Zachary Leener, Woronowii Editions

September 17th - October 22nd

Hi Tif, hi,

I hope summertime feelings are good with you, Colin and Sol -- and that Joe's chairs had a positive reception last night. I am curious to see the mountain of them. We arrived back from New York late yesterday, resting today, and now I thought I'd write a bit with an eye towards September, which is very soon --

Unfortunately I was unable to get proofs printed and dried in time to fly with them, but the prints did come along; they will be powerful. And I think once they're up you’ll see they are both a continuation and a true departure for me -- with hazy vistas, solitary floating vessels, unsympathetic skies -- and for the gallery, which is usually pretty cheerful.

Only now that the plates are finally getting etched am I coming to realize how significantly the emotional timbre of the work is changing, though, I will admit, some scenarios have remained intact. The skyscraper with its hairy expulsions, the sorrowful figure kneeling at ribboned tombstone, the objects of various but ambiguous function. Even the penthouse apartment from the 20015 etching makes an appearance, and though the clock radio has only advanced a single minute (from 27:83 to 27:84) the bed itself has grown dramatically taller. Maybe all this is just meant reinforce the central motif of the ongoing process: a future in which many of the artifacts and ideas of our time no longer work.

Anyway, did I tell you that the tulips that appear through most of the images are called woronowii, which is such a strange and beautiful word. They grow near the Black Sea mostly, in craggy spots, and their flowers droop down off their stems even at peak bloom. I think they’ll end up, cut and strewn in almost all of the works, alongside the other flora and fauna from my cosmology. I want the exhibition to be titled after this and I was thinking to call it either just "Woronowii" or perhaps "Woronowii Editions" which could reinforce the group of images as a distinct and repeating thing in the world.

Also, my mind is entirely made up that the exhibition should be only these 6 works on paper, and that it should remain sparse and contemplative given the heavy nature of the imagery, plus the difficult time we are living in and some personal feelings I've been working out over the last year of these drawing. I realize now that the show will take place directly preceding our election and one can only imagine that feelings will get more fraught as we progress into fall. You know I don't think of the exhibition, or any of my work really, as political, but I do wonder if such highly personal activity can be its own kind of activism. Or catharsis at least.

In the back room I'm hoping we can clear as much space as possible and make a smaller presentation of ceramic sculptures, the dark blue-black ones with the lights and cords, etc. (way more corpulent than the old, more colorful species). I have two that I'm working on now with a real forbidding vibe which I think might be the most pure expressions yet. They’re totally flaunting their reproductive & biological structures, with so many incandescent pink nipples protruding & erect.

Okay, well that's all for now, lets catch up soon.


We hope you'll join us for the opening of "Woronowii Editions" on Saturday, September 17th, from 4 - 6 PM.