Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Virtual Vistas: Nola Zirin

[“Lost in Palermo” (2009), oil on canvas. “Saturnine Spirals” (2009), oil & enamel on canvas. “Black Holes” (2009), oil & enamel on canvas.]

From her studio in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, Nola Zirin produces work tapping into the rich traditions of Abstract Expressionism—particularly the spatial, color, and pictorial relationships and equations enumerated by Hans Hofmann (1880–1966). Bursting forth in constant movement, Zirin’s vibrant visions point toward mythic objects and patterns. “Virtual Vistas,” an exhibition of her new paintings will be up at June Kelly Gallery through December 29th.

As described by writer Jill Conner, Zirin’s new work traverses boundaries between the banal and transcendent. “Pictorial depth renders a light, buoyant effect as each painting captures the dynamism of this world.” Zirin “clearly” captures an aura and ambiance in utilizing the landscape structure, according to Conner.

Superfluous elements fall by the wayside in Zirin’s work, allowing a glimpse into what is truly important. It is no wonder that Zirin studied painting with George Ortman and Milton Resnick (1917—2004) at New York University. In her geometric and symbolic vocabulary—conjugated in monochrome planes with flurries of “activity”—we see Ortman’s influence. In Zirin’s larger artistic animus, Resnick’s hand is seen in qualities and quantities of paint lodged across faces of her canvases and resolution of confluent forces in her compositions. With the specter of the September 11 tragedy extant in some of her works, one also can see a bit of the mystical qualities found in Resnick’s abstract paintings.

Color powers the velocity of the speeding, hovering, swaying, and other movement in Zirin’s work. This fluency of hues—coupled with a seemingly instinctive sense of space—allows the viewer to readily engage or commune with feelings and moods coming to life on her meditative canvases. Interchange between her painting movements drives Zirin’s representational spectrum. Whether fluid or coarse, her techniques culminate in communicatory depths not without their paradoxes.

Zirin’s work has been shown in such venues as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Heckscher Museum of Art (Huntington), the Islip Art Museum, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum (Rutgers University), and the National Museum of Taiwan.

Virtual Vistas: Nola Zirin
Through December 29, 2009
@ June Kelly Gallery
166 Mercer Street, NYC 10012

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