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John Zinsser presents the Soddard Art Lecture

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New Canaan Library is pleased to announce contemporary artist John Zinsser will be the guest lecturer for the Library’s 2nd annual Stoddard Art Lecture  on Sunday, October 14, at The annual lecture series was established in the fall of 2011 through a patron’s generous gift in honor of Pat and Hud Stoddard and their many contributions to the Library and the community. A reception will follow in the H. Pelham Curtis Gallery.


Examining the influence of one artist upon another has long been within the realm of the study of art history. Zinsser will speak about contemporary art and its reference to the past, by examining the lineage of specific works.  He will also speak about the viewer’s increasing role in determining what they are looking, entering into a “parlor game” of sorts with the artist. Zinsser will give an informed, insider’s guide to decoding some of contemporary art’s deliberately difficult works to assist fans of all art, and contemporary art in particular, to increase the enjoyment of the art experience.


Zinsser was born in New York City in 1961, and moved to New Haven as a young child when his father, writer and editor WIlliam Zinsser, accepted a teaching position at Yale.  John attended an arts high school and was an American History major at Yale with a concentration in art history.


Zinsser first exhibited his paintings in 1981.  A major influence of his work is the abstract expressionist movement. After graduation, he moved back to New York, where he had the opportunity to meet and work with several important abstract expressionist painters. He has devoted himself to his art since then and currently maintains a studio in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.


Zinsser’s work has been part of major national and international solo and group exhibitions.  He has lectured widely on the topic of contemporary art practices and teaches at New School University and New York Academy of Art. Zinsser is the co-founder of the Journal of Contemporary American Art and a contributing writer for numerous publications, including Art in America and Flash Art. He is the nephew of Edward and Nancy Walworth, who were long-time New Canaan residents.


The Stoddard Art Lecture Series will enrich and broaden the community’s understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts in all its forms.

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