The Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery

Syracuse University Lubin House
11 East 61st Street
New York, NY 10065
(212) 826-0320










June 10 through August 15, 2019
Gallery Reception: Tuesday, June 25 6-8 p.m.

Stephen Zaima: Mysterious Bridge highlights work from the past thirty years by the distinguished artist who recently retired after nearly forty years as a professor of art and associate dean at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Curated by Eric Gleason ’05, director of the Paul Kasmin Gallery, this show presents a selection of Zaima’s large-scale paintings as well as his more recent photographic works.


Stephen Zaima does not spoon-feed narratives, despite the emphatic nature of his iconography.  Although the spare components that comprise many of the works may suggest an easy interpretation, baked into the works are numerous subtle, unexpected decisions made along the way – the profound use of negative space; the textural treatment of the underbrush; the object-ness of the work – and it is these decisions laid bare that allow for infinite pleasurable attempts at deconstructing the painting for any active viewer.

As seen in the works in this exhibition, Zaima’s symbols and iconography recur throughout his oeuvre at varying intervals and across several media.  Immediate examples seen in A Real Allegory, 1990, Corona del Spina, 1997, and Anvil, 1998, include the harpsichord, the airplane, the anvil, the dividing line, varying spiral forms, and the crown of thorns.  The relationships between these icons and the manner in which they are created involve no accidents. Personal and art historical anecdotes intertwine, previously visible imagery is obscured, and compositions oscillate between the Rorschachian and the linear.

In Zaima’s work he captivates, he challenges, he provokes contemplation, allowing the fortunately-engaged viewer to enjoy every attempt at deconstructing the works.

Gallery hours:
Monday – Friday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Closed Weekends, University Holidays, and the 4th of July
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