Nolan/Eckman Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Joe Zucker.
On view will be a series of seascapes depicting ships of unfurling canvases and wooden crates in tightly packed grids. In essence Zucker makes an artwork built of artworks and their containers, a process he implemented early in his career with paintings composed of cotton balls whose subjects reflected the history of cotton in the South. As he states, "Pictorial content is becomes an iconography to discuss the topography of painting." Through these densely painted and delicately nuanced watercolors, Zucker poses the following questions: what is the life of an artwork when it is inevitably placed in storage? Does the object have any meaning outside of the public eye?
Each work n view is titled with a span of years—"80-85", for example—that group together phases of his continually changing series and styles. With no explicit narrative, the structural elements of the work become the central focus. The persistent mutability of water, its changing surfaces and undulating movements has been a theme the artist has revisited time and time again, Zucker's systematic logic remains constant as an ongoing inquiry into the status of modernist painting as simultaneously as a self-contained object as well as a vessel (to continue with the metaphor of seafaring) for thought and a highly idiosyncratic view of the world. Zucker's irrepressible knack for conveying experience and narrative in his work (he is a great storyteller) sparks a union between surface and image.
Joe Zucker was born in 1941 and currently lives in Easthampton, NY. This is his fifth solo exhibition at Nolan/Eckman. Open Storage, a concurrent exhibition of recent paintings, will be on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery. A catalogue published in collaboration with Kasmin Gallery is available, with an essay by Linda Yablonsky.