“I am so close to my paintings that I am surprised to hear comments describing them as intense, provocative or disturbing. Though I find them beautiful, some viewers see them as dark or difficult. For me they are simply what I must paint.”
“I carefully search for models whose features or expressions reflect my own feelings. And when I find the right model it excites an urgent need to paint.”
“I mix colors that aren’t colors, the model disappears, and technique becomes less conscious as I work. The images are elusive as they emerge and stopping at just the right moment is critical. I love the struggle.”`
Rita Zimmerman’s painting is traditional oil on canvas, straight-forward in its painterly approach, small scale and seemingly unassuming in its position vis-a-vis the avant garde. On closer scrutiny, it is up-to-date, related to the recent trend of figuration and a return to pure painting. Despite an active, attractive surface, the paintings do not present pleasant images, but rather disquieting ones. Their intensity is achieved through size,color schema and paint handling. The ambiguity of her subjects and their confrontational positions make dialogue inevitable. An honesty of approach and sensitivity of the painter are effectively translated into these paintings.
-John P. Begley, Directer of Louisville Center of Art, Kentucky.