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Jerry Zeniuk
Paintings: Not for your living room

31 Jan 2014 — 27 Apr 2014

Jerry Zeniuk, born in Bardowick, near Lüneburg, in 1945, is considered one of the most important proponents of so-called elementary or essential painting. In 1950, his family  emigrates to the U.S., more specifically to Colorado. After studying at the University of Colorado Boulder, Jerry Zeniuk moves to New York in 1969. His conflict with American painting of the 1960's and 1970's leads him, soon after his early monochromatic encaustic works, to rip off the superficial "color curtain" and expose the coatings. Initially detailed and camouflage-like, his color fields begin to expand and become more intense, the colors gaining power and meaning, until they become what they are now:  the "Protagonists and Antagonists" of the space they occupy.


Through his large-format works, Zeniuk remains rooted in the tradition of American art after the 1950's. The wall-filling size of his paitings does not, however, seek a new definition of real space, but instead it holds on to a figurative identity that allows both the painter and the beholder to be present in the image. "To be present, present with the soul, with emotions and the body" provided Jerry Zeniuk with the motivation and challenge necessary for him to want to create a 13 ft. by 26 ft. image, like the one he created in Mainz in 2001, or once again in Munich, where he created a 16 ft. by 16 ft. image.  Both works are staples of Zeniuk's creative work, and they also stand at the center of the current display. These works in oil on canvas come into existence without even a drafted drawing, it is the choice and combination of colors, the movement of the assignment, and the painter's abundant experience that enable these authentic "images" to come to life. Images that are not concerete, even with every narrative or organization through every perspective, yet nevertheless images that are depictions of the artist's idea of reality, liveliness, and togetherness.