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Minimalist Paintings by John Zurier

A monochromatic abstract painting made using deep green tonesStapi, oil on linen

John Zurier was born in Santa Monica, California, and now lives and works between Berkeley, California, and Reykjavik, Iceland. The artist is known for his minimalist paintings that tend toward a monochromatic colour scheme, focusing on the texture and arrangement of brush marks across the canvas.

An abstract painting on linen using Earthy, natural tonesAt Havalsnes, distemper on linen


Some of Zurier’s paintings, and the way he emphasizes the texture and materiality of the paint, call to mind the late Robert Ryman. Zurier’s works are obviously more colour-focused, and seem to take a more playful, gentle approach to this particular style of working. The artist works in a wide range of dimensions, with gallery installations displaying everything from letter-sized sheets to large-scale works as tall as the gallery walls themselves.


It’s interesting to note the tension between strict monochrome and more nuanced painting styles in Zurier’s work. The way the artist keeps his brush marks visible allows for minute variations in shade and tone, lending to a more voluminous look for his works.

A monochrome painting in bright blueUntitled

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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