/ by John McGurk


Thanks to the PS1 Student Body group, I was lucky enough to pay a visit to Zipora Fried's studio this evening. It was a nice group of people and a beautiful studio loft. Zipora was gracious enough to give us a quick tour and explanation of some of her most recent work.

The image above is a drawing that is about 28 feet long. She mentioned that this series of work has a lot to do with endurance. This being very clear, she went on to explain that the title of the work was All I Thought And Forgot. As each drawing takes about sixth months, I imagine there were a lot of thoughts that came and went. The process of drawing seems to be a meditative process for Fried. The drawing must be composed of a million or two vertical hashmarks, each lovingly applied with graphite.

The work made me think of all the thoughts that come and go in a day. Some you hold, some you forget in an instant, and some that linger for a while. The inner vetting process of keeping what seems important and moving on from little things is a vital part of the artistic process.

There is a unique poetry in this approach to art making. A contemplative art, that speaks to the unknown, providing little, if any, answers. I was reminded of the work of Agnes Martin, although Zipora's work appears to have a darker edge to it. One piece she showed was of three winter overcoats laid side by side and sewn together, creating what appears to be a large black rug. The edges of the jackets are lined with a tassle trim, pushing the piece into the realm of decorative art. The jackets and tassles are black, giving it a menacing appearance, yet somehow comfortable and inviting at the same time. (It really made me want to take a long nap) A stark black rug, almost resembling three bear rugs lined side by side, the hoodies of each jacket forming the head and snout of the bear. The piece had many layers and references, making it one of the most successful pieces of the night.

It is always great to get a little insight into the mind of an artist and this studio visit was no disapointment. I have seen Fried's work before and it was great to hear and see some of it's origins. She is represented by OnStellarRays, on the LES.