Jay Zerbe draws inspiration from the natural world, and thinks of the canvas as an alternate universe, a place where he can follow his imagination to convey a psychological frame of mind through abstraction. Some of his pieces contain up to 40 layers of paint, as he reworks and repaints the surface until he achieves his desired effect. The work projects a lively sense of order, contrasted with the haphazard nature of its many overlapping shapes and lines. The movement in the work feels like a bird’s eye view of a big city, where strong structures hold the landscape in place, but the transit around the fixed elements cannot be controlled. Jay’s paintings have a strong graphic mid-century feel, with a playful personality and sense of musicality. It is as if you are dancing through the artist’s mind, and witnessing a timeline of the artwork’s journey.
Master of Fine Arts, 1973