Accumulation and Time: Abstract Art in SJU Gallery

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

by Amanda Sapio ’13

PHILADELPHIA (October 8, 2013) – The work of Deborah Zlotsky, featured in a show titled “Or something like it,” is currently exhibited in the Saint Joseph’s University Gallery on the second floor of Merion Hall. The collection of contemporary, abstract art, numbering nine drawings and seven paintings, will be on view now until Oct. 31.

Although Zlotsky is showing two very different bodies of work, they complement each other by creating objects from simple forms and variations of light and dark, according to Jeanne Bracy, associate gallery director. “The drawings are reminiscent of objects in nature, while the paintings, more obscurely, conjure up architectural spaces,” Bracy says. “The vibrant colors of the paintings are a stark contrast to the soft black-and-white drawings, defining the two bodies of work, yet the viewer will habitually search, in all the work, for resemblances to commonplace items.”

Zlotsky says that when she begins a work, she starts with something both accidental and familiar — a few colors, a few shapes or smears, a memory of a tangled pile of laundry or the way sunlight moved through her grandmother’s apartment. “These initial colors and shapes start a process of discovering unintended proximities and relationships, of finding logic and meaning in the unique situation that emerges,” Zlotsky notes. “For me, beauty is bound up with accumulation and time and the necessity of change.” 

In her artist statement, Zlotsky explains that she is inspired by a curiosity grounded in finding the relationship between colors, shapes, movement and light. As she works, she rearranges and reassembles the canvas to make myriad adjustments to better capture the unique shapes that emerge in her mind. In the drawing series LifeLike, which is included in the exhibit, Zlotsky created the images by manipulating powdered graphite on Mylar sheets. She hopes that although her images are fictitious, their realistic quality will help the viewer question what is considered natural and credible.

Zlotsky’s work has been featured in more than 50 exhibitions throughout the United States. She was a finalist in the New York Foundation for the Arts Artists’ Fellowship in Painting, the Rome Prize in Visual Arts and the Rutsch Award for Painting. She has received awards from the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Barrett Art Center, The Hyde Collection and the Arts Center for the Capital Region in New York.

Saint Joseph’s University Gallery is located in Merion Hall on the James J. Maguire ’58 Campus at 355 N. Latches Lane in Merion Station, Pa. A campus map may be viewed online. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, call 610-660-1840 or visit the gallery website at

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Director of Communications/CAS, 610-660-3240,

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