June Kelly Gallery

Nola Zirin Bio

 Assembling Chaos, an exhibition of new geometric abstractions by painter Nola Zirin, reflecting the artist’s cleverness with depiction of energy, chaos, as well as perception of resonance, will open at the June Kelly Gallery, 166 Mercer on Friday, May 13.  The exhibition will remain on view through June 14, 2022.

Art writer Paul Laster points out that in this body of work, Zirin presents abstract paintings spanning the past two years during the pandemic.  “One of the earliest paintings in the show, Syncopation (2019), picks up from where her 2017 show at the gallery, Orbs and Angles, left off.  The layered, spray-painted orbs are here—repeated to create a rhythm that flows across the shifting picture plane like car headlights on a heavily trafficked street—but the angles are now straight vertical lines, à la Barnett Newman’s stripes, that flow through thickly and thinly brushed fields of vibrant colors.”

Fearless vision of scale and ideas reflect continuous seminal endless experiment-tation that informs and motivates Zirin’s painterly process. Laster writes, every work Zirin creates informs the next one.  She does not work from drawings or sketches; she just begins by working directly on the surface of the painting, be it on canvas or wood.  An action provokes a reaction, as Zirin spontaneously builds up her picture plane.  Stenciled shapes are spray-painted over brushwork; selective taping defines hard-edged forms: and sanding softens colors while characterizing contrasting surfaces.

Zirin puts panels together at different depths to construct sculptural structures and then thoughtfully merges mediums and marks to make a rousing range of persuasive pictures.

Zirin’s two most recent paintings make further leaps forward.  The joined-triptych Assembling Chaos (2022), which is painted on two canvases and a wood panel, conveys the darkness of the pandemic on the densely layered left side of the abstraction, while the right side suggests a brighter, more hopeful transformation through still shadowy yet much lighter—and airier—tinted fields and forms.

Zirin’s unique style of abstraction has rarely lacked a representational reference, such as the bright hues, hard-edged architecture, and glistening lights of the city, which forcibly turned her work from its biomorphic beginnings to the syncopated rhythms it now dynamically transmits.  Laster writes, Nola Zirin studied with the distinguished American postwar artists Milton Resnick and George Ortman.  The atmosphere of the city—with its endless energy, chaos, traffic, soaring skyscrapers and sounds—has been a source of inspiration to the artist’s jazzy abstractions for as long as she can remember.

Zirin is a native of New York City.  She received a bachelor's degree from New York University and studied printmaking with Robert Blackburn at the Printmaking Workshop in Manhattan.  Zirin’s work has been shown in many one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad.  She is represented in numerous public and corporate collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Brooklyn Museum, New York, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY, The Islip Art Museum, Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Jersey, The National Museum of Taiwan, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Bank of Tokyo, AT&T Corporation, IBM Corporation, Reader's Digest Corporation, and PepsiCo Corporation.


