Thursday, December 28, 2017

Zoë Shulman: The Allegory of Good and Bad Government

Zoë Shulman: The Allegory of Good and Bad Government
Runs January 12th – February 10th, 2018

Opening Reception
Saturday, January 12th, 2018
6:00pm – 8:00pm, artist in attendance

Second Opening Reception 
– To coincide with the juried Contemporary Print exhibition at the Flatbed Press –
Saturday, January 20th, 2018
6:00pm – 8:00pm, artist in attendance

Artist Discussion and Catalog Signing
Saturday, February 3rd, 2018
1:00pm – 3:00pm, artist in attendance

Exhibit and its events are held in conjunction with PrintAustin 2018
Other gallery events to be announced including Voter Registration events and fundraisers – watch the website and/or social media!

Camiba Art Gallery
(512) 937-5921

Open Hours:
Tuesday through Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: noon – 5pm

other times by appointment

For more information and updates on exhibition events, please visit

My second solo show, "The Allegory of Good and Bad Government", will debut at Camiba Art Gallery on January 12th!  

“The Allegory of Good and Bad Government” is a series of twenty digital painting and mixed media works printed on aluminum hexagons.  The prints are arranged as diptychs in which the virtues and vices of government, expressed as elaborate geometric symbols, contrast chiaroscuros within a candle-lit gallery space.  The exhibition’s large centerpiece juxtaposes good and bad government, while smaller meditations of the individual virtues and vices line the gallery walls.  Like a religious shrine, the diptychs offer a space for inner transformation, moral enlightenment, and salvation in the face of fascism.

The goal of this exhibition is to provide a vision of America’s democratic republic that is both morally introspective and politically active.  My process involves translating the fundamental allegoric structure of Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s medieval fresco, “Good and Bad Government”, into a system of geometric symbolism that conveys a moral American government.  Informed by cross-cultural symbols, biblical and religious themes, and the ancient philosophy of alchemy, this geometric symbolism resonates with humanity’s timeless aspirations and fears, prompting the viewer to compare idealisms between the work and their own political reality.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Year End Review Exhibit and Family Salon Wall

Year End Review Exhibit
Runs December 9th, 2017 - January 6th, 2018

Camiba Art Gallery

Open Hours:
Tuesday through Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday: noon - 5pm

other times by appointment

Camiba Art Gallery is launching the holiday season with a group exhibit highlighting solo shows from 2017 as well as a Salon Wall curated by Associate Director Emerson Granillo and featuring artworks by artists from our CAMIBAart family.

Artists include: Orna Feinstein, Zoë Shulman, Winston Lee Mascarenhas, Charlotte Smith, Rebecca Rothfus Harrell, William T. Carson, Margaret Smithers-Crump, Rachel Kalisky, Alejandra Mendoza Artwork, Leonardo Diaz, Julio Alba, Manuel Mugica, Román Eguía, Katy David, Mckay Otto, Tahila Mintz, Michel Muylle, Robert Jason Cross, Lorena Morales, Edward McCartney, Misha Penton, Matthew Gantt, Michael W. Hall

No need to wait until the end of the exhibit to take your artwork home - during this exhibit you may take your purchases home right away for holiday giving or to enjoying for yourself!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

MADI Museum Biennial: Origins in Geometry + Women & Their Work 2017 Red Dot

Great news, I have two upcoming art exhibitions!

Biennial: Origins in Geometry
The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art
3109 Carlisle Street 
Dallas, Texas 75204

Opening: July 28, 6 - 8 PM
Runs: July 28 - October 22

Biennial: Origins in Geometry is a juried competition to recognize excellence in emerging visual artists deriving inspiration from geometric abstraction.  Artists who are selected as finalists will be featured in an exhibit at the Museum July 28 through October 22, included in a catalog with other finalists, receive exposure on the museum website, and have the opportunity to win cash awards for their exemplary work.

This biennial will be curated by the juror, Magdalena Mujica de Arria.  Magdalena founded GraphicArt Gallery in Carracas, Venezuela, in 1976 and serves as its Director.  In 1992 she founded FIA (Feria Iberoamericana de Arte) and has been involved with this Caracas Art Fair since then.  In addition, GraphicArt participates in art fairs such as ArtParis, ArMiami, ArtLima (Peru), among others.  Magdalena is on the selection committee for ArtLima.

Women & Their Work

Opening: Thursday, September 14 from 7 - 10 PM

Also open for Austin Museum Day: Sunday, September 17 at 11:00 AM
(Celebrate Austin Museum Day at Women & Their Work, and enjoy a special game of RED DOT I SPY!) 

Join us for the 22nd annual Red Dot Art Spree!  This year, Red Dot will feature over 150 works by some of the best contemporary artists in Texas and beyond, boldface names and up and comers alike.  A silent auction will offer items and services ranging from art-inspired travel getaways to gift certificates from some of Austin’s most treasured establishments.  And, of course, there will be fabulous appetizers and cocktails, making this the perfect occasion for artists, collectors, and creatives to come together for a night of artistic celebration.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Allegory of Good and Bad Government and the Affirmation of the Moral-Political Self

"The Allegory of Good and Bad Government" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Normally, I make colorful post-structural (non-binary) work about emergent truth, contextual meaning, and relativism, as a both a critique of modern formalism and a means of providing space for me to exist as a queer woman in today’s art world.  But nothing is normal anymore.  The 2016 election changed everything for me, as a whirlwind of neofascism, corruption, and fake news infiltrated our executive branch.  Sadness, fear, and anger consumed me as I strained to make sense of the American political and cultural landscapes.  Within this frustrating “alternative reality”, I wasn’t always sure that two plus two didn’t equal five.  But ultimately clarity prevailed and I knew I had to take a stand.  In that moment, everything became black and white: I was an American and I made the conscious political choice to fulfill my civic duty, however small, to protect democracy and global stability.  And, as an American painter, this meant I had to make political work. 

