“Melinda Zox: Conversation in Color” will be the next exhibition at the Quogue Gallery, featuring five paintings and eight works on paper that unleash the full expressionist force of color on canvas. The exhibition, on view from October 21 to December 31, 2017, opens with an artist reception on Saturday, October 21, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Melinda Zox is the daughter of renowned American lyrical abstraction painter Larry Zox (1936-2006), who played an essential role in the Color Field movement of the 1960s and 1970s. As an emerging Abstract Expressionist painter, Melinda happily acknowledges that abstract painting was in her blood long before she studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City under Frank Roth.
Raised in the heart of the downtown New York City art scene by her father and his artist wife, Jean Glover Zox, the artist recalls a childhood that was “a continual lesson in the experience of art and creativity. Art, color and expression were part of our daily life and almost every conversation.”
The excitement of that conversation on color, the most potent and at the same time elusive of artistic elements, is everywhere evident in the exhibition, with all the works on view dating from 2014 to 2017. The treatment of color pulses with an almost thermal intensity at the core of Black Coal Bay, a large-scale mixed media on paper work, and it deftly dances around the powerful black architecture of Stacked Black, an acrylic and gouache on canvas.
Where an inky, consuming black expanse is the bass note of Stacked Black, an incandescent white expanse is at the center of Light Stir, surrounded by a rhythmic frame of calligraphic red, blue and green strokes that pursue one another around the edge with quiet elegance.
Addressing her process, the artist has said: “I am drawn to color and influenced by bold, strong lines as well as dynamic powerful shapes. The work is grounded by quiet and still lines interrupted by layers of explosive energetic color.”
Zox’s childhood experience with her parents paintings supplemented by a wealth of other artistic influences informs the technical as well as expressive quality of the works. The keynote here is abstraction. The artist recalls being mesmerized by the mobiles of Alexander Calder and the sculpture of Michael Steiner, whose name is less-known now than it was in the ’60s and ’70s when such powerhouse critics as Clement Greenberg and Karen Wilkin hailed him as an important figure. Together with the Modernist architecture of Manhattan, Zox points to these important three-dimensional influences on her two-dimensional works on paper and canvas:
“I work hard to develop paintings that speak both to me and to others about the beauty that exists in space, color and movement. I feel exhilarated when I paint a new line of color interrupting the flat space and creating movement and flow. I layer the paint creating texture; building and adding more dimensions. I have to paint; it is my life’s blood. Paint and canvas have become instruments for me to express my feelings and be heard.”
ABOUT QUOGUE GALLERY
As Quogue’s first and only private art gallery, the Quogue Gallery is a dynamic space in the Hamptons where artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts can meet and share their common passion for serious artistic investigation and appreciation. The gallery’s mission is to present a program of artistic excellence not limited to any genre or medium. Its focus is on modern and contemporary art created by emerging, established, and historically important artists. An essential aspect of the mission is to establish the gallery as an active, vibrant, and inventive participant in the Hamptons art panorama, with artist talks and events that significantly contribute to modern and contemporary art discourse.
Quogue Gallery is at 44 Quogue Street, Quogue, NY 11959. quoguegallery.com
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