Yves Zurstrassen – Free
A name like Yves Zurstrassen, at least the correct pronunciation might not roll easily off your Anglo-Saxon tongue and it might be an artist that has not crossed your path so far.
I have to admit that I was not too terribly familiar with his oeuvre either and was therefore quite delighted to be able to acquaint myself intimately with how he traverses from the expressionistic abstract to lyrical abstraction or the other way around. The common denominator of Zurstrassen’s art his idiosyncratic approach to go far beyond temporality by playing with principles of collages, differently textured papers, the removal of paint, cut-outs and meticulous layering of colours and shades.
In essence, it really has to be seen to understand and fully appreciate how the layering of pigments interact with the underlying canvases and his calibration of application and withdrawals create a musicality that is accentuated by the often floral and wavy patterns he applies – a feat that is reminiscent at times of Matisse and Stuart Davies.
In many aspects, the way Zurstrassen channels his alchemy reminds one of the painted equivalent to jazz.
Zurstrassen is an artist who has created his own realm, independent from mainstream constraints, labels and categorical confines and given that, the tome could hardly have been titled better than “Free”.