Jeff Zimmerman: New Work
January - April, 2022
64 White Street
R & Company presents an expansive exhibition of more than 50 works by New York-based artist Jeff Zimmerman. The exhibition, titled Jeff Zimmerman: New Work, captures the range and dynamism of the artist’s glass practice, including illuminated hanging sculptures, variously scaled and magnificently colored vessels, and wall works that behave like three-dimensional collages comprised of numerous individual pieces. Trained in the classical Venetian approach to glass blowing, Zimmerman has pushed the boundaries of glassmaking for over three decades, producing sculptural objects that actively engage with the experience of light, color, and the natural environment. The works in the exhibition were created predominantly between 2020 and 2021, highlighting Zimmerman’s ongoing experimentation within the process of making. Jeff Zimmerman: New Work will remain on view through April 22, 2022.
Raised at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, Zimmerman’s early exposure to nature remains a vital force in his work. Patterns found in the natural world, from the microscopic division of cells to the star formations in the cosmos, often serve as essential points of inspiration for Zimmerman’s creative investigations and artistic interpretations. His wall-mounted sculptures, often presented in clusters, engage in particular with the repetition and singularity of forms inherent to nature. His acclaimed Vine illuminated sculptures embrace the grace and beauty of organic forms, as curving lines extend outward in both small and monumental scales.
Zimmerman has been influenced by the conceptual approaches of artists such as Maya Lin, Kiki Smith, and Ann Hamilton. His work is often driven by the physicality and performance that is part of the glassblowing process, which he has previously described as an active dance with heat and molten glass. At the same time, Zimmerman is driven by the relationships that can be produced and accentuated between object, light, space, and audience. These connections shift as he shapes and molds the glass, producing a broad and diverse spectrum of effects that change the experience of the work, whether for an individual within the confines of their home or a wider group in a public space.
The 2022 exhibition also includes approximately 20 works that Zimmerman created in collaboration with Seattle-based glass artist James Mongrain, a longtime friend and colleague. Mongrain is known for his mastery of traditional forms and his use of caning techniques to create distinct patterns within his glass objects. The featured collaborative works, which include a wide selection of illuminated hanging and free-standing pendant sculptures and “crumpled” sculptural vessels, were produced in 2020 during a residency at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Zimmerman and Mongrain co-created the caning patterns, which range from delicate lines to bold geometric forms, and alternatively blew and shaped the glass. The works feature Zimmerman’s characteristic pressing technique, in which he pushes the molten glass to “crumple” or distort the initially pristine blown glass. The pressing creates a vast array of effects–both intentional and unintentional–changing the appearance of the patterns and the way that the light is filtered through the forms.
Concurrently with Jeff Zimmerman’s exhibition, R & Company will also be organizing solo presentations of works by Katie Stout and Zanini de Zanine.