1915 – 1998
Zola Marcus (1915 – 1998), long-time resident of New York and abstract painter attended the 1953 Summer Institute at Black Mountain College where he studied painting with Joe Fiore and Esteban Vicente. His early work (pre-Black Mountain) consisted of representational scenes, primarily landscapes. These early paintings displayed a remarkable feeling not just for natural beauty but also for color and, particularly, for formal clarity. It is the strength of formal composition that carried over into his abstract work, which he developed over a number of decades. Early in this development he had a one-man show at the famed Galerie Mai in Paris, and one can see the influence of his teachers, including Fernand Leger and, later, the dean of New York abstraction, Hans Hoffman. Marcus integrated a large number of the central developments of abstract painting into his work over the years, including large-scale calligraphic gestures and the employment of chance-elements, particularly drip-motifs. Many of Marcus’ later canvases display the unusual combination of fine technical precision with the appearance of improvisatory gestural spontaneity, and it is in these canvases that his distinctive aesthetic voice is perhaps most pronounced.