Born New York City
Lives and works in New York

1987-1988 School of Visual Arts - "Painting in New York"
1978-1982 Master Printmaker, Donn Steward, Huntington, NY
1975-1977 Printmaking Workshop, New York
1962-1965 BS, New York University, New York
1961-1962 Boston University, Department of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Solo Exhibitions
2022 Assembling Chaos: Recent Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2018 Nola Zirin, Art Dealers Association of America, Art Show, Park Avenue Armory, June Kelly
  Gallery, New York
Power Through Color, two-person exhibit, Serena Bocchino and Nola Zirin, the John Cacciola
  Gallery W, Bernardsville NJ
2017 Orbs and Angles, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2015 Nola Zirin: Recent Paintings, Simon Gallery, Morristown, NJ
2013 Stardust: New Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2012 Nola Zirin, Lobby Gallery Show, curated by Dawn Lee, 780 3rd Avenue, New York
2010 Recent Paintings and Works on Paper, Simon Gallery, Morristown, NJ
2009 Virtual Vistas: Paintings and Drawings, essay by Jill Conner, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2007 New Paintings, Simon Gallery, Morristown, NJ
2006 Recent Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
2005 Nola Zirin: Recent Paintings, Simon Gallery, Morristown, New Jersey
Collection Insights: Nola Zirin, curated by Nada Makdisi, The Permanent Collection,
  Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY
2003 Nola Zirin: Seeing the Light, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Nola Zirin: Seeing the Light, Simon Gallery, Morristown, NJ
2000 New Paintings: Urban Abstraction, June Kelly Gallery, New York; catalogue
1997 Recent Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Recent Work, Heckscher Museum of Art at Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY
1994 Paintings, June Kelly Gallery, New York
1991 Paintings & Assemblage, June Kelly Gallery, New York
1988 Paintings: The Ledger Series, Anthony Giordano Gallery, Dowling College, Oakdale, NY
1987 Long Island Artist’s Exhibit, Nassau Museum of Fine Art, Roslyn, NY
Paintings & Works on Paper, Atlantic Gallery, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions
2021-2022 The Magic Show, Metaphor Projects, Brooklyn, NY
2020 Blurring Boundaries: The Women of America Abstract artists, 1936-Present, South bend
  Museum of Art, Warner Gallery, IN
2019 Continuity to Change: Recent History of American Abstraction, Tower Fine Arts Gallery,
  The College at Brockport SUNY, NY
2018 Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936-Present, curator, Rebecca
  Digeovanna, Clara M Eagle Gallery, Murray Kentucky
Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936-Present, curator, Rebecca
  Digeovanna, Ewing Gallery University of Tennessee, Knoxville Tennessee
Celestial Mechanics, curated by Lara Pan, Harlem Confidential Townhouse, New York
2017 Celebrating 30 Years, Gallery Artists: Drawings and Photographs, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Sculpture Dimensions-Sino-American Art Exchange Exhibition, curated by Richard Vine,
  Lily Zhang Candler, Wang Chunchen, organized by Taoxichuang Art Museum of China
  Central Academy of Fine Art Sculpture Department of China Central Academy of Fine Art
  Gurah, New York, Taoxichuan Creativity Square, Jingdezheng, China
2016 Pop Austin International Art Show, curated by Lana Carlson
Visible Sensible Histories: American Abstract Artists, curated by Max Weintraub, Abrons Art
  Center and Morris-Warren Gallery, New York, January 27 – February 21
The Onward of Art: American Abstract Artists, 80th Anniversary Exhibition, organized by
  American Abstract Artists and curated by Karen Wilkin, UBS, January 18 - March 25
You Go Girls! Celebrating Woman Artists, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
Chromatic Space, curated by Jonathan Lippincott, Shirley Fiterman Art Center at BMCC,
  New York
2015 Crossing the Line: Drawings, Paintings and Sculpture, Mark Alsterlind, Norman Lewis, Elie
  Nadelman, Sky Pape, Rebecca Welz and Nola Zirin, June Kelly Gallery
Fem-Us, Rite Gallery, Huntington, NY
Sensory Impact, Morgan Stanley International headquarters, Purchase, NY
2014 A Tribute to Leo, American Abstract Artists, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2013-14 American Abstract Artists: AAA75th Anniversary Print Portfolio, Sarah Moody Gallery of Art,
  The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
2013 American Abstract Artists: A Selection, curated by Scott Olson and Gianna Commito, School of
  Art Gallery, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Dynamic Invention: American Abstract Artists at 75, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, VT
2012 American Abstract Artists: “Paris Concret,” Paris France
2011 Action Abstraction, Mark Gallery, Engelwood, NJ
