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ANTHE ZACHARIAS Color Field Painting in the 1970s: Process And Color Mixing

ANTHE ZACHARIAS Color Field Painting in the 1970s: Process And Color Mixing

Anthe Zacharias Untitled AZ105, 1970s Acrylic on canvas 48" x 40"

If you are in New York for Armory week, please visit David Richard Gallery uptown to view any of these or other artworks by our gallery artists. Please contact the gallery for prices, high resolution images and additional information. David Richard Gallery, LLC 211 East 121 ST | New York, NY 10035 P: (212) 882-1705

Anthe Zacharias Untitled AZ107, 1970s Acrylic on canvas 42.25" x 42.25" Click here to view artwork

In the 1970s, Anthe Zacharias pushed the boundaries, literally and physically, for both applying pigment to canvas supports and blending colors. Enthusiastic about Color Field painting, she stained and poured pigment on unprimed and primed canvases and plastic sheeting. However, she was most interested in new and different methods of mixing and blending the poured colors. Following is a selection of three such approaches. In the first couple of paintings above, Zacharias combined different colors in a vessel and then poured them onto flat canvases without any premixing. Then, using a variety of physical means and forces such as tilting, shaking, blowing and vibrating the canvas, she pushed, separated and blended the colors at their intersections. In the next couple of paintings below, a similar, but more calculated process was used to place the colors adjacent to one another. Then, Zacharias folded the canvas at the intersections of the different colors followed by peeling the canvas back to reveal a different type of mixing and mind-boggling visual experience. The folding created mirror-like images, while similar, the fluidity of the paint and the physical peeling of the canvas created chance and unique mixing and blending opportunities that also created the optical qualities observed in the completed painting.

Anthe Zacharias Untitled (AZ-235), ca 1970 Oil on canvas 52.25" x 50" Click here to view artwork

Anthe Zacharias Untitled (AZ-236), ca 1970s Acrylic on canvas 66" x 52.5" Click here to view artwork

These last two paintings are comprised of large swaths of pigment from a gravity pour to achieve the arcs of color and translucent overlaps of new hues. While Zacharias incorporated some of the physical mixing and blending methods described above, the unique aspect of these paintings is the inclusion of dry pigment that precipitated and created granular and rough textures. These processes were a combination of control and skill by the artist with a healthy dose of chance to create some very powerful imagery.

Anthe Zacharias Untitled AZ91, 1970s Acrylic on canvas 66.25" x 52" Click here to view artwork

Anthe Zacharias Untitled AZ90, 1970s Acrylic on canvas 66.25" x 50.25" Click here to view artwork

About Anthe Zacharias: Zacharias was born in Albania. Her parents immigrated to the United States and she grew up in New York on the west side of Manhattan in Hell’s Kitchen. She attended Queen’s College from 1952 to 1956 where she studied under art historian Robert Goldwater as well as John Ferren and Barse Miller. She then went to the University of California, Berkeley, where she met Mark di Suvero and studied with George McNeil and Erle Loran, receiving her M.F.A in 1957. Returning to New York, Zacharias exhibited at the legendary March Gallery in the early 1960s along side di Suvero and received recognition and mention form Dore Ashton. Between 1960 to 1968, she lived and painted in an old sea captain’s residence at Coentis Slip near South Ferry in the same area as some of the most renowned figures in the art scene of that time: Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelly, Mark di Suvero, Agnes Martin, James Rosenquist and Robert Indiana. In the mid-60s, Zacharias exhibited at the Great Jones Gallery along with Louise Bourgeois and in the early 1970s, at Green Mountain Gallery in Soho in Lower Manhattan. In the mid-1970s, Zacharias became somewhat reclusive and avoided exhibiting in galleries. However, she continued to paint everyday in her studio and evolve her own visual language and experimental methods of application on new and novel supports. Also, from the 1980s through 2000, she was closely associated with Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens and working with local children groups and teaching. She worked on two large commissions for the Park, including a brightly colored 35-foot mural. In 2006, Zacharias contributed a work to the "Peace Tower" shown at the Whitney biennial of that same year. She continues to paint, albeit on a much smaller scale.

All Artworks © Anthe Zacharias Photos by Yao Zu Lu

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