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Mark Zimmerman

Nemo, SD

Suppose you grew up in square rooms, in square houses, in square towns of square states. In that case, you might find a square, or perhaps more properly, a grid, becoming an unavoidable form in your landscape paintings and an inescapable conceptual component in your view of land, in your idea of home. The subject of Mark’s work today is place, the landscape of the Northern High Plains, and the Black Hills, which he calls home.


Memories of place, the feel as much as the look, haunt Mark’s existence. String memories of multiple visions together, dump them on a canvas, and stir them into visual equivalents of place and memory, and you’re close to his artistic process. This is coupled with an appreciation for the slant and refraction of light, colors reflected to the eye by land and sky, textures underfoot and at hand, and the space, that fraught emptiness of these lands as felt, seen, remembered, and conceptualized. In varying and unpredictable combinations, all these interests provide the subject for Mark’s work.


Additionally, Mark hopes that elements of form, individually and in concert, delight the eye, satisfy an innate sense for quality, sound rich chords recalling spaces and lands remembered and dreamt, real and archetypal, and that the works engage both the intellect and imagination to resonate in the heart of the viewer.  


Born a bit early and way too late in Last Chance, Colorado, Mark is the eldest of two sons. Vagabonds across the High Plains and prairies, the family eventually settled in Fargo, ND, near a large extended maternal clan with deep roots on a family farm, which, along with expansively stretching spaces of a vast land running off to arcing horizons, had a powerful and lasting effect on Mark’s character, concerns, and work.


At Minnesota State University (Moorhead), Mark began a serious pursuit of fine art informed by earlier diverse interests. After graduating with a BFA in printmaking, Mark continued his education at Illinois State University, earning an MS in printmaking and an MFA in painting. 

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