DAVID RICHARD Gallery of New York will present "Shaken, Not Stirred: 1970s Color Abstraction," an exhibition dedicated to the work of painter Anthe Zacharias, from October 30-November 30. It will be the artist's second solo show at the gallery. Zacharias, who began as an Abstract Expressionist in the 1950s, made a major innovation in her painting in the early '70s, adopting a brushless method in which the paint would move across the canvas by the force of gravity. She also increased the size of her canvases until they reached monumental scale.
Working in her Providence, R.I., studio (a former dance studio acquired because of its large size), Zacharias would pour acrylic paints onto primed or unprimed canvases and allow them to flow and blend. She would control the movement of the paint by tilting and shaking the canvas, and the mixing of colors would take place entirely due to gravity-thus the exhibition title, "Shaken, Not Stirred." The colors in these painting move in broad arcs or waterfall-like cascades, and the effects of the colors blending sometimes resemble marbleized paper. Occasionally Zacharias would dilute the pigment to create translucent glazes, or sprinkle dry pigments over the surface when the paint had ceased moving, imparting an iridescent effect. The paint handling combines with the massive size of the works to draw the viewer into a truly immersive experience. To make them, the artists had to surmount some major technical challenges.
Zacharias was born in Albania in 1934 and came to New York with her parents as a child. She attended Queens College from 1952-56, where she studied with art historian Robert Goldwater (the husband of Louise Bourgeois), then got her MFA in 1957 from the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied with George McNeil and Earle Loran. In die 1960s she lived and worked in an old sea captain's house at Coenties Slip in lower Manhattan, in a community that included Robert Rauschenberg, Mark di Suvero, Agnes Martin, and Robert Indiana. In the mid-'60s she exhibited at the Great Jones Gallery and in the early '70s at the Green Mountain Gallery in Soho. In the mid-'70s she withdrew from the gallery scene and in the '80s and '90s was closely associated with the Socrates Sculpture Park. During that period she also worked with children's groups and taught. At David Richard, this month viewers will have a rare opportunity to see Zacharias' experimental, monumental works from the '70s.