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August 8, 2022

More ‘About Time’

Elena Zolotnitsky’s exhibition at Paul Mahder Gallery extended

About Time is getting a second wind up. The Paul Mahder Gallery’s most resented exhibition, by Russian-born artist Elena Zolotnitsky, will stay on the walls until June 19, giving the residents of Healdsburg and any lucky visiting tourists an opportunity to experience the show.

It’s no wonder that the exhibition has been extended—Zolotnitsky’s work is a compelling, visual thought project that wants further contemplation, even for those who have already seen it. It’s a vastly revistiable body of work, as Zolotnitsky isn’t simply looking at a chair, a vase of flowers, a model’s face. Even a step further, Zolotnitsky isn’t simply looking at the light and shadow on a chair, a vase of flowers, a model’s face. Zolotnitsky looks and takes into her brush the intricate, swirling nature of matter and motion, woven from time, to create a subject that is a chair, a vase, a person. Her almost abstractions are an homage to the infinite circumstances that exist within a single object—the insisting multiplicity of color, light, texture, action and reaction. Says art historian Galina Tuluzakova of her work:

“Her portraits, and still lives are taken out of context, time and space. She is not interested in the individual, but rather in the archetype; not in the specific, but in the essential.”

Raised in Moscow, only child Zolotnitsky’s love of art came early, in a game she refers to in her artist statement as “playing secrets.” Taking the intricately decorated wrappers of chocolate candies—some of which featured minute replications of classic Russian paintings—she would delicately fold them and place them underneath a piece of glass, both of which she would then bury in the dirt of the playground. Then, slowly, Zolotnitsky would uncover the dirt from the glass, beneath which would be the wrapper, glittering and clear. In this process, Zolotnitsky felt herself uncovering the “mystery of the familiar,” and it is this same mystery she captures in her paintings. Seemingly common subject matter is represented with all the magic that can inadvertently go unrecognized as we move through the world in varying levels of desensitization. 

The Paul Mahder Gallery is a dreamspace for art display. The once vacant historic building, outfitted with 10 skylights and 30 foot arched ceilings, has become the largest gallery north of Los Angeles, representing over 45 artists from around the globe and featuring an enclosed outdoor sculpture garden with the largest moss wall in the United States. The space also hosts myriad cultural and community events throughout the year, organized by the nonprofit 222 Healdsburg Performing Arts, of which Mahder is executive director. 

Paul Madher himself spent 25 years as a fine-arts photographer, with shows in Paris, New York, San Francisco and more. In addition to and prior to the opening of the Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg, he successfully opened the Blue Room Gallery and the Paul Mahder Gallery in San Francisco. He works on a humanitarian level, directing programming funds towards such causes as homelessness, the developmentally disabled and those living with deafness. Mahder has curated over 150 exhibits, and brings a new and evocative solo exhibition to the Paul Mahder Gallery every eight weeks—though extensions can happen, if the work calls for it. View About Time at 222 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, Thursday through Monday, 10am-6pm.