Molly Zuckerman Hartung
Born 1975 in Los Gatos, CA
Lives and Works in Chicago, IL
In her gestural abstract paintings, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung takes a performative approach to mark-making. She cuts, twists, pulls, and dyes, deftly manipulating the materials of her medium. At times breaking from the two dimensional frame, her works verge on the sculptural. By performing these varied visual languages, Zuckerman-Hartung mines the history of painting and deconstructs its conceptual framework.
Zuckerman-Hartung’s sumptuous approach to materials is evident in Notley. The painting is sewn together from pieces of drop cloth, a material most often used to cover floors from errant drips of paint. She distresses the cloth pieces, sews them together, and then stretches the sewn material around stretcher bars. The resulting surface is intentionally not taut. When the painting fails “to hold, flatly, tightly, as painting,” Zuckerman-Hartung writes, it “could call attention to the attempt and failure to form a collective negation, in punk or in painting.” Counteracting this slack canvas is the aggressive language of dissent and negation inscribed on the work. It reads “NO.” This linguistic antagonism channels the fiercely independent poet Alice Notley, who said, “it’s necessary to maintain a state of disobedience against . . . everything.”
Molly Zuckerman-Hartung’s work is on view in the Museum’s fourth floor galleries.