John Zurier’s paintings meld abstraction with a visceral sense of being in the world. Over the past decade, Zurier’s time spent in Iceland has become a source and confirmation for the central concerns of his work: color, surface, light, and air. The paintings are both concrete and suggestive—recalling qualities of weather and atmospheric effects, while simultaneously moving inward towards a condition of reverie, contemplation, and calm.
The surfaces of the paintings show evidence of their earlier states, with previous marks being revealed or scraped away, embedded in the weave of the canvas like memories of what was there before. Dots, dashes, and stray lines mark the folds of the linen—on the one hand reinforcing the materiality and parameters of the support, and on the other, implying an undefined ephemeral space. The subtle pitches and resonances within each surface heighten the awareness of memory, place, time, and sensation. In this sense the paintings materialize as an event that activates anew with each viewer.
John Zurier’s work grounds us in the enormity and beauty of natural forces. In a time when technology integrates further and further with how we process and interact with the world, these paintings reconnect to a primal condition of feeling.