Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present BTW, Deborah Zlotsky's third solo show at the gallery.
BTW, Zlotsky's new series of abstract paintings, arose from an unexpected muse: a garage sale purchase of striped bed sheets from the 1970s. The vintage sheets' rich colors and repetitive patterns trigger a synesthetic response in Zlotsky, recalling her earliest memories of space, light and movement, and a childhood when sleep came easily, long before the all-consuming pull of electronic media. The stripes convey order and beauty, and a depth of references including the history of geometric abstract painting, the measurements of and fluctuations within human and geological time, and the way people stack and pile to process the everyday glut of items in their lives.
Zlotsky approaches the striped configurations by stacking layers and transforming flat aspects of the stripes into dimensional passages. She paints and repaints, positions and repositions, led by a neural, even counterfactual gravitation for new outcomes, as one contingency initiates the need for another. Like when texting "BTW" in conversation, an aside about something incidental or secondary can lead to deeper meanings; a small observation can set in motion an entirely new body of work.
"I'm interested in how responsive actions eventually reveal structures and how a cycle of accumulation, rupture, and shift opens up a new syntax," Zlotsky says. That language consists of flat areas of varying colors and sizes; the interruptions of paint drips, stains and abrasions; moments where the stripes transmute into volumetric planes and forms; and the addition of trompe l'oeil supports and prosthetics to prop up or balance the whole. The paintings materialize out of a friction between intention and coincidence, much like the daily processing and deciphering required to be in the world.
Deborah Zlotsky has recently exhibited at Robischon Gallery, SACI Gallery, Providence College, and the University of Connecticut. A 2012 recipient of a NYFA fellowship in painting, she is also a recent fellow at Yaddo, MacDowell, and Bemis Center for Contemporary Art. She earned a BA in art history from Yale University, and a MFA in painting and drawing from the University of Connecticut. She teaches at Rhode Island School of Design.
Image: "Giotto's lucid dream" by Deborah Zlotsky.