Stephan Soreff & Athos Zacharias

Stephan Soreff and Athos Zacharias are New York art insiders who came to the scene when art was evolving from Abstract Expressionism into the movement of Pop Art.

Event Date:

January 2002

Stephan Soreff and Athos Zacharias are New York art insiders who came to the scene when art was evolving from Abstract Expressionism into the movement of Pop Art. Through their work both artists were able to find a space in the breach and develop their own styles. They have been friends for more than thirty years, participating at the "Artists Club" and as members of the artists cooperative movement on Tenth Street in the late fifties and early sixties. Zacharias is a painter and Soreff a sculptor of conceptual objects, sharing a common set of artistic values and beliefs. Both artists were fortunate to know, to work and to have conversation with artists such as Rothko, Esteban Vincente, Phillip Pavia, Nick Carone, and others who later became known as members of the New York School. Soreff has held two exhibitions at the Betty Parsons Gallery, the first gallery to show the New York School. Athos Zacharias stepped into the art world in the mid fifties as Elaine and Willem de Kooning's very first assistant. In a letter of recommendation of 1965, Willem de Kooning referred to Zacharias as "one of us". Zacharias' use of the physicality of paint as a building material of expression, combined with ready-made objects and a fascination for the emergence of pop art led to the development of expressionist pop art. Shifting between generations, Zacharias found a new inspiration with the development of electronic art. His recent works, influenced by experiments with computer graphics, are preoccupied with architectural motifs and multi-reproduced images. On display will be a series of paintings and computer generated prints, each image is painted in a different gamma, reminiscent of Andy Warhol's bright candy color multi-productions. Stephan Soreff displays a sense of irony and playfulness that unites him with Zacharias. They share a fascination with provocative speculations about art and the future. Soreff was ahead of his time when he began distributing his visionary art schemes as AGAR (Avant Guard Art Review) in the 1970s, "blending words and drawings in a compelling way". He works with found objects transforming real into imaginative, such as creating a conceptual installation of radio-sets mocking the age of information. His concepts include haired shoes or an illuminating face, work that evolves the mental element. Critics have called his works "engagingly hermetic" and "an artistic barometer of cultural directions".

Curator: Regina Khidekel

Athos Zacharias: "I conceive of the picture plane as being an energy field. I paint an abstraction of movement and energy. The light is colored, theatrical light. Composition is architectural and the space illusionistic. The painting is a still shot of a moving image. I coax the forms up out of my unconscious, where the mystery resides. The result is a painting that is an abstraction carrying along with it, a unique view of reality."

Stephan Soreff: "In my work, I fuse icons of past and present. I combine chance, prediction and isolation with layers of symbolism and meaning. Words that apply to my work are involvement, meditativeness, silence/noise, information overload, and, above all, risk."