Joe Zucker

Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Since 1969 Joe Zucker has made pictures on an eclectic array of subjects drawn from art, nature, history, literature, life, and, of course, the imagination. His sources have ranged from Byzantine mosaics through boxing to life on the Bowery. What is more notable about the pictures, however, is the medium: layered arrangements of different-sized, -shaped, and -colored acrylic-soaked and rhoplex-stained cotton balls. The development of Zucker’s cotton-ball technique into a manipulatable tool of pictorial expression was evident in this one-person retrospective, which surveyed his career from 1969 to 1982.

Zucker first used the cotton balls as an aid to teaching color to art students; the earliest appearance of the technique in his work is in a panel of The 100 Foot Wall, 1969, one of the large, mixed-media, weave paintings that occupied his attention in the late ’60s. An outgrowth of his

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