John Zurier: Interview

John Zurier, Öxnadalur, 2013, oil on linen, 72 x 44 inches (courtesy of the arti
John Zurier, Öxnadalur, 2013, oil on linen, 72 x 44 inches (courtesy of the artist and Peter Blum Gallery, New York)

John Seed interviews painter John Zurier about his work which was recently on view at Peter Blum Gallery, New York and will be on view at Claes Nordenhake Gallery, Berlin from September 21 -November 9, 2013.

Zurier comments: "Even when I put shapes or lines in a monochrome field, I am thinking of form in the largest sense -- as how something is made. Form, for me, means dealing with the total construction of a painting, not geometry or making a picture of something. I'm very interested in how compositional formats and motifs, and even incidents in a painting can trigger perceptual responses and associations. Even a horizontal line can be read as a landscape, but it's not my intention... I often make my own paints and grounds and I'm always discovering new things. My interest in materials involves looking for the right color and how the surface affects the way light is reflected or absorbed. I use various types of raw cotton and linen canvas and pay close attention to the different colors and textures of the weave. I also sometimes use pre-primed linen. I will also grind my own oil colors and I make tempera paint by mixing pigments into animal glues. I do a lot of research and make tests. It's part craft, part chemistry, and part like cooking. But as a rule, I try to keep the materials in a painting simple."