Danijel Zezelj at Gardner Museum
May 16, 2005
BOSTON, MA.- The Gardner Museum celebrates a milestone in its 13-year-old contemporary arts program this summer with Stray Dogs, graphic illustrations by its 50th Artist-in-Residence, Croatia-born cartoonist and illustrator Danijel Zezelj. Merging a quasi-documentary style with darkly poetic and musical sensibilities, Stray Dogs explores the hauntingly dark side of human experience. Zezeljâ€™s project is a boldly impressionistic representation of the world as he sees it.
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition, a graphic novel by the same name, Stray Dogs, takes the form of a memoir for a woman journalist. Part illustrated biography, part dreamlike musing, the richly descriptive narrative-in-drawings are a visually eclectic mix of individuals and settings, from moody cityscapes to shadowed interiors that take on themes of exile, solitude, illness, displacement, and growing old in America. The work was inspired, in part, by the artistâ€™s residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in May 2004.
Danijel Zezelj is a cartoonist and illustrator from Zagreb, Croatia. The author of thirteen graphic novels and short comic collections, his work has a hauntingly dark and lonely nature and Kafkaesque illustrations that often examine the darker side of life. For eight years, he lived in Seattle where he worked for The New York Times Book Review and DC Comics. Zezelj now lives in New York City.
Stray Dogs also marks a milestone in the Gardner Museumâ€™s 13-year-old contemporary Artist-in-Residence program, presented in celebration of and by the museumâ€™s 50th Artist-in-Residence. Created in 1992 to continue Mrs. Gardnerâ€™s legacy of patronage for contemporary artists and directed under Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director and Pieranna Cavalchini, Curator of Contemporary Art, the Artist-in-Residency program at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum supports and showcases contemporary art and its creation. The Artist-in-Residence program supports artistsâ€™ needs for contemplation and an engaging environment. Visiting artists including painters, photographers, sculptors, composers, installation and performance artists, storytellers and writers live, contemplate and create at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, responding to the Museumâ€™s intimate installations, architectural beauty, and archival histories to inspire creative
thinking, artistic exploration and ideas for new work. 2005 marks a year of contemporary art at the Gardner â€“ featuring three consecutive Artist-in-Residence exhibitions and an unprecedented eight visiting contemporary artists.