At Skarstedt, Justin Adian Gives CPR to Zombie Abstraction

THE DAILY BEAST: Adian's paintings know they're undead, and revel in it.


THE DAILY PIC (#1404): Doing the rounds of Chelsea with some friends, we came across the paintings of Justin Adian, now showing at Skarstedt gallery. Without looking at the press release, we couldn’t quite decide whether we were looking at brand-new work by a young hipster or brand-old work from a forgotten genius of post-Minimal, school-of-Halley painting, circa 1978. Then we learned that the pouffy pictures – they look like stretched vinyl but are in fact enamel on canvas – are the latest creations of Adian, who was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1976. “Winning” is the best word for them. Or maybe “irresistible”.

I guess  pieces like “Storm Front”, as today’s Pic is titled,  should qualify as zombie abstraction, except that they so clearly know they are undead, and revel in it. They aren’t the zombies from Night of the Living Dead XIII: Still Eating; they’re more like the goofy ones in Shaun of the Dead – nostalgic but also truly of our moment.

 For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit


Follow artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.


Article topics