A spring a thousand years ago
Peter Blum is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by John Zurier entitled A spring a thousand years ago at 20 West 57th Street. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, April 25th from 6-8 pm. The exhibition continues through June 22nd.
On view are new monochromatic paintings created in 2012 and 2013, influenced part by Zurier's travels in Iceland. The title of the exhibition comes from a poem by the Icelandic poet Stefán Hörður Grímsson.
John Zurier explores colors and hues, nuances of light and shadow, and various atmospheres; by doing so he creates a material response to the phenomena of the natural world. His paintings are pared-down, lyrical and yet stark, highly poetic in their condensed expression of emotion and feeling.
His choices regarding the physical materials of the paintings - canvas or linen for hte support, oil or distemper (dry pigments mixed with rabbit skin glue and water) - are influenced by traditional Japanese aesthetics, particularly mono no aware; late-medieval wall paintings in Swedish churches, as well as modern painters such as Cézanne, Matisse, Edvard Munch, and Franz Kline.
Above all, he is questioning the quality and meaning of painting. He aims to find the right balance between the raw materials (which he calls "the given") and the transformation of these materials into the finished paintings. In doing so, he keeps the inherent quality of the materials present and visible.
John Zurier was born in Santa Monica, CA, in 1956 and lives in Berkeley, CA. He received his MFA in painting from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2012 Zurier participated in the Sao Paulo Biennial. He has exhibited at the California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art (2010), Berkeley Art Museum, CA (2009, 2004, 2002, 2001), Gwangju Biennale (2008), New Langton Arts, San Francisco, CA (2006), the de Young Museum, CA (2005), and the Whitney Biennial, NY (2002). In 2010 he was awarded the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.