Primeval birds of wood and palm fiber soar in flights of fancy, filling the airy space of Harriet Zeitlin’s studio. They’ll be part of the L.A.-based artist’s upcoming one-woman show “ln Flight: 1983 to 2013,” a retrospective covering 30 years of Zeitlin’s work.
“Art seems to me the way to redeem the baser acts of mankind,” Zeitlin says, believing that creativity and imagination, tempered with wry humor, provide her a unique way to comment on the world.
Zeitlin considers herself a sculptor, although earlier in her career she was known primarily as a printmaker and a painter. Much of the work in “In Flight” consists of graceful and sometimes whimsical pieces fashioned from found objects and transformed through artistic alchemy into highly original sculptures. Quilts, for example--lush amalgams of silks from India and China--become bright polychrome, patchwork sails on dream boats.
Zeitlin, who was married to a Life magazine journalist and correspondent, is a shrewd observer of contemporary culture and much of her work casts a sly wink at human frailty and fashionable trends. The quilted sail, a jib appliqued with Earth mothers possessing sagging breasts fashioned from shoulder pads and zippered genitals, takes a tongue-in-cheek poke at both feminism and female vanity.
HARRIET ZEITLIN’s worldly take on art comes from having lived in New York, Paris, London, and Los Angeles. Her work has shown in galleries and museums around the world, and in 2007 was included in the prestigious Salon d’Automne in Paris.
Her recent work, dating from the late 90s and 2000s, consists of graceful and sometimes whimsical pieces fashioned from found objects and transformed through artistic alchemy into highly original sculptures. Quilts, for example--lush amalgams of silks from India and China--become bright polychrome, patchwork sails on dream boats. Zeitlin’s most recent sculptures, Birds, are assemblages of palm fronds and driftwood that soar in flights of fancy.
Today, Zeitlin considers herself a sculptor, although during the late 60s and early 70s she became known as a printmaker and owned her own press. She trained at the Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia, and began to exhibit her painting after settling in Los Angeles in the late 1950s. In the 1980s much of her work was devoted to quilting and fiber arts, and fiber—whether the palm fronds used in her recent sculptural series, Birds, or textiles worked into her assemblages—still plays a key role in her pieces.
Zeitlins show "In Flight", consists of more than 40 works and is Zeitlin’s 25th solo exhibition. It offers viewers not only an extensive look into the work of this productive west coast artist, but also a rare opportunity to own a piece or two. All works displayed will be for sale during the month long exhibit. OPENING RECEPTION will be held on Saturday, February 2nd from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. All are invited to attend. Gallery hours are 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Thursday through Sunday.