Wet Your Palette: A Group Show of Water’s Numerous States
Zaria Forman’s most recent body of work, Antarctica, was inspired by a four week residency aboard the National Geographic Explorer. The magnificent yet harsh landscape of Antarctica, where life struggles to exist, is filled with majestic monoliths of ancient ice. Today it is also a landscape in flux. As temperatures rise, glaciers melt more rapidly than they grow. Forman’s large scale and detailed drawings are meant to make Antarctica’s beauty and critical existence visceral to the viewer. Her drawings capture moments in time in this rapidly changing ecosystem, allowing us to celebrate what is still here, and contemplate what we stand to lose.
Zaria Forman’s work is exhibited widely across the United States and is held in the collections of the Arkansas Art Museum and the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum. Her drawings have been featured by press organizations the world over and appear in the Netflix series House of Cards. Recently she was honored with a solo exhibition and lecture series at the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) and was a featured TED speaker at the Town Hall Theater in NYC. NASA invited Zaria to join their Operation IceBridge in Antarctica and Greenland, which she did in 2016 and 2017.
Zaria Forman’s pristine, photorealist paintings of the ocean and remote, icy landscapes are painted by hand—quite literally using her fingertips to render marks in paint and chalk, rather than brushes. Traveling to far-flung corners of the globe affected by climate change, in order to source inspiration for her large-scale compositions, Forman takes photographs and creates sketches, working from these and her memory in the studio after she returns to the US. Past expeditions have included one to Greenland in which Forman retraced the 1869 journey of the American painter William Bradford. “In my work I explore moments of transition, turbulence and tranquility in the landscape and their impact on the viewer,” she has said. “In this process I am reminded of how small we are when confronted with the powerful forces of nature.” Her work has been featured in the set design for the Netflix series “House of Cards”, as well as in set designs for the ballet performances.
American, b. 1982, Piermont, New York, based in Brooklyn, New York