Thursday March 5, 2020 | by Nick Lykoudis

OPENING: Toots Zynsky celebrates the plumage of endangered birds in New York City exhibition

Toots Zynsky's solo exhibition at New York City's Heller Gallery, which opens on March 6th, borrows its name, "Red List", from the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The title speaks to Zynsky's recognition of the fragility of our ecosystem and calls attention to our world's decaying biodiversity. 

Zynsky's work, which uses fused glass threads to create rippling, organic-like sculptures, has been long celebrated for its unique approach to color and texture. Alexander Castro, writing in Glass #148, Fall 2017, describes her practice as being "sustained by ceaseless investigations into color, a search which embodies technicality as much as it does beauty." Her signature method, which she calls filet de verre, involves a custom-built machine, colored glass canes, dual burners, double-rollers, pliers, string, dry plaster, and a scientific method. 

Toots Zynsky, Pink Throated Double Spot Finch, 2018. filet-de-verre. H 5 1/8 W 9 1/4 D 6 in. courtesy: heller gallery, new york

Much of her past work features subtle, gradient changes in color, or colors rising and shifting next to each other. Her new "Red List" works see Zynsky pushing her boundaries with color even further. Her intense exploration of the brilliance and dynamics of endangered birds' signature coloration yields majestic results.

Toots Zynsky, Rose Crowned Fruit Dove, 2019. filet-de-verre. H 10 3/4 W 18 1/2 D 10 1/4 in. courtesy: heller gallery, new york

Works like Bald Eagle (2020), feature lines of textured, dynamic color against a clearer blue, their indistinct boundaries blurring almost like the fast beating of wings. This gives Zynsky's work a sense of animated movement. Feathery black threads open up into the blue mirroring an eagle's wing touching the sky. The brushes of yellow rippling against the dynamic white and brown-black is a brilliantly composed articulation of color that again implies a sense of motion while the blues on either side give the viewer a sense of space. 

Toots Zynsky, Cinnamon Headed Green Dove, 2018. filet-de-verre. H 11 W 25 D 8 7/8 in. courtesy: heller gallery, new york

An artist reception at the Heller Center on March 5th kicks off the exhibition and gives the audience an opportunity to meet and toast Zynsky's accomplishment. The exhibition officially begins the next day, March 6th and it will run through April 11th, 2020.


March 6, 2020 - April 11, 2020
(Opening Reception: March 5)
Toots Zynsky
"Red List"
Heller Gallery
303 10th Ave, New York, NY 10001
New York, New York
Tel: 212.414.4014

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