Bob Zoell has had a 50-year art career in Los Angeles and has been the recipient of the Pollack/Krasner and the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants. He is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and in 2001–2002 he was invited as visiting faculty in Advanced Painting at U.C.L.A. Zoell has shown his work and lectured in Japan, France, Spain and throughout the U.S. Since 2004, he has been commissioned for public art projects in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pasadena, Burbank, Denver, New York and Nashville.
Zoell’s work has been published in numerous books and articles -- most significantly, in 1983 he was the featured artist published in Domus Magazine, Milan, Italy and in 2000, his SELECTED WORK SINCE 1970 was published by If Publishing. In 2005, The Gansfeld Art & published a special 24 page insert in their magazine. In 2019 SKETCH (Paris), published a 32-page catalog “A BZ ARCHIVE”. He was also a regular contributor to the New Yorker magazine with seven published covers.
Born in Regina, Canada
1955 – 1962
Worked at various sign shops, printing shops and publishers. • Immigrated to Los Angeles from Calgary with a design various position at Richter & Mracky Design Associates in Los Angeles.
At 25 years old joins Saul Bass & Assoc. in Los Angeles as AD in charge of Corporate Identity and Packaging.
Opens design/illustration studio in Los Angeles.
Rents loft space and spends the next 30 years exploring abstract reductive formalism & representational painting.
Traveled to Japan to lecture and exhibit at Parco Museum. • Lectures at Art Center College, Pasadena, CA.
Did group exhibit at Los Angeles Institute for Contemporary Art • California State University, Northridge, and USC, Los Angeles. • Featured article on artist published in "Domus", Milano.
Traveled to Paris, show at Art Curial • Invited to exhibit in a group show "Homage to Herge", Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain • Lectures and exhibits in a two-person show at California State University San Bernardino and University of S. Calif., Los Angeles. • Lectures at USC, Los Angeles. • Does the seminar "Fine Art and Not So Fine Art" at Art Center College, Pasadena. • Published cover for Casa Brutus magazine, Japan.
Travels to Paris, France for "Artoon Expo '85" • Lectures and exhibits at San Jose Institute of Art, San Jose • Invited to a group show at PS 122, New York City. Group show Western Exterminators, 00 Gallery, Los Angeles.
Travels to Tokyo, Japan for lecture and Group Show "American Pop" • in Included
"Liberties en Peinture" Paris France • Invited to paint murals for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, (LACE).show
Joins Ace Gallery in Los Angeles with a solo exhibition.
"New Acquisitions", Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Received grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.
Received grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation • Visiting Faculty, Advanced Painting, U.C.L.A.
Invited to teach Advanced Painting class as visiting faculty at UCLA.
Selected, Metro poster project • Selected, public arts project, CRA: Ralph's Market at 9th and Flower. • Selected, METRO Columns, Wilshire/Vermont station, Los Angeles.
Selected, Milan Lofts, CRA, Pasadena • Selected, Santa Fe Art Colony exterior sculpture, CRA, Los Angeles.
Group show: New Yorker Cover Art, Norman Rockwell Museum, New York..
Group Metropolitan Opera/The new Yorker, at the Lincoln Center, New York, N.Y. • Commissioned public art project for The Burbank Collection, Burbank California.2008 • Selected, San Francisco Arts Commission, Glass Curtain Wall for the San Francisco Int. Airport. • Featured 24 page article in The Ganzfeld, art and design magazine • Solo exhibit, Wal-Art “I Wish I Was happy”, Los Angeles • Group Exhibit, Hansel & Gretel, for The New Yorker, show • IMOCA, Indianapolis, IN, 2008.
Finalist for Florida Marlins Stadium with a budget of $2M. , • Group show MOCAD (Detroit).
Selected for mural, Denver Police Facility Firing Range.
Selected Castaic Aquatic Center Glass curtain wall.• Selected Nashville Music Center Mural.
Two person show, Rachel Uffner gallery, New York.• Solo show “SPOTS” Pasadena City College, (PCC) • Invited to lecture By Gary Panter, Pasadena City College, (PCC), Artist in Residence.
