Zalman Berkowitz

I create lush color spaces over impossible geometries and boundless architectures. I like to explore Big Ideas with the work, and to encourage audiences to become participants. Direct Experience. All the ways... Neat huh?
About Zalman Berkowitz

Hello, thanks for your interest! Here is a little more about me and (maybe!) why I spend so much life making these art works- plus some favorite responses to the work over time. Go team!

One of my favorites is to put my focus on subjects that get deeper and evolve with relationship over time- so that the experience becomes richer, more full somehow.
Combine this curiosity with a feeling- a sort of need/desire hybrid to express myself sometimes maybe so that I am sure I exist- maybe so that I can forget myself and inhabit the action. Who knows? Hey, all the things. Here's more words:

“Vivid, highly organized, purposeful and playful abstract paintings illustrate the collusion of relativism, leaving impressions of the absolute.”

It’s like Techno-Jazz architecture, only in pattern, shape and color.

In my painting I work to reconcile ideas of economy and purpose with a hedonistic desire for luxurious color and dynamic hyper-solid forms that commingle with anthropomorphic squiggles and arabesque. The work is about change. I am fascinated by organized structures that evolve depth and wonder in my experience.

Zalman Berkowitz
Preferred Pronouns: He/Him
36" x36" oil on canvas original by Zalman Berkowitz
Dissipative Structures #1-4

“Dissipative Structures” is made of four 18 inch panels and took about a year to paint. The project began just after 9/11 in 2001, and ended on my birthday in 2002. Each panel begins with the same basic armature and then takes on its unique direction through the creative development of color composition. I was reading Ron Eglash’s “African Fractal” patterns at the time, and this notion of the possibility of an innate, intrinsic natural structure, a pattern to our lives here on earth, a “doctrine of signatures”…I still find that comforting in a post-9/11, post 2020 world culture. 

The panels are designed to fit together, and share a subtle circle. the series references patterns I observe in myself: struggle and despair, disciplined practice, purposeful action, and joyous celebration of the moment. each panel is accompanied by a short poem, which attempts to express the emotional state it was created in.

DS 1 :: [struggle]

I understanding

practice never perfect

all ways beautiful

there is joy

there is pain

and the refrain:

same, same, same.


DS 2 ::  [work]


intent to represent: dedication

the indication of motivation,

I!  pumping blood!


DS 3 ::  [purpose]

sun, moon and stars are 

Three expressions of creativity

so we are, and we be

this ethereal material

one breath, bliss.


DS 4 :: [being]


to suggest


the rest

give it the best:



Emotional Content (Bruce) 24"x48" acrylic and mixed media on wood panel original by Zalman Berkowitz
Emotional Content (Bruce)

“Emotional Content (Bruce)” 24”x48” acrylic, mixed media and resin on panel c2012 Zalman Berkowitz

Emotional content… not anger. The idea that there is a deeper power within our movements, what it is to be embodied and how that might feel within our sensorium- One of the earliest references I had from popular culture that seemed to point to this simple truth: No body that has ever lived has ever experienced anything outside of Consciousness. 

Sure all of that, some fun movies and the whole “bringing Martial Arts to the west” thang. Thanks Bruce! Good One!

Ramer Star 24"x24" dimensions variable, acrylic and mixed media on wood
Ramer Star
This was a fun project for the Ramer Gallery auction in Lindsborg, KS. There are secrets. 6 layers of paint later... the wood painting is mounted on a four sided french cleat, so the work can rotate to accommodate fresh viewing angles. Also, I incorporated some glow in the dark pigment, so when the lights go out, the art gets "turned on". Whups! 😉

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