Elizabeth Zvonar | The Challenge of Abstraction
Working in both collage and sculpture, Elizabeth Zvonar’s (BFA 2001) work utilizes strategies of aesthetic seduction and sex often found in advertising as a means of teasing out a possible metaphysical or supernatural undercurrent. THE CHALLENGE OF ABSTRACTION draws on advertising imagery found in luxury good magazines from an earlier era and fuses it with that found in contemporary fashion magazines. Zvonar’s positioning and iconization of the subject highlights their ability to act as the sacred.
In keeping with her commitment to material exploration, Zvonar’s current body of work explores expanded sensory mechanisms that trigger devotion by pairing visual and tactile objects with scent. Adopting the tools of ritual found in a variety of spiritual practices and merging them with the production of sculptural objects, Zvonar is interested in the interplay between the invisible and the physical world. During the installation process Zvonar will burn incense that has a specifically commissioned west coast scent. The partially burned sticks will remain as an element of the concrete cast sculptural objects. This quiet act, observed in the remains of the partially burned incense stick, reinforces the sacrosanct relationship of the meditative ritual of arrangement. Focusing on our culture’s enthusiasm for reverence, Zvonar makes work that both questions and opens up the possibility of the extraordinary.
Elizabeth Zvonar graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in 2001. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Canada at Artspeak; Western Front; Contemporary Art Gallery; Mercer Union; Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery; Vancouver Art Gallery; Oakville Gallery; Presentation House; among others. Internationally in New York, Australia, Japan and Belgium. In 2008, Zvonar was the inaugural artist at the Malaspina Print Research Residency and was an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the thematic Cosmic Ray Research. Zvonar received the 2009 City of Vancouver Mayor’s Award for Emerging Visual Artist; in 2011 she was presented with the Emily Award for outstanding achievement by an Emily Carr alumna. From 2012-15 Zvonar held the post of City of Vancouver Artist in Residence. Her work has been seen most recently in Canada in the group show On Stage, Recent Acquisitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery and in her the solo presentation, I really do believe the best thing a person can do with themselves is expand their mind at Gallery 295. Zvonar was the 2015 recipient of the Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA award.
Daniel Faria Gallery
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Text via Daniel Faria Gallery.