In Sept., 2014, completed a 14’x 100’ mural “THE COURTSHIP” for a private gallery and home in Malibu CA.
Selected 3-story mural for Storbox, Pasadena CA.
Selected Mural for PS 464, New York NY. • Selected as semi-finalist for the Baltimore Purple Line Metro.
Selected as a finalist for Seattle Sound Transit - Redmond Technology Center Station.
2013 Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY.
SOLO, “Spots”, Pasadena City College, (PCC) Pasadena, CA
2009 Group show, MOCA, Detroit
2008 IMOCA, Indianapolis, IN
2007 Metropolitan Opera, The Lincoln Center,
(The New Yorker), New York, NY
SOLO, “I Wish I Was Happy”, Wall Art, Los Angeles
Gallery Met, Hansel & Gretel, The New Yorker, New York, NY
2005 The New Yorker Cover Art, Normand Rockwell Museum, New York
2000 SOLO, Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles, CA
1997 SOLO, Acme Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1996 Acme Gallery, Santa Monica
1990 Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1989 Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
1988 SOLO, Ace Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
1987 Otis parsons Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Michael Maloney Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1986 La Foret, Tokyo, Japan
SOLO, Future Perfect, Los Angeles, CA
Abstraction Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Gallerie Paridis, Paris, France
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1985 Gallerie Art Curial, Paris, France
Future Perfect, Los Angeles, CA
San Jose Institute of Art, San Jose, CA
P.S. 122, New York, NY
Group show Western Exterminators, 01 Gallery, Los Angeles
1984 Gallerie Art Curial, Paris, France
Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain
California State University, San Bernardino, CA
SOLO, 00 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1983 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
California State University, Northridge, CA
1980 Parco Museum, Tokyo, Japan
00 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1975 Los Angeles Institute For Contemporary Art
PUBLIC ART PROJECTS
2017: Completed installing custom ceramic tiles for 35’x50’ mural in Pasadena CA. • Selected as a semi-finalist for the Baltimore Purple Line Metro. • Selected as a finalist for Seattle Sound Transit - Redmond Technology Center Station
2016: Selected for PS 464, New York City 22’x 35’ mural. To be installed in 2018.
2014: Completed a 14’x100’ mural “THE COURTSHIP” for a private gallery and home in Malibu CA.
2013: Selected as a semi-finalist Lead Artist for the EAST-BAY BUS RAPID TRANSIT 45 station project in Oakland, CA with a $1.5m budget. • Selected as a finalist for the SILVER LINE METRORAIL PROJECT in Washington DC.
2012: Selected for a 15’x165’ custom ceramic tile mural for the NASHVILLE MUSIC
CENTER for a budget of $200,000. Completed June 2013 • Selected for the CASTAIC AQUATIC CENTER Glass Curtain Wall. Budget $90,000. Completed summer 2013
2010: Selected for the DENVER POLICE TRAINING FACILITY Firing Range to install two 18’x 56’ ceramic tile murals. completed Spring 2011. Budget: $98,000.2010, •Completed the San Francisco Arts Commission, a 10’x 100’ long glass curtain wall for THE SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. of $200,000. •Completed for the CRA, the SANTA FE ART COLONY exterior iconic identification sculpture in downtown Los Angeles for a budget of $55,000, • Selected as one of five finalists to create a 25’x400’ Glass Curtain Wall for the new FLORIDA MARLINS STADIUM in Miami with a budget of $2M. Note that this project was canceled.
2009: Selected by the City of Pasadena, Cultural Affairs, THE DALTON, 3 ceramic tile walls. Completed: Spring 2009. Budget: $90,000
2008: Completed 11 murals for THE BURBANK COLLECTION in Burbank with the Champion Development Group with a budget of $200,000 for 5000 of custom ceramic tile 2007 • Completed 5000 sf ceramic tile for MARKET AT 9th & FLOWER project for CRA with the CIM Group with a budget of $228,000.
