The ability to learn directly from an artist about what motivates and inspires them is something I consider a gift. Knowing more about their point of view and creative process can add another dimension to the appreciation of their work.
At the Hudson River Museum, Robert Zakanitch spoke about his background: having started with a more abstract style, he found his way to a new way of painting. As an intentional departure from formalism and representationalism, he wanted more, leading the way to the start of the Pattern and Decoration movement in the mid- to late- twentieth century.
The works in this exhibition are bold, whimsical and exuberant. The vivid colors, thick layers of paint, some with sculptural qualities, seem like an ode to the beauty of nature and convey the admiration and appreciation that inspires them.
There is a witty flavor, a freshness and zest for all things living that emanate from Mr. Zakanitch’s work. As we get closer, we can see the more detailed marks, lettering and drawings he’s made within and around the edges of many of them that draw us even closer in to each piece.
The exhibition “Robert Zakanitch: Garden of Ornament” will be on view from June 3 through September 15, 2017. There is a wide variety of related programming: tours, talks and workshops that can further enhance the visitor’s experience, as well as other exhibitions that are currently on view that complement the exhibition.
For more information, visit the Hudson River Museum’s website: hrm.org.