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.
High-Rise Sessions from 1999 reflects a calculated process in which John Zinsser has meticulously and intentionally laid down thick lines and vertical swathes of paint to create a grid-like network that contains clusters of paint contributing to the overall texture of the painting. Zinsser places a strong emphasis on the materiality of paint itself which is enhanced by the monochromatic color range seen in our example. Zinsser, a devotee of postwar Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism for decades, finds inspiration for such works in New York City where he lives and paints.
Studio of the Artist
Galerie Von Lintel & Nusser, New York
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner (Private Collection, New York and Philadelphia)