Gemini: Deborah Zlotsky
May 20 – August 18, 2022
Gemini offers viewers a dynamic look at two interrelated bodies of work by Deborah Zlotsky. The New York-based artist presents several never-before-seen paintings from 2021 and 2022, as well as a selection of wall-based fabric works.
At first glance, Zlotsky’s paintings may appear solely rooted in hard-edged geometric abstraction, but within these works there is considerable variation in paint application. Drips, dragged paint passages, and blurred edges move the eye about the composition, while areas of her thickened lines become three-dimensional. The rigidity and flatness of lines transition into modeled ovoid forms whose presence and gestures are unexpected. The artist states, “Where one shape rests upon another and casts a delicate shadow, I am relaying tenderness and touch.” Zlotsky paints these forms as a reflection of the human body and adds, “I’m drawn to incongruities, to creating paintings and drawings that seem old and new, flat and fleshy, geometric and figurative.” A hallmark of the artist’s paintings is a bold palette and surprising juxtapositions of color. For instance, a warm blue unites with bubblegum pink, acid citrus-green borders an earthy olive and electric fuchsia meets vivid tomato red.
Zlotsky’s wall-based tapestries or “soft paintings” offer an energizing visual experience. These flowing wall installations are fabricated using vintage women’s scarves from the 1960s and 1970s. Zlotsky combines the patterns of an immense array of repurposed textiles—with their repeated curvilinear lines, colorful stripes, and circular motifs—to discover continuities and discontinuities. The artist deconstructs, rearranges, and joins together the textiles—through hand and machine sewing—to create sometimes graphic, sometimes nuanced, color and design relationships. Through Zlotsky’s re-envisioning, these women’s fashion accessories—each with imperfections and histories—are cast in an inventive new light. The artist states that “the transformation of recognizably everyday feminine items adds to the story of American life—and the vulnerabilities and power of being a woman.”
Within Zlotsky’s creative practice, there are visual connections between the bold geometric patterns and colors of her collected and assembled scarf tapestries and the shapes and structures employed in the artist’s large-scale oil on canvas paintings as well as shared notions of history, aging, and humor.
Left: DEBORAH ZLOTSKY (American, born 1962). Family Tree, 2019. Vintage scarves. Courtesy of the artist.
Right: DEBORAH ZLOTSKY (American, born 1962). Galatea, 2022. Oil on canvas. Courtesy of the artist.
Press Release for Deborah Zlotsky can be found here: DEBORAH ZLOTSKY_PressRelease