Gallery  October 18, 2018  Megan D Robinson

Muralist Jeff Zimmermann Brings his Hyperrealism Indoors

Courtesy Zhou B Art Center

Jeff Zimmermann, Everything, 2015

EVERYTHING, accomplished muralist Jeff Zimmermann’s first solo show in ten years, opens October 19 at Chicago’s Zhou B Art Center. The exhibition showcases Zimmermann’s most recent work, including large-scale paintings, works on paper and sculptures. Celebrated nationally and internationally for his murals, Zimmermann uses pop culture imagery, combined with thoughtful portraits of everyday residents to celebrate and comment on the communities he memorializes in his murals. His use of “real people” subverts the media tendency towards lionizing airbrushed “perfection.” The trappings of urban life, from fashion to trash, combined with more symbolically charged images like pistols and political portraits, are skillfully rendered with almost three-dimensional precision, against a flat background of brightly colored geometric shapes.

Courtesy Zhou B Art Center

Jeff Zimmermann, Gold, 2017

The exhibition includes some extreme close ups of crushed cans, rendering urban detritus into gloriously tactile, stylized abstract shapes. The signature Chicago hot dog, painted with bold brush strokes, becomes a visual feast. The exhibition also includes a series of “Love Knot” paintings, a symbol which has become iconic in Zimmermann’s work. The expertly rendered frayed fibers of the rope almost seem to invite touch. The “Love Knot” is a nautical knot created by pulling together two different colored ropes, which are forced to work together as a whole. The knot shape is similar to a heart, creating a visual metaphor.

Jeff Zimmermann, Love Knot, 2018
Courtesy Zhou B Art Center

Jeff Zimmermann, Love Knot, 2018

Red Tumbleweed
Courtesy Zhou B Art Center

Jeff Zimmermann, Red Tumbleweed, 2016

Jeff Zimmermann, Love Chain, 2018
Courtesy Zhou B Art Center

Jeff Zimmermann, Love Chain, 2018

Zimmermann has exhibited nationally and internationally at numerous galleries and museums, and has created site specific commissions for Fortune 500 companies. He’s been featured on many media platforms, including the Today Show and the New York Times.

EVERYTHING: JEFF ZIMMERMANN runs through November 10 at Zhou B Art Center in Chicago.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.

Related Stories