Biography

  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.

 

 

 

EDUCATION

Self Taught

 

SELECTED BIO

 

1940

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.

 

1965

At 25 years old joins Saul Bass & Assoc. in Los Angeles as AD in charge of Corporate Identity and Packaging.

 

1967

Opens design/illustration studio in Los Angeles.

 

1970

Rents loft space and spends the next 30 years exploring abstract reductive formalism & representational painting.

 

1980

Traveled to Japan to lecture and exhibit at Parco Museum. • Lectures at Art Center College, Pasadena, CA.

 

1983

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.

 

1984

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.

 

1985

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.

 

1986

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

 

1987

Joins Ace Gallery in Los Angeles with a solo exhibition.

 

1989

"New Acquisitions", Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

 

1993

Received grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation.

 

1994

Received grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation • Visiting Faculty, Advanced Painting, U.C.L.A.

 

2001/2002

Invited to teach Advanced Painting class as visiting faculty at UCLA.

 

2003

Selected, Metro poster project • Selected, public arts project, CRA: Ralph's Market at 9th and Flower. • Selected, METRO Columns, Wilshire/Vermont station, Los Angeles.

 

2004

Selected, Milan Lofts, CRA, Pasadena • Selected, Santa Fe Art Colony exterior sculpture, CRA, Los Angeles.

 

2005

Group show: New Yorker Cover Art, Norman Rockwell Museum, New York..

 

2007

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.

 

2009

Finalist for Florida Marlins Stadium with a budget of $2M. , • Group show MOCAD (Detroit).

 

2010

Selected for mural, Denver Police Facility Firing Range.

 

2012

Selected Castaic Aquatic Center Glass curtain wall.• Selected Nashville Music Center Mural.

 

2013

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.

 

2014

In Sept., 2014,  completed a 14’x 100’ mural “THE COURTSHIP” for a private gallery and home in Malibu CA.

 

2015

Selected 3-story mural for Storbox, Pasadena CA.

 

2016

Selected Mural for PS 464, New York NY. • Selected as semi-finalist for the Baltimore Purple Line Metro.

 

2017

Selected as a finalist for Seattle Sound Transit - Redmond Technology Center Station.

 

 

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

 

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

 

 

COLLECTIONS

 

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

 

 

 

  

 

  

 © 2019 by Bob Zoell