2004: Completed four ceramic tile columns at the WILSHIRE/ VERMONT METRO RED LINE STATION for the Los Angeles MTA. Budget: $136,000.
QUOTES & REVIEWS
• For the past thirty years, the L.A.-based painter, whose work constantly pushes at the boundaries of this medium, has sought to get beyond the comforts of what has been done before so that something unforeseen might take shape – with greater clarity and precision than previously imagined, much less conceived.
David Pagel, Los Angeles Times art critic, 2000
• The complex association set in motion by his paintings attest to skillful manipulation
of the eye’s narrative proclivity to extrapolate. That Zoell can elicit, from a mere pip of a motif, these complex responses are achievement enough. That he can also infuse a gentle humor into utterly abstract compositions
is icing on the cake.
Michael Anderson, artist/critic for Art in America, 1987
• Bob Zoell’s articulated stick figure portraits in his FOOLY FOLLY series depict human foibles and idiosyncrasies with a surgical incisiveness that no other visual artist I know of has achieved - Zoell’s articulated stick forms are delightfully ludic portrayals of the divine comedy that is human activity delivered with wit, pathos and an exquisite singularity.
The portraits in the series are redolent of the earliest human visual art forms - cave paintings and hieroglyphs, where stick-figure depictions of humans were painted in profile. Zoell masterfully elevates these primitive art forms into the 21st century with acutely observed portraits of folly in human behavior which convey both levity and gravitas, a witty memento that our foibles often see us making fools of ourselves.
Michael Loughrey, novelist, 2019
• Something of a cartoonist spirit recurs in the quirky wheeled paintings. The inexhaustible wealth of words like "such" and "ing" and their graphic thereness, when merged with a formal purity of the rectangle, undermine and mock their stately being when set on wheels to be trundled around at will.
The large geometric formalist “spot” abstractions painted flat against flat become cartoony as well. A pair of unblinking eyes, dumb smiley faces and blimp figures like the Michelin man often in overwhelming scale seem to be grinning at us in discomfited amusement even while they speak to us as pure, hard-edged abstractions.
Peter Clothier, art critic, and novelist, 2000 and 2015
• At once perfect and perfectly fallible, then, Bob Zoell's paintings speak to us not only out of the quite of pure aesthetic contemplation but also out of the disquiet of our human being. It is in this rare combination that they find their strangely eloquent strength.
Ralph Rugoff, art critic for ART Magazine, 1985
Zoell's painterly cartoons, with brightly their comic-strip figures, have a buoyant lightness that's heretical to the canon of "serious" art and a studied naivete that's worlds apart from the dark, obsessive concerns Of outlaw culture. Zoell is directly concerned with the moral effect of art.
Ralph Rugoff for ART Magazine, 1985
Tony and Cindy Canzoneri, Malibu
Tony Krantz, Los Angeles
Glenn and Lena Bray, Chatsworth
LACMA permanent collection, Los Angeles
Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
Oakland Museum of California
Mark Mothersbaugh, Los Angeles
Julie Christie, London
CRA, Los Angeles
Bob and Rhonda Heinze, Studio City
Coco Shinomiya and Eddie Gorodetsky, Los Angeles,
Cameron Jamie, Paris
Philippe Ghielmetti, Paris
James Owen, Florida
Gus Zoell, San Francisco
Donna Zoell, Los Angeles
Michael Loughrey, England
Louis Lipman, Toronto
Gai Gherardi and Rhonda Saboff, Los Angeles
Raymond Pettibon, New York
Dan Nadel, New York
Paul Bruhwilder, Zurich
Maureen Raynor, Los Angeles
Don Kushner, Malibu
Peter Clothier, Los Angeles
Tim Reynolds, Houston
Fred Arbegast, Los Angeles
Ulrich Schneder, Los Angeles
Lisa Duardo, Modern Multiples, Los Angeles
Susan Fowlie, Toronto
Mark Paolucci, Palos Verdes
Jayme Odgers, Los Angeles
Ed Boswell, Los Angeles