Ef ég hefði verið …
Reykjavík 1950-1970

Not real memories

The memory in the photograph

Interview with Timothy Buckwalter

Artist CV

Excerpts from reviews



See also: "Not real memories" and "The memory in the photograph", (left)

Nina Zurier: “Recent Photographs” at Room for Painting/Room for Paper
Dewitt Cheng
art ltd.  January 2009

Chance and experimentation play major roles in modern art. Berkeley’s Nina Zurier embraces the aleatory aesthetic, shooting photos that are sometimes deliberately out-of-focus (she brackets for focus, rather than for the customary exposure) and welcoming accident (like the eighteen-wheeler that drove into a planned shot). Then she prints her selected fragments of reality—“a hedgehog, a wall built around a large boulder, a horse’s round belly, trees, some balloons, and a cat toy”—in order to recontextualize them, creating new meanings. In the artist’s words: “The photographs question the reality of their images through what they lack—focus, depth of field, range of color —and in their obvious references to modern abstract painting.” Her recent large installation at San Rafael’s Dominican College, Is This Enough Information?, grouped disparate images into sequences or arrays, recalling the montages of conceptualists John Baldessari and Jock Reynolds; unlike these artists’ monochromatic, ironic pieces, however, Zurier’s color-based groupings create magical conjunctions; their wonderful color harmonies make the viewer a little giddy.

The current gallery show is more modestly sized, featuring a dozen new works arranged as single images or in pairs, but continuing Zurier’s epistemological take on street photography. Costa Brava 2073 depicts a horizontal field of blue sky relieved by a golden halation at the left margin; it’s like an airbrushed or metallic painting from the 1960s, light and air captured in two dimensions. Wainscott 7 is a diffuse, indecipherable field of overlapping yellow, green and black blobs that suggest packed figures on a beach, botanical microscopy, rocky landscape and Big-Bang particle clouds. Drottningholm 027 is a diptych of a statue facing away toward a dark line of trees, everything slightly unfocused; the left wing is the statue at dusk, while the right wing is its negative, with values and hues reversed; together they form a dialectical pair: a couple. Paimio 546 is a sharply focused exterior shot, vertical in format; a triptych of rectangular windows hovers above a trio of square windows, everything seen in a raking light that enhances the textures of stucco wall and unmown lawn. Zurier’s cryptic titles, by the way, comprise the appropriate place names and camera-assigned jpeg numbers.

Gallery Anglim showcases works of Conner, Fox (excerpt)
Kenneth Baker
San Francisco Chronicle, December 20, 2008

Zurier's glimpses: With his recent opening of Room for Painting, Room for Paper, San Francisco painter George Lawson became a gallerist and has set about showing the work of friends and others he admires.

In the gallery's second pair of shows, which ends today, Joseph Hughes' color-thatched abstract paintings make a characteristically authoritative and handsome impression. But most of the surprise comes in the way that photographer Nina Zurier fills the Room for Paper.

Everything functions here: the changing sizes and shapes of the pictures, their shifting eye line and staccato grouping, and their ever-varying sense of purpose and content.

Some, such as "Costa Brava" (2004) and "Wainscott 7" (2002/05), appear abstract. Others, such as "Vamlingbo 218" (2007), a shot of an enameled gray chair with an unusual trefoil back, made to look like a stolen glance by hazy focus, have the intrigue of carefully chosen cinema stills.

"Visby 521" (2007) - a scattering of broken and rotting pears on gray pavement - suggests notation of a bit of reality that seemed to present itself as a "readymade" formalist exercise.

Throughout, Zurier's photographs muse on the relations between pictures of reality and the reality of pictures, with aesthetic intensity as a connecting thread.


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