John Zinsser American, b. 1961

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Zinsser’s abstractions reflect a calculated process in which the artist has carefully and intentionally laid thick lines and swathes of paint to create gridded networks or clusters of paint and texture. An emphasis on the materiality of paint itself is enhanced by monochromatic compositions in a varied range of colors, from creamy white to metallic gold and fiery orange. Zinsser has been a devotee of postwar Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism for decades. His works reflect visions of the city from a very distinct angle. “I have always been attracted to colors as they exist in the world, rather than making imitative color,” Zinsser once explained. “All of these colors have associations to observed experience—a garage door, the wall of a warehouse, the side of a truck.”


American artist John Zinsser refers to his painting as a "wide open dialogue", with the multifaceted exhibition scene of New York City supplying the resources for this painting-oriented discourse. Thus, since the early 1980s, Zinsser has been building up a list of reference persons. His "circles of influences" include friends, colleagues of different generations as well as role models. With them, he carries on a form of discourse and counter discourse, and they motivate him to conduct painterly monologues, even challenging him to an antithesis when necessary.


The fundamental element that connects the works shown is their exploration of the pure materiality of paint and the essence of color. His  paintings are derived from an intense process of brushworks in which Zinsser uses impasto oil technique with a thick- textured paint, that is almost three- dimensional in appearance.  These paintings are striking and have a presence all their own.


John Zinsser has exhibited extensively in Europe and the United States since 1980. His paintings are in the Richard Brown Baker collection at Yale,  the Sammlung Goetz in Munich, the Mint Museum In Charlotte and  the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.

Solo Exhibitions

2015     Taylor | Graham, Re-Irascibles: Theodoros Stamos/John Zinsser, New York, NY

2014     Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA; Philip Slein Gallery, St. Louis, MO; Graham Gallery, Paintings and File Studies, New York, NY

2013     Kunstgaleriebonn, Germany (Reason and Belonging: John Zinsser and Related Painters) (cat.); George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2012     Philip Slein Gallery, St. Louis, MO; Kunstgaleriebonn, Bonn, Germany (cat.)

2011     Larry Becker Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA (Abstract Memory: New and Earlier Paintings and New Auction Catalogue Drawings)

2010     James Graham & Sons, New York, NY

2009     James Graham & Sons, New York, NY (Art Dealer Archipelagoes)

2008     James Graham & Sons, New York, NY (cat.) 

2006     Roger Ramsay Gallery, Chicago, IL

2005     Galerie S65, Cologne, Germany

2003     Von Lintel Gallery, New York, NY (Bible Studies); Galerie S65, Cologne, Germany 

2002     Von Lintel Gallery, New York, NY

2001     Galerie S65, Aalst, Belgium

2000     Von Lintel & Nusser, New York, NY

1998     Galerie Thomas von Lintel, Munich, Germany; Roger Ramsay Gallery, Chicago, IL; Galerie S65, Aalst, Belgium (White Grid Variations)

1997     Lawing Gallery, Houston, TX (The Pavilion Series); Pamela Auchincloss Project Space, NY (Architecture of Color Series)

1996     Galerie Thomas von Lintel, Munich, Germany; Lawing Gallery, Houston, TX; Turner, Byrne & Runyon, Dallas, TX (Republic Tower Commission)

1995     Galerie S65, Aalst, Belgium (cat.);Stark Gallery, New York, NY

1994     Galerie Thomas von Lintel, Munich, Germany 

1993     Galerie S65, Aalst, Belgium;Thomas Solomon’s Garage, Los Angeles, CA; Elizabeth Koury Gallery, New York, NY; Turner & Byrne Gallery, Dallas, TX 

1992     Elizabeth Koury Gallery, New York, NY; Roger Ramsay Gallery, Chicago, IL 

1991     Julian Pretto Gallery, NY (Automatic Writing Series)

1990     Thomas Solomon’s Garage, Los Angeles, CA; Julian Pretto Gallery, NY

1989     Julian Pretto Gallery, NY

Public Collections

Mint Museum, Charlotte

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

Richard Brown Baker Collection, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven

Sammlung Goetz, Munich

Corporate Collections

Akin Gump

Progressive Companies




Commodities Corporation

Artpack, Zurich

Houston Industries

Winston & Strawn

Carmel Realty

Jones, Lang, Wooton

Billingsley Company

Newberger Lehman Brothers

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