JOHN ZINSSER

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John Zinsser’s abstract paintings investigate formal properties of gestures, supports, color, and paint through simple actions and two-toned compositions that explore the relationship between figure and ground. After studying art history at Yale, Zinsser relocated to New York, where he has remained since the 1980s. Color is a preeminent concern for Zinsser; he typically works with naturally occurring commercially available colors such as cobalt blue or cadmium red. The properties and values of the ground determine what colors and forms he chooses to include in the foreground. “I always put a faith in materials first—that paint has a kind of authority of its own,” he says. “Paint has a unique power to assert tactile reality, pushing toward a larger visual and bodily response.”