Black Pony Gallery Features Charles Zuill Artwork

November 21, 2019

Black Pony Gallery is showcasing new artwork by Charles Zuill in a series titled ‘Compositions,’ where Mr. Zuill “explores the inter-relationship between science, music, and art, an area of focus in his work for many years, addressing natural forms using mixed media and a quiet palette which together blur the boundary between painting and sculpture.”

The exhibition runs from November 20 to December 18, 2020.

Visit the Black Pony Gallery website here.

Below is a short Q & A between the artist and curator Lisa Howie.

LH: What were your sources of inspiration for this series of paintings?

CZ: From about 1969 to 1989, I investigated the grey scale. What triggered this interest was growing up around the ocean and the interplay of light on the ocean. What brought this interest into focus was a time during the 1960s when I spent a few days on Nonsuch Island painting this aspect of light.

Charles Zuill Artwork Bermuda Nov  (1)

My paintings were initially realistic, but by the late 1960s I had abstracted this interest to exploring the grey scale. From Paul Klee’s notes, I learned about the natural gradient in contrast to the artificial or step gradient. I spent the next twenty years investigating these concepts, including the use off a computerised spectrophotometer.

This allowed me to develop very extensive, mathematically precise scales, such as one of 256 steps. This became an instrument upon which I could play and compose varying applications on the grey scale. It was not unlike a musical instrument in that regard.

I see my recent endeavours as related to my earlier grey scale work, only now extended to the three dimensional. In addition to my interest in the interplay of light on water, I am also fascinated with the Bermuda roof and the changing light and shade upon the roof as the day progresses from morning to evening.

I have always been drawn to regular shapes, such as the square, triangle or circle. My latest creations are based upon the circle. In addition to what I have already stated as a source of inspiration, I am also aware that just about everything, from atoms to galaxies, everything is spinning. The circle lends itself to expressing this sense of spinning or circulation.

The titles of my latest series indicate this concept.

LH: Were you intending for a certain impact or consideration from your audience? If so, please describe.

CZ: Actually, when I am working, I am investigating concepts and variations on these concepts. From that perspective, the audience is of secondary importance. Of course, I am pleased when my viewers respond positively to what I have done, but I do not set out initially to please anyone but myself and, from that viewpoint, I am my harshest critic.

LH: How does living on an island inform your work?

CZ: Just about everything I do is in some way a response to living most of my life on an island, specifically Bermuda, be it light, sea-life; even my response to and awareness of the sky, night sky, the stars etc are from an island perspective.

I recall looking through a telescope when still very young and seeing the rings around Saturn; I remember the emotional response I felt when confronted by an awareness of deep space. I recall just how small I felt and how small the world seemed.

The full checklist of artwork in the exhibition follows below [PDF here]:

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