ANDREW RAFACZ continues 2014 with Norman Zammitt, historical paintings by Norman Zammitt. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. It continues through September 6, 2014.
A pioneer of the Light and Space movement of Southern California, Norman Zammitt often worked on canvases that were mural-sized, but the artist also worked intensely on much smaller paintings in his studio, resolving his own ideas about color. Far from being studies for the larger works, they are masterful executions in their own right.
His dedication to the potential of color and precision in applying paint produced courageous, sublime works. Approaching his work with the rigor of a scientist or mathematician, these linear geometric abstractions begin with substantial research into the mixture and gradation of color, but the final paintings are ethereal investigations of light, indebted to the beauty of the natural world.
This exhibition presents Zammitt’s smaller paintings with an impact that matches the large murals, many of which have not been seen or exhibited for decades. A catalogue of works from the exhibition, with essays by several contemporary painters and writers, is forthcoming.
NORMAN ZAMMITT (Canadian, b. 1931 - † 2007) lived and worked in Pasadena, California. Zammitt was of Native American and Sicilian descent. Following life on the Caugnawaga Reservation outside of Montreal and in Buffalo New York, he moved with his family to California in 1945. He studied at Pasadena City College and went on to earn his MFA at Otis Art Institute in 1961, where he created collages and abstract paintings inspired by the landscape. In 1964 Zammitt turned from oil paint to acrylic plastic resin, producing box-like sculptures that explored color and transparency. By the early 1970s, he returned to painting, continuing his investigations of color relationships through precisely rendered striped paintings. Zammitt’s mathematical color combinations produce the illusion of deep dimensionality and dramatic optic effects. His large painting North Wall (1977) was included in the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time exhibition in 2011.