Pirate Junk with Gang Plank
magic marker on paper
24 x 38 inches
Since the beginning of his career in the mid-sixties, Joe Zucker has arguably invented more ways to make paintings than anyone else. His device is as simple as it is unorthodox: he proceeds as if canvas does not exist. Instead he paints with cotton balls dipped into paint, hangs paint on an armature of string or aluminum foil, extrudes paint through pegboard or pours it. Each body of work is a unique species, with its own personality: opulent, humble, fantastic, or humorous.
As he expands method, Zucker augments content. Generous dollops of folklore, fantasy, and pedagogy enliven his drawings. In a personal and loquacious narrative, the artist comments on the historical connections between cotton plantations and Mississippi riverboats, or his whole-hearted enthusiasm for Captain Ahab, the life of a paint brush, or a summer's fishing for pike.
Certainly no one has carried the banner of art as allegory farther, more succinctly, or more sweetly, than he.
Joe Zucker was born in 1941 and currently lives and works in East Hampton. An exhibition of the artist's paintings will run concurrently at Paul Kasmin Gallery in Chelsea. The two exhibitions follow a career in the front lines of innovation. This is Zucker's third show at Nolan/Eckman Gallery.