American Abstract Artists: 75th Anniversary, OK Harris, New York
Splendor of Dynamic Structure: Celebrating 75 Years of the American Abstract Artists, Herbert F.
  Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; catalogue
The American Abstract Artists, featuring work from the museum’s permanent collection by
  members of the AAA and prints from the American Abstract Artists’ 60th Anniversary
  Print Portfolio, Wichita. KS
2010 Core & Mantle, curated by Jill Conner, M55Art, Long Island City, NY
American Abstract Artists International, organized by Marthe Keller, curated by Don Voisine,
  Aragonese Castle of Otranto, Italy
Past and Present, curated by Andre Martinez, Henry Gregg Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Alpan Gallery, curated by Nese Alpan, Alpan Gallery, Huntington, NY
2009 Hidden Gems: Works on Paper, June Kelly Gallery, New York
Pure Paint, Henry Gregg Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Stayin’ Alive, Metaphor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2008 American Abstract Artists: Tribute to Esphyr Slobodkina, The Painting Center, New York
Conversations in paint, curated by Carol Jay, Jeanie Tengelsen Gallery, Art League of Long
  Island, Dix Hills, NY
2007 Contemporary Constructs, Gallery North, Setauket, NY
Sacred Ways, Tria Gallery, New York
Jump: paintings and sculpture exhibition, Henry Gregg Gallery, Brooklyn, NYContinuum: In Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the American AbstractArtists, St. Peter’s
  College Art Gallery, Jersey City, NJ
2006 On Display, curated by Joyce Glidden, Dumbo Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY
2005 SHOOT: Unorthodox Photographic Imagery and Applications, curated by Carole Jay, Jeanie
  Tengelsen Gallery, Art League of Long Island, Dix Hills, NY
2005 When Brooklyn Artists Speak, Art Listens, curated by Leon Nicholas Kalas, East 240 Gallery,
  Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Optical Simulations: American Abstract Artists, curated by Jill Conner, Yellow Bird Gallery,
  Newburgh, NY
Ideal: selections from the american abstract artists, curated by Rene Lynch, metaphor
  contemporary art, Brooklyn, NY
Pure Paint, Henry Gregg Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Abstraction at 40, Gallery North Setauket, NY
10 Artists: Defining Abstraction, organized by the June Kelly, Pfizer Inc, New York
2004 When Brooklyn Artists Speak, Art Listens, curated by Leon Nicholas Kalas, Community Room
  Gallery, Brooklyn Borough Hall, NY
2003 New York Abstract, Esther M. Klein Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
2002 Paper 2003, metaphor contemporary art, Brooklyn, NY
The Printed Image REDEFINED, The Bryant Library Art League of Long Island, Roslyn, NY
Re/Opening, Alpan Gallery, Huntington, NY
2001 Biennial 2001 Exhibition, Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts, Flushing, NY
Imitation of Life, guest curator Rene Lynch, The Tomasulo Gallery, Union County College,
  Cranford, NJ
Insider’s View, Part II: An Exploration of the Digital Printmaking Process, Silicon Gallery,
  Brooklyn, NY
Living Doll, curated by Rene Lynch, Anthony Giordano Gallery, Oakdale, NY
Digital: Printmaking Now, 26th Print National, organized by Marilyn Kushner, curator of
  prints and drawings, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; catalogue
Digital Dumbo, Mastel + Mastel Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2000 Living Doll, curated by Lesley Heller, The Work Space Gallery, New York
Abstractions, Gallery North, Setauket, NY
Collection Insights: Recent Acquisitions, curated by Catherine Valenza, Islip Art Museum,
  East Islip, NY
What’s New? Recent 20th Century Acquisitions, curated by Anne DePietro, Heckscher
  Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
Living Doll, curated by Rene Lynch, The Workspace Gallery, New York

Selected Public and Corporate Collections
Brooklyn Museum, NY
Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
Islip Art Museum, East Islip, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Museum of Taiwan
The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
A.I.G., New York
AT&T, New Jersey
Bank of Tokyo
Citibank, New York
Citicorp, Long Island City, NY
Colgate-Palmolive Company, New York
Equitable Life Assurance Company, New York
Goldman Sachs & Company, New York
Goldome Bank, New York
McKee Nelson LLP, New York
Graystone Realty, CT
Guy Carpenter Inc., New York
IBM Corporation, New York City and Paris
Joyce International, New York
Marine Midland Bank, New York
MONY’s Collection of Contemporary Prints, Purchase, NY
National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., New York
NatWest, New York
NYNEX Corporation, New York
PepsiCo, Purchase, NY
Reader’s Digest Art Collection, Pleasantville, NY
Surdna Foundation, New York

American Abstract Artists

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