Although technically referred to as paintings, the works in Sati Zech's vibrant series "Bollenarbeit" (a reference to the vineyard-covered hills in the region of Germany where she was born) float between paintings, drawings and sculptures. While the sumptuous displays of thick, bright red mounds of paint applied on naked strips of linen are visually arresting, it is the process Zech employs to create these cloth fields of intense color that is most remarkable.
Visitors can "see art happen" while Zech is in-studio through June 26 and view her numerous examples of these vivid canvases through July 31. Zech is the final resident artist of Lux's season.
After tearing apart sheets of cloth, Zech assembles the strips — unraveled edges and all — in horizontal and vertical rows. Sometimes overlapping them, she joins the rows with white archival glue, bits of puttylike plaster and thread, and applies viscous domes and dots of red paint across the cloth's surface. The result evokes a uniquely tattered collage, its crimson fingerprintlike shapes spreading like a landscape across the sheet's ragged lines and seams.
While the acts of layering, tearing, gluing and sewing produce works that are reminiscent of domestic handicraft, and the scarlet mounds of paint hint at historically ritualistic mark-making, Zech's dynamic creations defy category.
The red mounds she creates seem to be Zech's way of "seeing" the world around her, almost like they are signals. They may remind the viewer spontaneously of landscapes and hills, but also of architecture and of body shapes. A viewer may let the shapes be in the sphere of the undetermined or interpret them as pictures of something.
Zech has won various scholarships and awards, most recently the Franz Joseph Speigler Prize in 2009. She also participated in a Yaddo Residency in April 2009. Zech made her stateside debut in 2008 at Howard Scott Gallery in New York City and has exhibited in solo and group shows, as well as art fairs in Berlin; Munich, Germany; Frankfurt, Germany; Salzburg, Germany; Zurich, Switzerland; and Bilbao, Spain.
The Lux Art Institute is redefining the museum experience with the region's only artist-in-residence program that invites artists to live and work on site, while producing a commissioned work of art — start to finish. Through its Phase II Capital Campaign, Lux plans to add more than 25,000 square feet of galleries and classrooms. Once completed, the new building will also feature a hilltop plaza and a series of gardens climbing between the galleries and the Artist Pavilion.
If you go
What: Work of Sati Zech
Where: Lux Art Institute, 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas
Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays
Admission: $10 for two visits
Contact: (760) 436-6611,