June Kelly Gallery


Nola Zirin
The Sound of Color

Framed Heat, 2024
Oil, acrylic on canvas
48 x 48 inches

The June Kelly Gallery is pleased to present Nola Zirin in her eleventh exhibition with the gallery.  Her recent work, The Sound of Color, reflects her long-time passion for painting and jazz. The exhibition will open at 166 Mercer Street on June 6 and remain on view until July 30.

Zirin writes about the process in which “one sense comes through as another.”  The correlation of sound and color is called synesthesia.  For many contemporary artists, she says, color is a subject that affects visual perception and emotional energy.  Russian-born artist Vasily Kandinsky employed synesthesia, pursuing paintings and lines that mimicked the parallels between sound and color.  “Color influences the soul,” Kandinsky once wrote.  “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings.  The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

Zirin says I often listen to music in my studio and feel transported into a different reality as my hearing and sight work together.  In my work, color is to light as sound is to rhythm.  Zirin continues that artists such as Miles Davis, Ron Carter, and Thelonius Monk have consciously and subconsciously inspired me as I mix colors and absorb their rhythm as I work.  Sometimes, I feel the blues, deepening my sense of spirit through music.

Zirin says that when I listen to Kenny Garrett, his rhythms trigger different emotions, and senses of color, leading me to a more robust red or gentler blue.  As the music subconsciously drives my color application, I see the analytical elements of jazz in my work, as I am drawn to geometric abstract painting.

In Framed Heat, 2024, vibrant color induces attention inward to bordered gestural mark-making.  Subsequently, the realized color contrasts, and lines in sculptural texture create optical illusions and sensations like poetic memories that stay in the psyche as a personalized symphony.

Zirin is a native of New York City.  She received a bachelor's degree from New York University and studied printmaking with Robert Blackburn at the Printmaking Workshop in Manhattan.  Zirin’s work has been shown in many one-person and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad.  She is represented in numerous public and corporate collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.  The Brooklyn Museum, New York; Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY; The Islip Art Museum, New York; Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, New Jersey; The National Museum of Taiwan, The Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Bank of Tokyo, AT&T Corporation, IBM Corporation, Reader's Digest Corporation, and PepsiCo Corporation.


Click on thumbnail for larger image.

Silhouette - 2024

Divine Light - 2024

Staccato - 2024

Last Tango</i>, 2024

    Nola Zirin Bio

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166 MERCER STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10012/212-226-1660
(Between Houston and Prince Streets)
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm

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