© 2023 by Zoe Marks. Proudly created with Wix.com

My painting practice addresses the autopoietic potential of materials as it relates to embodiment and landscape. Using watercolor on fibrous paper, and ink on synthetic paper in more abstract compositions, my work leverages matter’s self-organizing potential to produce new visual forms. As varying ratios of fluid and pigment saturate, concentrate, and interact in the composition, visual forms articulate themselves: colors bleed, paper buckles, water stains. The work is informed by a curiosity concerning the functional and material possibilities and limitations of the human body through an uncanny lens: matter and form in our body and in the exterior world display ephemerality and transience while also maintaining a persistence through time. My paintings of muscular, contorted, and dimensional male bodies evoke decay, raw stone, moss, and landscape, inviting connections between human and terrestrial forms. In a similar yet formally distinct way, my ink works echo colorized cross-sectional body scanning, cavernous and stratigraphic geology, and topographical mapping.


Both painting practices speak to the composition, color palette, and sublimity of formal abstract expressionism, while also capturing and transforming the Surrealist ideal of psychic automatism, approaching the human body as a transitory, self-sustaining system, capable of producing the actions and sensations that compose the human experience. Both practices, too, produce painting that occupy a presence maintained in scale and imagery, assuming a state of transient figuration and expansive space: a contemporary bodily and worldly image making. These works use synthetic and natural materials in layer based, iterative responses to surface marks, fluidity trails, and—in some instances—mono-printing to materialize the, at times, synthetic boundary between interior and exterior being. Forms assert themselves as an inner and outer being of shared, transitory matter.

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