June Kelly Gallery

Nola Zirin
Assembling Chaos

Nola Zirin - Syncopation, 2019, oil, acrylic and acrylic spray on wood panel, 24 x 66 inches

Syncopation, 2019
Oil, acrylic and acrylic spray on wood panel
24 x 66 inches

 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.


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Self Assembly - 2022

Boomerang - 2021

September Song - 2020

Assembling Chaos - 2022

   Nola Zirin Bio

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