Rob Vander Zee returns to Philip Morton Gallery June 27-July 15

RAL workshop June 28-29
"Red Olive Ridge," oils/glazes on wood panel by Rob Vander Zee.
June 26, 2014

Philip Morton Gallery announces the Saturday, June 28 opening of Abstracted Landscapes, an exhibition by Rob Vander Zee. Appearing both mysterious and ethereal, these new interpretations of abstracted landscapes offer the viewer a visual journey into the depths of the natural world.

Drawing on childhood memories, Vander Zee guides the viewer on a walk through the woods and renews memories of nature’s movement and vibration. Through these paintings a parallel world is created, a distillation of memories and dreams that combines reality and fantasy. “I am continually introducing myself to places that I have not yet seen, but yet resonate somewhere in my imagination,” says Vander Zee.

The initial strokes on the canvas create a disturbance that sets the painting into motion. The paint application visually mimics the process of shifting, cracking, hardening, and crumbling of earth, water, mud, and rock.

Vander Zee uses a complex layering system of oil glazes to achieve surfaces that offer both depth and luminosity. These glazes trap light between their layers, which gives each painting the feeling that it glows from within. His surfaces often have the feel of liquid pools of paint, allowing ephemeral figures to emerge and dissipate into the watery atmosphere.

Vander Zee’s goal is to create paintings that feel as if they are still shifting, changing, and moving through time. “I have no intention to replicate the world as it is, but rather as it could be, with infinite and sometimes bizarre possibilities,” he says.

Vander Zee’s paintings are exhibited in Estonia; Copenhagen, Denmark; and around the U.S. A recent series, “Visions of Paradise” traveled the United States from the Pensacola Museum of Art in Pensacola, Fla., to the William King Museum in Abingdon, Va. He recently taught and exhibited in New York City, and his work is quickly finding its way into many private collections throughout the country.

Vander Zee exhibits and lectures at many venues, sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for art. In the spring 2006, he opened the Vander Zee School of Painting in Old Town Alexandria, Va. The school is geared to students who are serious about becoming professional artists.

Vander Zee’s works will be on display at Philip Morton Gallery June 27-July 15. A discussion lecture and preview with the artist will be from 7 to 8 :30 p.m., Friday, June 27, at the gallery, and the exhibit opening reception is 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, June 28. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Vander Zee is also teaching a two-day workshop at the Rehoboth Art League from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29. In The 9 Elements of Masterful Painting, Vander Zee will use palette knives and glazes to show students how to manipulate the painted surface to create fascinating textures and transparencies that will provoke "visual vibration." Participating students will paint between lectures/demonstrations. Contact the Education Department at Rehoboth Art League for more information on the workshop. Call 302-227-8408 or visit

The Philip Morton Gallery is at 47 Baltimore Ave. between First and Second streets. For more information, visit Philip Morton Gallery on Facebook, visit, call 302-727-0905 or email