AT THE VERY END of the blue sky,
above the atmospheric strata
where even hydrogen is too thin,
there lives a group of eternal,
transparent living things who’d find it too cloying
to think even such thoughts as:
“I am the entirety of this world.
The world is the shadow of a transient, blue dream.”
–– Kenji Miyazawa
Poetry Notes: Kenji Miyazawa "Miyaza Kenji Collection 2"(1986). Japan: Chikumashobo.
THE CLUB is pleased to present At The Very End of The Blue Sky, a solo exhibition of California born painter John Zurier
John Zurier has been showing his monochromatic abstract compositions since the 1980s. His works are built up layer by layer with various colors of alternately opaque and translucent oil paint. The final appearance of a picture depends on the pigments’ unique tones and transparencies. His paintings reflect both a deep interest in the process of painting and sensitivity to color, light and space.
Reflecting on the title of the exhibition, the artist cites At The Very End of The Blue Sky of Japanese poet Kenji Miyazawa.
In Zurier’s words:
“When I painted my series of Night Paintings I was reading Miyazawa Kenji¹s poetry. What I like about Miyazawa Kenji, especially this poem from which the title of the exhibition comes, is his feeling for nature and color; his transcendent lyricism while keeping his feet on the ground. At heart this poem is about formlessness and evanescence. While I think mostly of the color and surface of things, what I¹m looking for in painting is a fleeting quality. For me abstract painting is both a physical fact and a vehicle to travel to the very end of the blue sky.”
He has also been deeply influenced by Japanese aesthetics:
“I started reading about Japanese gardens when I was in high school and that lead me to study landscape architecture at Berkeley. But it took some time for me to realize that my interest in gardens was mostly metaphorical, and that the traditional Japanese aesthetic principles of simplicity, suggestion, incompleteness, and impoverishment, could be guiding principles for my painting.” (Huffington Post, July 26, 2013)
This exhibition marks Zurier’s first solo presentation in Asia and will feature a range of his paintings from the last two decades.
Viewers are invited to a pure sensory experience through the Zurier’s travel to The Very End of The Blue Sky.
John Zurier was born in Santa Monica, CA (1956) and lives and works in Berkeley, CA. He received a BA in Landscape Architecture and MFA in Painting from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2014 the Berkeley Art Museum organized a solo exhibition of Zurier. Zurier’s work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Microsoft Corporation Art Collection, Washington, and the Modern Museet, Stockholm. He received John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2010 and participated in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, the 2008 Gwangju Biennial, the 2010 California Biennial (Orange County Museum of Art) and the 2012 Sao Paulo Biennial.