September 18 – November 13, 2021
John Zurier: The Future of Ice
Peter Blum Gallery
176 Grand St, New York, NY 10013 USA
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 18, 1 – 6pm
John Zurier’s practice over the past twenty years has resulted in nearly monochromatic, atmospheric paintings and works on paper. Evoking his impressions of ephemeral phenomena including the relationship between color, light, and air, they stem primarily from Zurier’s time in Iceland where he maintains a studio. The distinctive elements of the nation’s delicate and fleeting light, and the qualities of the oftentimes stark climate are conveyed through deep memories of these conditions. Brushwork and the dilute tints and tones of his subdued practice emphasize time and space while underscoring the simple and the imperfect. This is informed by Zurier’s study of traditional Japanese aesthetics including wabi sabi with its notion of the inherent beauty in nature, and therefore in the flawed and the impermanent. As Zurier comments in view of this exhibition:
My approach to making paintings on paper with oil paint or watercolor and paintings on canvas is very similar—a fusion of deliberation and immediacy. I want a relatively simple air within a limited field, using color modulation, fluidity, dryness, and density—as well as ambiguity and paradox—to attain a certain mood. Naturalness, intuition and atmosphere are important to me. I want the paintings to be open—as surfaces and symbolically— and to have a calmness, unhurriedness, and quietness about them. Most of all, I want them to breathe.
John Zurier was born in Santa Monica, CA in 1956. He lives in Berkeley, CA and Reykjavík, Iceland. Zurier received his MFA in painting from the University of California, Berkeley, CA (1984). Selected museum exhibitions include: Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden (2021); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA (2018); New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM (2016); Colby Museum of Art, Waterville, ME (2015); UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA (2014). He has exhibited at the 30th São Paulo Biennial, Brazil (2012); California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, CA (2010); 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2008); Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, England (2003); and the Whitney Biennial, New York, NY (2002). He has been awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2010).