To quell my anxiety, I took refuge in art history and traced the origins of western democracy back to depictions of Greco-Roman government.  During my research, I remembered a medieval fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti that I had visited eight years ago during a study abroad program in Sienna, Italy.  “The Allegory of Good and Bad Government” was a stunning sight, with an epic juxtaposition of good and bad government spanning three large walls.  In its composition, civic officers and magistrates are guided by stately figures, angels, and demons.  Other parts of the fresco not depicted here display the effects of good and bad government playing out across the city and country.  As the viewer stands in the middle of “The Allegory’s” moral ultimatum, they are forced to compare idealisms between the work and their own political reality.  In the context of today’s American democracy, the experience evokes a sense of responsibility in determining one’s moral priorities and how they manifest as a political choice with cascading effects.

"The Allegory of Good and Bad Government" by Zoë Shulman

It was then that the subject had become clear to me: I knew that if I could locate a moral definition of government, I could achieve my political goal of promoting a more ideal democracy.  My process involved translating Lorenzetti’s fundamental allegoric structure into a system of geometric symbolism that could convey a moral American government.  There was only one problem: How do I approach this flat, illusionistic fresco of seemingly dualistic and universally moral subject matter from my post-structuralist position?  I felt conflicted, as if I was arrogantly touting my moral superiority as the epitome of righteousness.  How could I take on such a proposition when the American political landscape has multi-dimensional complexity with connected and contradictory spectrums of truth that are relative to each individual? 

Central to my work is the concept that painting, whatever the painter's definition, does not exist in isolation.  I believe that it is relative to the architectonic dimensions of all other media, and that there are multiple “right ways” to paint.  Many of my paintings are made without paint, exist within multiple spaces simultaneously, and break down the frame by engaging the viewer’s bodily subjectivity.  For me, the wall presents an oppressive paradigm of purist-modern-formalist-objectivist dogma that has a history of excluding the perspectives of women, LGBT individuals, and people of color.  When I use the wall, it is with extreme caution and my primary intention is to inform the growth of my works off-the-wall.  From this vantage point, making a moral work of art for the wall felt like two plus two suddenly equalled the cow jumped over the moon. 

"Electro-Pop Lady Grids I & II" by Zoe Shulman

And then, an epiphany.  Intentionally-political art, regardless of morality or spatiality, is always about perspective, and it pushes back against the white male painter’s narrative of so-called “pure art for art’s sake”.  Furthermore, I realized that Lorenzetti’s “Allegory” was just that — an allegory!  It was not to be taken literally as a universal truth, but rather as his idealized Sienna, in which morality and politics come together to shape our pragmatism and give us a sense of control over the future.  And within the individual’s moral and political subjectivity, duality can exist and achieve affirmation through the frame and flatness.  So then I understood my need to flatten my political work and put it on the wall: I simply needed to affirm my values and locate myself within the larger American political zeitgeist.

Ultimately, we can acknowledge our subjective truth and still accept relativism as a larger condition of that truth.  This is the key to making any work active.  Fascists won’t appreciate the truth in what I'm making, and I think that's incredibly powerful and important at a time when democracy itself is being likened to mere “political correctness”.  For me, this is the real stuff of painting.  Being engaged in painting is more than just medium specificity; it’s a larger conversation about how our experiences get expressed through space, dimension, and surface so that we may delve more deeply into the nature of truth.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Topolograph Complete!

Hooray, "Topolograph" is complete!

Acetone transfer and graphite on paper
21 in. X 64 in.

"Topolograph" creates rhythmic asymmetry within a reflected composition.  Inspired by the self-similar growth of geomorphic drainage systems, its amoeba-like circuits connect and distort without breaking.  As the topological cardiograph pulses along a horizontal axis, a strange geometric organism emerges through currents of flowing energy.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Art City Austin Fair

Exciting news!

I will be a featured Camiba Art Gallery artist at the Art City Austin Fair this weekend!  The event will be held at the Palmer Events Center from March 31st - April 2nd.

For tickets and information, please visit

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Solo Exhibition Photos + New Projects

I'm happy to report that my solo exhibition, "Circuit Topology", had a great opening and run at Camiba Art Gallery!  I had a healthy turnout and even made a few sales!  Now that it has concluded, I'd like to post some photos from the opening night:

Photography credit: David Bailie

Chatting with fellow artist, Mr. Benini

With Troy Campa, Co-Founder and Director of Camiba Art

We did it!

Me with "Fachwerk" during my artist talk!

"Circuit Topology" got listed in the Austin Chronicle, Art Austin, and Glass Tire!

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Also, I have an update on "Topolograph":

"Topolograph" composition

Acetone transfer complete!

The real drawing begins... sensitivity, nuance, the Force.