Contemporary artist Heidi Zito’s work explores the traditional canon of landscape paintings through a process that incorporates the perspective of a digital lens. Influenced by surroundings and the beauty found in shortcomings of digitally captured imagery, she depicts time simultaneously passing and still through the use of superimposition and repetition of forms. Zito transforms an initial image, altering and bringing to it new geometries with linear forms and altered, sometimes contradictory, depths. Her work is an exploration into the intersection of time, surroundings and perspective.
As seen in Zito’s newest solo exhibition In the Trees at Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, this collection of paintings present land escapes through a quiet investigation of surroundings and mysterious figures within them. Like, many who travel to clear the mind, Zito’s work is informed by the exploration of new spaces. Meditating on the contrasting still of a forest to the frenzy of a city, Zito’s work evokes a mood of displacement that is “between a yearning for universal truths and relativism, between a desire for sense and a doubt about the sense of it all, between hope and melancholy, sincerity and irony, knowingness and naivety, construction and deconstruction, (Genco Gulan).”
Each work stands as a moment whose clarity comes through if only in frozen fragments that push through obfuscation. As seen in the piece, Portrait of Minoru, a figure is hidden within the blossoms and leaves of a cherry blossom tree. This familiar longing for clarity is felt in Vanishing Point where we see a lone figure whose mystification is reflected in the glass of a city building. The figureless landscapes in this collection lure the viewer to look beyond the layers of painted and conceptual abstraction to find what lies beneath. As smooth as the cool grays and blues, and as neutral as the rose and cream toned palates that Zito uses, this work is profoundly subtle.
Heidi Zito is a Brooklyn based artist with roots in South Florida where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Florida State University. She moved to New York City in 2009 to pursue a Master of Fine Art in Photography Video and Related Media. Earning her MFA in 2012, she went on to become the Creative Director for Out of Print, a company specializing in showcasing literature-inspired apparel and accessories— where she currently works. Zito has been featured in several group exhibitions including Still Spotting NYC, a collaboration with the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, as well as a recent solo exhibition titled, Short Long Time at HERE in New York City. Zito’s studio is located in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn where she crafted In the Trees.