September 11, 2014 - University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) - John Zurier
September 11, 2014

John Zurier

Studio, Héraðsdalur, Iceland. Photo: John Zurier.

MATRIX 255: John Zurier
September 12–December 21, 2014

University of California
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA)

Woo Hon Fai Hall
2626 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720
Hours: Wednesday–Sunday 11am–5pm, 
L@TE Fridays 11am–9pm

T +1 510 642 0808

www.bampfa.berkeley.edu

MATRIX 255 features a new selection of paintings and watercolors by John Zurier. The Bay Area artist paints abstract, seemingly monochrome canvases with colors that range from muted earth tones to vibrant hues. Interested in capturing the various effects of his environment and translating that into paint, Zurier utilizes a range of materials, brushwork, and surface treatments to create a subtle balance between color modulation and spatial depth. In this presentation, his first solo exhibition in a museum, Zurier premieres a new series of paintings made during or after his sojourns to Iceland, where he has been traveling, teaching, and making work in recent years.

Zurier’s minimalist, contemplative compositions are as complex as they are spare. From the differences between cotton and linen surfaces, the thickness of the stretcher, and the hardware that binds the work together to the individual properties of tempera and oil paint, every aspect and detail is considered. In Zurier’s varied practice, color stands out as one of his primary concerns and his reflection on a given color often propels his approach. Some pieces develop within days, while others evolve over extended periods of time. Informed by such diverse influences as abstract expressionism, Italian Renaissance painting, minimalism, Japanese painting, and poetry, each of Zurier’s works strike “a unique, sensitive chord,” according to the exhibition’s curator, Apsara DiQuinzio.

In recent years, Iceland—a place he has been visiting regularly since 2011—has been a primary source of inspiration for the artist. Zurier is fascinated with its vast, ever-changing landscape and, in particular, the effects of time, weather, and light. This past summer, Zurier produced a series of paintings in various sizes on an Icelandic horse farm in the northern region of Skagafjörður. These luminous abstractions evoke the ice, fog, skies, ground, water, and atmosphere of the landscape while also tapping into more timeless, poetic states. MATRIX 255 features many of these works, as well as others Zurier painted during or after previous trips to Iceland.

On November 7, Zurier will join DiQuinzio in the galleries for a conversation about his practice and influences. The talk will be immediately followed by a special L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA event programmed by Zurier that will include new electro-acoustic compositions by Icelandic composers Úlfur Hansson and Georg Hilmarsson and Bay Area composer Amadeus Regucera. Commissioned by Zurier to accompany his exhibition, the new works will be performed by the all-cello chamber ensemble Celli@Berkeley.  

Public programs
Artist talk: John Zurier
November 7, 6:30pm
John Zurier discusses his work with Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator. Followed by a special L@TE: Friday Nights at BAM/PFA performance, programmed by Zurier. 
Included with L@TE admission

Dalalæða: Music for Cellos & Electronics
L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA
November 7, 7:30pm
Explore the intersection of sound, space, and painting in these three new electro-acoustic compositions by Icelandic composers Úlfur Hansson and Georg Hilmarsson and Bay Area composer Amadeus Regucera. The works, commissioned by artist John Zurier to accompany his new exhibition of paintings and watercolors inspired by Iceland, are written for and will be premiered by members of the all-cello ensemble Celli@Berkeley. 

Support
John Zurier / MATRIX 255 is organized by Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art and Phyllis C. Wattis MATRIX Curator. The MATRIX Program is made possible by a generous endowment gift from Phyllis C. Wattis and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees.

Press contact Peter Cavagnaro: pcavagnaro [​at​] berkeley.edu

 

John Zurier at BAM/PFA
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