Our Visual Abstraction


Visual art does not have to present an image of something immediately recognizable in order to move the viewer or to be considered an important work of art. Mark Rothko’s calming color field paintings are a great example of the power that color, shape, and brushstrokes can have in a piece of artwork. Jackson Pollock created immersive environments with his large-scale drip paintings, evoking a sense of chaos and frenzy, while Piet Mondrian’s methodical grid paintings give the audience a feeling of stability and organization. ZIA Gallery is proud to represent three artists who work in an abstract or non-representational manner to create exquisite works of art that encourage creative interpretation.


Charles Gniech finds inspiration in surface.

Rise 40 x 40

His latest work explores the quiet, meditative qualities of prehistoric stone circles in Great Britain. Many of these monumental stone structures possess fluid surface-patterns that convey a feeling of harmony and tranquility. The color schemes are based on observations of color in the natural world, and their calming effect on the human psyche. Gniech’s paintings, although representational in a sense, can be interpreted in a variety of ways. He says of his work, “I have taken some artistic liberties, in the replication, manipulation and abstraction of the surface patterns found on these massive stone slabs, yet the work continues to convey the serene qualities regularly associated with nature and inner peace.” This series varies significantly from Gniech’s earlier work, which consists largely of portraits and figures with a strong sense of light.  In addition to creating work and exhibiting at the national level, Gniech also teaches, consults, and freelances. He is both a Professor of Art and the Exhibition Curator for Gallery 180 at the Illinois Institute of Art- Chicago.


Beverly Zawitkoski creates mixed media paintings from a purely instinctive, perceptive state.

Scape 24 Acrylic & Charcoal on Mylar

She does not create an initial plan or structure for her artwork, instead allowing the materials and mood to pilot her through the creation process. Zawitkoski seeks to express a particular mood, energy, and atmosphere within each piece, which she gradually builds by layering acrylic paint, charcoal, pastels, and other materials. Although the finished piece may not express a specific literal analysis, it is reflective of an essence of something. She primarily works from her imagination, creating surfaces that support and communicate a sense of ambiguity and emotional depth.  Beverly Zawitkoski has exhibited in over 23 group exhibitions across North America and Europe. She has had numerous solo exhibitions, in addition to receiving multiple awards and prizes in recognition of her outstanding work.


Deanna Krueger works abstractly, combining painting, printmaking, and sculptural elements.

Turbidite Small

Her work creates a visual aesthetic that is both primitive and technological, and evokes a different association within each viewer. Some works appear to resemble aquatic life, mountains or other geological formations, skies, stars, or scientific images of the miniscule. The process for Krueger’s current series begins with recycled medical diagnostic film layered with acrylic monotype prints. The film is then torn apart and the shards are reconnected into new configurations using thousands of staples. Of this body of work, she says,  “Serving as a marker of this time of transition, the materials speak to the recent evolution of information storage. When virtual documents replace paper, the lowly staple will become an artifact of an earlier information age. Modes of diagnostic imagery are shifting as well: X-Rays and MRI scans are increasingly being recorded solely in the digital realm.” Krueger strives for the obscure and mysterious, as her pieces explore the boundaries between what is real and what is unknown.  Deanna Krueger exhibits her artwork nationally and internationally, all the while continuing to teach art and design courses at Northeastern Illinois University.

The inspired, accomplished artists that we represent at ZIA Gallery work in a variety of styles, themes, and mediums. Come out to the opening of our annual Group Exhibition of Gallery Artists on August 3rd between 5:00 and 7:30 pm to see work by Charles Gniech, Beverly Zawitkoski, and Deanna Krueger, among many, many others!

By Shannon Gallagher, MAM



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