Deborah Zlotsky: Gemini


Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to announce Gemini, a solo exhibition of new abstract paintings and drawing by Deborah Zlotsky inspired by early Renaissance, Surrealist, and Pop traditions as well as the body and aging. The show marks the artist's fifth solo show with the gallery. Artist and writer Stephen Westfall has written an exhibition essay to accompany the show.



Soft Power

It never seemed to me that geometry seeks to leave the body behind, to shed its skin and mortal coil for the ether of eternity. Quite the reverse, in fact; like Bruno Ganz’s fallen angel in Wenders’ Wings of Desire, it’s possible the eternal realm is perpetually curious and envious of our brief, baggy existence, and longs to experience . . . what? That excess of vitality accompanying the ripening which precedes decay? To know the ecstasy of grief? Maybe a geometric shape, even a precise meander might occasionally want to just loosen its belt a little. Deborah Zlotsky’s recent paintings propose all manner of ecstasies and comedies as she incorporates her geometries as bodies, and her planes of color with the modeling of limbs, bladders or fruit. In Zlotsky’s hands, what first appears to be flat color slips into equivocal translucencies fluctuating between warm and cool, and light and dark. The planes seem to sweat like bodies, as they are interrupted by darker drips that condense from Zlotsky’s chromatic atmospheres.


Zlotsky has written: “I’ve always thought of paintings as bodies to humor, care for, and make sense of. As I’ve aged, I think of each painting as being like my body: strong and fragile.”  Here, Zlotsky reminds us that the rectangle of the canvas is also a geometric shape, and that its projection from the wall is the beginning of its embodiment, but only the beginning. A body-sense informs a felt-out paint surface and an internal scale within the abstract composition and, I would argue, a quality of light. Zlotsky’s light shares the nocturnal illumination of de Chirico and Beckmann: even when they are describing daylight it is the daylight of a stage backdrop. It’s a Coney Island of the Mind in her geometric world. The ideal has come down to earth and is enjoying a hotdog and the geek show. 


—Stephen Westfall