The work that I do as an artist vacillates between two-dimensional and three-dimensional projects. Starting in 1979, I have primarily done large-scale stone sculpture, often for Public Art commissions. This type of work began after a trip to India in 1977 where I was impressed and inspired by the stone temples and rock-cut walls and sculpture that I saw there. I took many photographs of these archeological and historic sites and referred to them constantly as references for my sculptural projects.
Having studied photography and exhibited for years before the trip to India, I continued with photo projects as my ‘private work’ as opposed to the collaborative process of making ‘public art’. I also began traveling to visit other sites and cultures in Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, North Africa and took photographs of the archaic structures and ruins there. These photos, like the ones taken in India, formed a library of images that informed and stimulated my work as a sculptor.
Some time in 1995, a visitor to my studio asked about the references for the new sculpture I had done and I showed him some photographs taken of the Greek temples in Sicily and southern Italy that had inspired it. Then the idea to publish a portfolio of these prints came about. The possibility of printing on fine art paper using digital files was suggested as opposed to silver gelatin prints. Iris fine art printing was just becoming popular and although the inks were less than archival, it was an exciting prospect to work with Nash Editions.
These are very traditional images, but framed with a modern ‘eye’. They refer to the long tradition of 19th Century travel photography and its fine-grained verisimilitude, but have been freely altered in large and small ways with the magic of Photoshop.
Elyn Zimmerman is a New York based artist, born in Philadelphia, PA, who works in a variety of media including stone, photography, and digital media. Her photographs of archaic structures and ruins worldwide serve as a personal library of images that inform and stimulate her work as a sculptor of large scale stone works, often for Public Art commissions. Her work conveys a strong longing for permanence in a fleeting world. The Iris digital ink jet prints in the MAGNA GRÆCIA series are, in the artists words, “very traditional images, but framed with a modern ‘eye’. They refer to the long tradition of 19th Century travel photography and its fine-grained verisimilitude, but have been freely altered in large and small ways with the magic of Photoshop.” Zimmerman makes a compelling study of the mutable imagescape of the ancient remains of the once flourishing Greek seaport colonies of southern Italy and Sicily.
Elyn Zimmerman studied psychology, painting, and photography at the University of California at Los Angeles, where she earned both her BA and MFA. Elyn has shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Gagosian Gallery in NYC, and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a CAPS Grant, her work is included in collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum in NYC.