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Cast, Tint, Shade, Glow

Mikhail Zakin Gallery
561 Piermont Road, Demarest, NJ, 201-767-7160
Tri-State Area
October 21 - November 19, 2011
Reception: Thursday, November 3, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

The Mikhail Zakin Gallery at The Art School at Old Church is excited to present Cast, Tint, Shade, Glow, an exhibition of five contemporary artists and their explorations of color. The exhibit is on view from October 21 – November 19, 2011. There is a free, public reception on Thursday, November 3, 2011, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. The exhibition is wheelchair accessible.

“There is much more to be done; in fact color is almost brand new in the world.” – Donald Judd, artist

It may be a provocation to use a quote from the minimalist Donald Judd to introduce an exhibition that is concerned with both the expressive and formal nature of color and its contemporary manifestations. Ultimately, Judd’s statement has proven to be quite acute, albeit not in the way he probably imagined. Today’s artists and their use of color is an important signpost for the continued power of art and its investigations into perception, both emotional and formal. The artists in Cast, Tint, Shade, Glow represent a new and vibrant engagement with the formal history of color, while simultaneously charting new territory into a potentially more seductive place of contemplation and enjoyment.

Palma Blank’s works adhere the closest to a strict definition of the role of color in art with her optical, geometric paintings. The paintings can be disorienting and disruptive to the viewer while also creating concrete interpretations of the world we live in. It is hard to miss the references to the digital world of our time, whether viewing one’s home computer or the large digital screens found in many cities.

On the other extreme is the work of Susan Lisbin. Using contrasting color as her departure point, Lisbin creates deeply personal paintings of other worldly bodies and objects. Highly abstract, Lisbin has created compositions full of gesture and hard lines, clearly demarcating the role of the artist as producer and creator of myth and metaphor.

Lying in between the worlds of formal and expressive practice is Matt Mignanelli. His paintings are structured around abstract geometric areas of color, illuminated by unknown sources of light and maintained by their own architectural logic. His paintings gleam with colorful bricks and ephemeral shapes, creating moments of perfect tension.

Leigh Ruple’s paintings are layered with slight and obscured references, which occur in a visual language distinctly her own. Ruple’s work straddles a strange and incongruous place, clearly concerned with the act of painting and its theoretical underpinnings, yet building a narrative and palette that is both personal and far reaching.

Literally rounding out the show is the 3-D work of Susanna Starr. The exhibit showcases two of her techniques over the past few years. With the first, Starr uses industrial sponges and massive amounts of acrylic paint to create glowing sculptures bulging with esoteric potential. One example of her colorful Mylar cutouts is hand-cut and intricately detailed, with layers of color referencing domestic placemats and dollies on a monumental scale.

The contemplation of color in art has taken many forms and each artist in the exhibition is deeply engaged with where color stands today. As Judd himself claimed twenty years ago, there is much more to be done, a sentiment the artists in this exhibition have embraced with skillful dedication.

For more information on the Art School at Old Church, visit or call 201-767-7160.


The Mikhail Zakin Gallery is a non-profit space affiliated with the Art School at Old Church. The gallery strives to promote relevant contemporary art to the residents of Northern Jersey. We provide critical support to local and regional artists through exhibits and special projects. The Mikhail Zakin Gallery and the Art School’s programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as contributions from foundations, corporations, businesses and individuals.

561 Piermont Road Demarest, NJ 07627 201-767-7160

Gallery hours Monday – Friday: 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM & 7:00-9:00 PM Saturday: 9:30 AM – 12: 00 PM
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