Brett Lysne is a visual artist and graphic designer who works in drawing, printmaking, artist books, and digital media. Born in Fargo and raised in Crookston, MN, Brett obtained a BA from the University of Minnesota, Morris (2008) and an MFA from Washington State University (2012). In recent years, he has partaken in artist residency programs in Washington, Vermont, Finland, Minnesota, and at NDSU. Brett currently teaches drawing and printmaking at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
In this ongoing series of densely detailed pen drawings, my interests in cartography take on the social and political ills of a contemporary America. While past projects led me to construct meandering maps of text without any geographic bounds, The Lower Forty-Eight series directly references, at least in structure, the contiguous United States, which automatically loads the viewer with an array of historical contexts and personal geographies. These ﬂawed maps are ﬁlled with errant line work that alludes to cartographic devices such as arrows, dashed lines, and topographical markings. Elements of nature appear as interwoven paths of foliage, waterways, and muscle tissue. The drawings become overgrown gardens of jumbled and nonsensical data, ripe with coded representations of the American political landscape. Appearing in several of the pieces, three-dimensional block letters, themselves reminiscent of benign children’s blocks or refrigerator magnets, spell out cryptic yet serious content. In compiling these works, at once social critique and mindless meditation, I wish to reckon with my own recurrent addiction to the news cycle, all while attempting to commune with the fear, fatigue, and burnout of those around me.
- Don T
- Don T
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