This new monograph on the art of Joe Zucker is a career-spanning survey that deals with all the artist’s various bodies of work, from his grid paintings of the 1960s to his latest work, including the monumental 1000 Brushstrokes (2015– 2016). Zucker’s art is rooted in a conceptual framework where tools, materials, processes, procedures, content, and subject matter are all interrelated.
Due to the frequent transformations in his art from one style to another, and thus his work has not been easily characterized or identified. Nevertheless, he has forged a powerful artistic persona as a process artist with a certain pop inflection, who not only grapples with formal and theoretical concerns but also explores themes of history, culture, and Americana. Working with materials ranging from cotton balls, sash cords, and pegboards, to acrylic and rhoplex, and exploring such themes as the grid, the history of cotton, ancient civilizations, an assortment of “dubious characters,” paintings that paint themselves, as well as meditations on the studio, Zucker merges materials, process, and content—abstract and otherwise—to produce compelling works of extraordinary inventiveness, irony, and passion.
John Elderfield is Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Terry R. Myers
Terry R. Myers is a critic, curator, and professor at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Alex Bacon is a scholar, writer, and curator.
Phong Bui is an artist, writer, curator, and publisher of The Brooklyn Rail.