, July 8–October 15, 2017