Jay Zerbe • News Links

At the Axis of Color and Time: On the Paintings of Jay Zerbe

Jay Zerbe • Profile

Jay Zerbe

His bold, staccato brushstrokes develop a life of their own. Although he is able to tell when a painting is nearing completion, the exact moment when the painting becomes complete is always a surprise for Zerbe. Something clicks between the painting and his perception, and he knows immediately.

Rarely is Jay Zerbe's initial painting visible by the time his work is complete. He begins a piece by drawing or painting on primed canvas, referring to preliminary collages and drawings. After the first layer is down, he sets the drawing aside, referring to it only for color or composition.

Jay Zerbe completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from the American University of Beirut, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Indiana University. Zerbe thinks of the way he works as carving—using color to make the space appear deep or shallow, twisting, overlapping, and breaking up shapes. As layer upon layer is added, he rotates the painting frequently for a fresh view, each time generating new ideas.

Jay Zerbe • Statement

The contrast of chaos with order provides the structure for my work. The appearance of order breaks down under scrutiny, which mirrors my understanding of reality. My emotions seek pattern and rationality, while my intellect sees mismatched parts and ambiguous systems. The core of my work revolves around juxtaposing these diverse structures and their uncertain references.

Jay Zerbe • Biography


"Freshly Considered", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"sELECTED Works", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Slightly Obsessive", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"Kindred Spirits", Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Greenville, SC

"Abstruse Daydreaming", Lubeznik Arts Center, Michigan City, IN

Anthology 2016, Van Der Plas Gallery, New York, NY

"Let's Get Started", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Jay Zerbe", Buchanan Arts Center Buchanan, MI

"Process" (3-person exhibit), Hairpin Arts Center Chicago, IL

"Steamroller Artists", Lubeznik Arts Center Michigan City, IN

"Annual Fall Celebration", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

"Modern Twist", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Hop Skip & a Jump", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Steamroller Prints", Walnut Ink Gallery Michigan City, IN

"Steamroller Artists", Walnut Ink Gallery Michigan City, IN

"Zerbe: Small Paintings", ABN AMRO Plaza, Chicago, IL

"Working it Out", The Painting Center, New York, NY

"Zerbe: Large Paintings", 300 S Riverside Plaza, Chicago, IL

"Reveal/Conceal", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Zerbe: Collages and Paintings", Blink Contemporary Art, Michigan City, IN

"Ambiguous References: Abstract Paintings", Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

"Zerbe: Collage", Solo Exhibition, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, CO

Contemporary Projects Guest Artist, CAB, Chicago, IL

Solo Exhibition, Marji Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

"Natural/Constructed Spaces", The Painting Center, New York, NY

"Inaugural Group Exhibition", Park/Schreck Gallery Chicago, IL

"December Exhibition", Modern Arts Midwest, Lincoln, NE

"Remodernists", Las Manos Gallery, Chicago, IL

"Summer Exhibition", Modern Arts Midwest Lincoln, NE

Union Square Lofts, Chicago, IL

Texas National 2010, Nacogdoches, TX

Favorites From The MAM Collection, Modern Arts Midwest, Lincoln, NE

'Dreams & Revelations", Marin MOCA, Novato, CA

Studio Exhibit, Tony Fitzpatrick Studio, Chicago, IL

Modern Arts Midwest, Lincoln, NE

"The Salon Show", Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago, IL

Solo Exhibition of Paintings and Gouaches, Bernal Gallery, Chicago, IL

Solo Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings, Bernal Gallery, Chicago, IL

Bernal Gallery, Chicago, IL

Three Artists Exhibition, Bernal Gallery, Chicago, IL

"76th Chicago and Vicinity Exhibition", Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

"M.F.A. Exhibition", Indiana University Fine Arts Museum, Bloomington, IN


Large exterior mural, Michigan City, IN

Two large entryway paintings, private residence, Sanibel, FL

Site-specific painted murals, Dreamerz, Chicago, IL 


Jay Zerbe. Forward essay by Katherine Aimone. Blurb.

Paintings. Jay Zerbe. Forward essay by Phillip Larrimore. Blurb.

An Interview with Jay Zerbe, Claudio Parentela

Femmes Du Crepuscule, Evelyne Accad

A Visual Conversation: Paintings by Jay Zerbe, Katherine Aimone, Artswrite

Jay the Abstractionist, Peter Larrimore, Zeitquest

Jay Zerbe the Disaster Series @ Las Manos Gallery, Darrell Roberts, Chicago Art Examiner

Interview with Jay Zerbe, Norbert Marszalek Neotericart

Jay Zerbe, Lydia Murman New Art Examiner

Three Young Artists, Harold Haydon, Chicago Sun Times

Jay Zerbe, Derek Guthrie, New Art Examiner

Bernal Gallery to feature Zerbe, Gay Life

Screens and Bugus, Jay Zerbe and Farid Haddad, Beirut: Harb Bijani Press


Smithsonian Institute

Indiana University

U.S. Information Agency