This past Friday night a few of us decided to check out Zaria Forman's opening at Mark Murray Gallery on New York's Upper East Side.

The ArtStar team is a big fan of Zaria's work and her luminous studies of clouds over the sea are coveted by everyone in the office.

As a light snow fell and the temperature plummeted we ventured up to the grand mansion on East 72nd street. We were informed that we appeared youthful enough to climb the five flights of stairs to the gallery and, duly flattered, we did. There we found the adorable Zaria surrounded by a group of admirers in the gorgeous Murray gallery; more fin-de-siecle salon than downtown white cube with hardwood floors and richly appointed rooms crammed with books and art... *sigh*...

Between the 19th century oil landscapes Zaria's two large pastel drawings glowed like calm pools of reflection. Echoing John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, the Hudson River school, and Caspar David Friedrich, Forman's work explores the sublime effects of light on clouds and water. Says Forman, " I explore moments of transition, turbulence and tranquility in the landscape and their impact on the viewer. In this process I am reminded of how small we are when confronted with the powerful forces of nature."

The first drawing,Greenland (2008) was hung in a small study-like space off the vestibule, drawing the eye with its ethereal stillness, while our favourite, Svalbard, Norway, no. 1 (2008, above), was hung in the library between the bookshelf and a window against a pale yellow wall. The window overlooked a small alley and a brick wall and Zaria's image of clearing skies over a dark inlet took up its role with ease. One can well imagine a Whartonian heroine gazing at it and dreamingof far-off shores.

See more of Zaria's prints on ArtStar.

And be sure to visit her lovely website.



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