Lives and works in Sydney
Represented by nanda\hobbs
9 November — 25 November 2023
Caroline Zilinsky is an uncompromising painter. Throughout her career, she has honed every fibre of her being to execute paintings with a detailed aesthetic sensitivity delivering potent messages about society with the force of forty thousand volts. From the underbelly of society to the madness of a world seemingly on the brink of implosion, her precise yet awkward methodology is ambrosial—unique in contemporary Australian painting, instantly recognisable and not easily forgotten.
Zilinsky’s powerful visual commentary is a profound cultural marker of time. We are undoubtedly at a point in history where long-held beliefs and social norms have been obliterated. Truth and fiction are blended in the Mixmaster of the Internet age. Art in moments of social turmoil can be at its most potent; aesthetic beauty comes from compositional cleverness and the relief one senses in the visual clarity of the artist’s vision. Painters Philip Gaston and Otto Dix, the economy of words of Ernest Hemmingway—these were the intellectual truthtellers working in the turbulent cauldron of the last century. It is an intoxicating canon for an audience that seeks a conversation with art that transcends fashion.
Zilinsky’s exhibition, For Whom the Bell Tolls, has become Snow White’s Magic Mirror to society. Unable to lie, the artist tells us the truth of a world that is not the fairest nor the loveliest; as Instagram influencers would have us believe. The artist is sharp and direct in her commentary. Yet, as always with her practice, her compositions have a poignant beauty and hypnotic seductiveness.
In the mid-15th century, the printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg. This mass dissemination of philosophical ideas would go on to change the world. The information genie had been released from the monastic and scholarly enclaves. Books and Bibles could be quickly and efficiently reproduced. Philosophical enquiry would eventually win from the heretical fanaticism—or would it? The too often repeated lessons of history are forgotten, and terrible errors are on generational repeat. Great moments of progress for humanity have a habit of sliding into a quagmire of self-servitude by those who possess power.
The use of information and manifestos professing the betterment of man are forensically interrogated by Zilinsky. The way we receive and process information and the morphing of language comes into focus in her work. Whilst technology has progressed, humanity has maintained the ability to ignore its most momentous acts of Utopian good and misuse information to lie and destroy. Zilinsky reminds us of the perilous challenges to our societal soul. Human nature seems set to undo good, yet the power of our reflection in the mirror of her painting collectively challenges humanity to take a different path.
Art Collector magazine features the work of Caroline Zilinsky on the cover of the OCT - DEC 2023 edition, just released—a major nod to the growing significance of the artist.
Your monthly art news on the run plus invitations to Nanda\Hobbs exhibitions and events