Murray Zimiles

From the beginning, the ambivalent symbolic and archetypal resonance of the human figure and certain animals has occupied me as much as the formal challenges of drawing and painting them.

These pictures use many art strategies to achieve a feeling of uneasiness. Animals are painted on a grid like format or lined up like soldiers. They are place upon gesturally painted landscape fields where paint is poured, tossed and swirled onto canvas. The animals, often heavily painted to contrast with the landscape, are simultaneously riveted to and float above these fields. There are no shadows below them yet they do not disengage from the landscape. In many of these paintings, no matter where they are placed, the animal’s size is the same throughout, defying the traditional rules of perspective. Oddly, they still seem to create space and acknowledge light. The skies, often heavily pigmented, are imagined and painted as an essential part of the drama-taking place below. Colour is used to create atmosphere and evoke feeling. Essentially these paintings both acknowledge and violate the landscape painting tradition. As with all my work the surface is important but there is much below it that intends to provoke thought and stir the emotions.

Murray Zimiles, who has been a professor of art at Purchase College, State University of New York, since 1977, was born in New York in 1941. He achieved his BFA in painting and printmaking from the University of Illinois and his MFA from Cornell University and enhanced his printmaking credentials through study in Paris, France. Zimiles is the Guest Curator of the American Folk Art Museum’s recent exhibition of Jewish Folk Art.

Zimiles has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions since 1965. His work is held widely within private and museum collections throughout the world, notably–the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, Haifa, Israel; the Tel Aviv Museum, Israel; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Murray Zimiles lives and works at his home in Millerton, NY.

Mixed Media

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