Kathryn Markel Fine Arts
529 West 20th, Suite 6W
New York, New York, 10011
1740 Wazee Street
Denver, Colorado 80202
155 Suffolk St, New York, NY 10002
119 Prefontaine Place South
Seattle WA, 98104
For me, a painting makes concrete the intersection between visual language and lived experience. Studying art history was my entrance into art-making, and a continuing love of art from the past informs the language of my new work: elements from the mash-up of abstraction and illusion in early Renaissance frescoes; the radical shape-shifting of Surrealism; and the countercultural color and groove of 1960s psychedelia and Pop Art. History and the passage of time are conveyed in the way I handle materials as well. When I paint, drips, smears, and abrasions remain in the work, uncorrected and vital. These imperfections trace the history of the making, and, as a metaphor, the accidents and complexities of living. As I age and experience the daily mismatch between my body and my consciousness, I’m drawn to incongruities, to creating paintings and drawings that seem old and new, flat and fleshy, geometric and figurative, bold and soft, constructed and alive.
The idea of art coming alive stretches throughout art history. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, the ivory sculpture of Galatea comes to life through the intervention of Venus and the kiss of her maker, Pygmalion. In my paintings, I discover the anthropomorphic in shapes and colors, even if the inherent flatness of stripes and shapes may make them unlikely candidates for animation, with their references to modernism and minimalism. Bright colors, organic mutations, and a shift from surface to dimensional space disrupts those past visual strategies and allow a feminizing perspective to open pathways into the speculative inner life of abstraction. Where one shape rests upon another with enough volume to cast a shadow, that moment of touch becomes more than juxtaposition; it becomes tenderness and support. Where two flat shapes curve away from their hard-edge geometries toward each other, the unexpected magnetism creates a sense of mutuality and connection. The realist passages within the abstraction help me to discover the narrative potential of what is often understood in more formalist terms.
Deborah Zlotsky is represented by Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in New York and Robischon Gallery in Denver. She received a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship and NYFA Artist Fellowships in Painting in 2012 and 2018. Zlotsky’s work is in a variety of public, private and corporate collections in the US and abroad and she has been awarded recent residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, the Bogliasco Foundation, and the Bemis Center. Zlotsky has a BA in art history from Yale University and an MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Connecticut. She teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design and lives in the Hudson Valley.
Interview with Kate Mothes, Young Space
Interview with Stacia Yeapanis, OPP