Tamar Zinn

New York, New York, USA

My paintings and drawings serve as a mirror of my lifelong connection to music, particularly jazz, and dance. By exploring color, texture and spatial relationships, I’ve sought to create conversations between activity and calm, surface and depth, atmosphere and substance. In the Broadway series (2008-2013), my work was a reflection of the rhythmic and melodic complexities of music through a syncopation of color, form and texture. While my compositions often include geometric forms, my focus has been on developing the emotional space rather than on creating geometric clarity. Most recently, my gaze has shifted towards compositions that are increasingly spare and meditative.

The Fermata Lunga series (2013-ongoing) emerged from my desire to create what is primarily a contemplative space—a moment in time to pause. The space I offer is suggestive rather than descriptive, and entered slowly and quietly. The key elements of the series are its spatial ambiguity and a palette reduced to blacks, whites and occasionally reds. By working with a limited palette, I hope to dampen the more obvious associations that would interfere with open-ended contemplation. My process is leisurely and without a preconceived endpoint, balancing intuition with reasoned decision-making. Each painting is built with multiple transparent layers of oils that are applied, scraped down, and sometimes coarsely sanded. It is through the repeated sanding and repainting that the compositional elements finally emerge. Glimpses of earlier layers add complexity to both the surface and, for me, the spirituality of the work. Ultimately, the long pause I present in these paintings is to offer up questions rather than certainty.

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