Westville Gallery Celebrates Valentines Day With “Couples”

Article in New Haven Independent by ALLAN APPEL | Feb 11, 2016 3:56 pm

(photos provided by Zimmerman Fine Art Studio)


Forget those pulsating red hearts, those shiny diamond rings, the giant glistening chocolates, and all the broad-brush emotion and extravagant color of traditional Valentine’s Day contemporary iconography.

For a Valentine’s Day venue that eschews bombast yet celebrates pairing, try “Couples,” a holiday-themed exhibition of Kathleen Zimmerman‘s prints and sculptures.


It runs at the Kehler Liddell Gallery in Westville through Sunday; Zimmerman will be on hand that day to chat and talk about “Couples.”


“I find beauty in simple lines and forms,” Zimmerman has written, and she practices what she preaches in the generally small scale intaglio prints that line the central space of the gallery.


Zimmerman’s work — pairings in different formations and settings of images of animals, trees, musicians, watery surfaces, and lovers, among others — is all in black and white, with a touch of color only here or there, because, as she also notes, “I only use color when it adds to the meaning.”

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In this show the meanings have primarily to do with the effect on the viewer, as well as the artist, of dealing in doubles. As none of us is ever able to get out of ourselves, dealing in doubles seems a way to handle that thorny epistemological problem.

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“I don’t always work in pairs, but when I was getting ready for this exhibition I began thinking how I use them in my work,” Zimmerman wrote to this reporter by email. “Sometimes I use separate yet related work to make one visual statement. I use mirrored images to demonstrate the strength of a design. I look at two different ways of thinking in the same image and sometimes I even work back and forth between two dimensional and three dimensional media exploring the same idea.”


Zimmerman’s work is complemented in the front and back area galleries at Kehler Liddell by samples of the work of the cooperative gallery’s other artists.Some of them, like photographer Mark K. St. Mary, got in the couples frame of mind by showing paired works as well.  In St. Mary’s case, his intense, archival photo prints, almost microscopic views of sections of painted over, abandoned storefront doors, originally were in a grouping larger than two.  The others in the group did not converse with each other “tonally,” he said. So he pulled from them a single pair.

Note: Kathleen's exhibition Couples runs from January 14th through February 14th, 2016. Kehler Liddell Gallery is located at 873 Whalley Avenue in New Haven, Connecticut.