Zen Word Paintings at Gleichapel

Gleichapel, an upper Marais Paris art space —describing itself as “a discrete, miniature and independent art platform— is showing an installation of Zen word paintings by New Mexico based painter John Phillip Abbott (February 9-March 24, 2019).

Abbott— known for his abstract color geometries and word paintings— explores the formal and pictorial properties suggested by such words as “Buddy Holly” “Fortuna” “Cosmos” “White Pontiac” and “On Any Sunday.”

About the “Zen” series, Abbott says they were never meant as a Buddhist principle… nor as a meditation device. For the artist the words in his paintings come from memories and personal experiences. In this case, it could be Robert Pirsig’s cult book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”or the fifties Zen inspired “Beat” poets. But Abbott notes that a contemplation of the meaning of the word Zen “feels right now, as a response to everything happening globally.”

John Phillip Abbott, “The Zen Paintings” (February 9-March 24, 2019) at Gleichapel, 15, rue Debelleyme, Paris, 75003. On view daily from 14H to midnight.