Angie Zielinski is a cross-disciplinary artist working within painting, drawing, and installation. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she received her B.F.A. from Millikin University (Illinois), and M.F.A. from Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Zielinski has had national solo and group exhibitions, most recently in California, New York, Mississippi, and Texas. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, where she lives with her husband and daughter.
Tell us about the work(s) you have in this exhibition.
Below and Between
30” x 30”
acrylic on canvas
30” x 30”
acrylic and paint pen on canvas
These two paintings are part of a series of four new works. As mentioned above, I think a lot about moments of celebration and chaos, and all of the dynamics that accompany them. What began as an aesthetic attraction to bright lights and loud noises has now shifted, sharpened, and evolved into an interest in anticipation and apprehension. These paintings deal with aspects of experiences I’ve had, but are also visual explorations of chain reactions and cause-and-effect. I use thin washes to layer over and bury marks, to deepen space and call attention to things occurring underneath the top surface. Repetitive marks and patterns help to create visual chaos. In Standing Still, the veil of bunting strung across a series of black projectile marks and a smoky atmosphere make it difficult to tell what is happening first. In Below and Between, black and white poles cover the central area of the canvas, partially obscuring the red cones that swing back and forth. All of these actions show how I play, create, and solve problems in my paintings. I make marks and forms that interact, or interrupt, the things around them. Sometimes they end with a cohesive solution, and other times the chaos is left right on the surface.
What draws you to your chosen medium, what do you love about it?
I make paintings, installations, and drawings. Each have a very different approach and require me to use materials in specific ways. Learning to manipulate material, whether it be two- or three-dimensional, is one of the most exciting, challenging, and rewarding parts of my practice as an artist. For the paintings in this exhibition, I returned back to stretched canvas after 13 years of working on wood panel. It took some time to feel comfortable with the bounce of a canvas, but I soon found my way again. I use acrylic paint primarily, and include paint pen on the top layers of paintings sometimes—this allows me a different way to introduce drawing into my process. I begin with very loose, gestural mark-making, and through trial and error I find the structure of each painting. It is normal for me to have about 25 layers on each painting—the works really transform and become quite specific over time. I learn to retain some information while covering the rest, and through the process of editing I find the final image. I do many drawings of each painting in order to “see” what an edit might do before I touch the surface of the actual painting. This could be done quicker with the help of technology, but I like drawing the colorful abstractions in pencil…it is also nice to look through my sketchbooks and find different versions of past paintings. My relationship with painting is labored and not always easy, but the final result and the layers of experience along the way are incredibly rewarding.
What inspires you to make art?
Blurred lines often exist between chaos and celebration. My work establishes it’s ground in the liminal space between these polarized experiences, while engaging in a conversation about overindulgence. Shape, color, and pattern examine the paradoxical notions of delight and distress, projecting them simultaneously but not even-handedly. Explosive displays of celebration, like fireworks and piñatas, challenge me to consider how actions and objects can concurrently evoke joy and pride or pain and fear, depending on the context of those experiences. In the studio, I explore the dynamics of excess, cause-and-effect, fragility, and chaos, while investigating how to represent these dynamics through abstraction and material investigation.