By Patricia Zannie (03/20/2022)
Patricia Zannie, a visual artist from upstate New York, recently won the Who’s Who of America’s Albert Nelson Marquis’ Lifetime Achievement Award, and she is also a member of Gallery 209.
I've loved color since I held my first crayon. Eighty-one years later, I'm still using crayons. in my “fauvist-like” mixed media collages, using colorful strips of pattern, origami/papers from around the world, and contemporary magazine images to make imaginary landscapes. I use the waxy transparency of crayons to cover the “white” edge of cut papers, blending them into a smooth transition, making the composition look more like a painting rather than a collage.
My work has been greatly influenced by the Post Impressionists and their rebellion against the standards of Western Art, including Cezanne, Matisse, Van Gogh and Toulouse Lautrec as well as two more Modern artists Rauschenberg and Warhol. The first group broke with the Western tradition of “Perspective”, flattening the picture plane, using the concept of “binocular” vision, dumping the Western horizon line and the position of the viewer in space. Both Matisse and Van Gogh used wild (fauvist) colors and used color to define depth of field. I follow their example in my work.
And like the Post Impressionists I too have been influenced by the Eastern Zen concepts of Design, including the focal point being with the viewer, not the horizon line…the reverse of Western perspective. There is also “in-your-face” portraiture, Bird’s eye view and Worm’s eye view, as well as the use of two and three dimensions in the same artwork.
While I was growing up, I watched Picasso and Matisse vie for who was the “Best Artist of the 20th Century.” I also witnessed the development of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism as they grew in NYC.
Inspired by Rauschenberg’s concept of expanded boundaries, I experimented with incorporating new techniques and materials (found objects) and images, prints, papers and fibers. Like Warhol I rebel against the Western tradition that only the original is valuable.
My goal is to draw the viewer into the artwork which has a “faux” element and watch the viewers detect the various two- and three- dimensional objects both in the same artwork. I work intuitively. It’s like making a puzzle without the picture on the top of the box. My artwork style melds a strong sense of design with the creative instinct: color like Matisse and Van Gogh, design like Lautrec, a flat picture plane like Cezanne, “bric-a-brac” like Rauschenberg, and like Warhol, have a “New-York-State-of-Mind".