Nola Zirin’s abstract paintings are directly affected by the world around her. “I create a pictorial environment with dramatic angles that suggests architecture and buildings,” says the New York native, who maintains a studio in Long Island City where she often views construction projects and busy bridges as she works.
OTA Contemporary displays a group of Zirin’s atmospheric paintings alongside holograms created by Santa Fe artist August Muth in the two-person show “ENIGMA,” which opens at the gallery on September 22.
A painter with a printmaking background, Zirin recently has introduced “flocking,” the process of depositing small fiber particles onto a surface, into her work. In her latest pieces, she’s using strips of a black suede/velvet-looking flocking material.
“This process reminds me of the printmaking I used to do and how acid eats into plates,” she explains. “It’s a way I add dimension to flat areas.”
A graduate of New York University who studied painting with Milton Resnick and George Ortman, Zirin is a member of the American Abstract Artist Association, Her work is in the collections of many notable institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Muth uses light as his material. “My work manifests light in space,” explains Muth, who began exploring holograms in 1980 at the Museum Of Holography in New York under Fred Unterseher. “Light becomes this tactile materials that you can touch and feel yet doesn’t have any mass. It’s a magic thing.”
In Muth’s most recent work, geometric shapes in iridescent colors shift and change as the viewer moves around the piece. The creative process is labor-intensive for Muth, who mixes his own emulsions to create unique pigments that are combined with laser lights. “I’m painting with light,” he adds.
OTA Contemporary, which opened in May and exhibits paintings, sculptures, digital and new media art, is owned by artist Kiyomi Baird. “I create abstract spaces and forms that explore the movements of the cosmos and of the human spirit,” says Baird about her work.