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Tricia Zimic: Sins & Virtues

Tricia Zimic, Diligence ‘Kintsugi’, detail, 2021, Porcelain, gold leaf, 14.75” x 11.5” x 11.5”, Courtesy of the artist
January 22 - March 5, 2023

When I began the Sins and Virtues sculpture series, I decided to use Chacma baboons to narrate the stories. The animals have expressive faces that can sometimes seem quite lascivious; opposable thumbs that can balance stemware; and, perhaps most importantly, their provenance in porcelain is from MEISSEN’s famous Monkey Orchestra. It does also help that they look wonderful in those 18th c. wide-brimmed, feathered hats. I especially enjoy humorous fables and other narratives that center animals as primary actors in scenes that are, as the viewers know, actually about humans.

The work of German sculptor Johann Joachim Kändler (1706-1775) inspired me to make this series. While visiting both the MEISSEN Porcelain Manufactory and the Dresden Porcelain Collection, I fell in love with both the large and table-sized porcelain animals. These tabletop sculptures leveled up the figurines once made of sugar to entertain guests and stimulate dining conversation.

Each of my sculptures is one-of-a-kind and hand-modeled. I roughly sculpt out my figure from a sketch and then deconstruct the limbs. I refine the details, hollow out each piece and reassemble the sculpture prior to a 32-hour firing. Through the development of fine details, the individual personality of each animal and each artwork reveals itself.

After seeing Rembrandt, Franz Hals, and other Dutch masters at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, I painted a painted body of work that compliments and contextualizes my sculptures and can also stand alone.

~ Tricia Zimic

Tricia Zimic, Diligence ‘Kintsugi’, 2021, Porcelain, gold leaf, 14.75” x 11.5” x 11.5”, Courtesy of the artist

About the Artist

Tricia Zimic works in sculpture and painting using animals as narrative stand-ins for her unfolding dramas. Her work is influenced by the history of Dutch and German painters and sculptors. Zimic’s works can be found in many public collections, including The New Jersey State Museum, The Morris Museum, The MEISSEN Collection as well as many private collections in the United States and Europe.

She is working in an urgent and expanding tradition of artists who anthropomorphize animals to explore ongoing human dramas and character flaws, artists such as Walton Ford and Beth Cavener-Stitcher. Zimic is currently focused on works in porcelain, embracing the specific challenges of the material and its history as a narrative medium.

Zimic graduated from Parsons School of Design with additional studies at the New Jersey Center of Visual Arts and The Art Students League, NY. Before her career in fine art, Zimic worked as an illustrator for beloved children’s stories and cult-classic horror movies. She is also the founder and former curator of The Wildflower Sculpture Park in Essex County, N.J.

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