Saturday, October 24, 2009


The review below appeared in the Loveland Reporter-Herald on October 14 in conjunction with Laurie Zuckerman's one-woman memorial altar exhibit at the Loveland Museum/Gallery, entitled "Memento Mori: Deconstruction of the Nuclear Family." My gratitude to Kenneth Jessen for his thoughtful interview with me, conducted at the museum on September 24, 2009.

[appeared on the front page of the Loveland Reporter-Herald]

As there is not an on-line version of this article, I have retyped this copyrighted article below:

"From the time she was nine, Laurie Zuckerman knew that she was going to be an artist. She drew and painted from an early age but also collected beads, buttons, and shells.

"She grew up in Los Angeles as the daughter of a famous screenwriter, George Zuckerman.

"Over her career, she has had many exhibitions, and her work is on permanent public display from Washington State to Virginia.

"Some of Zuckerman's art takes the form of altars, and of this she says, "I have no idea of why I am doing what I do I find myself collecting things such as religious folk art. It all started when I was living in Blacksburg, Virginia. I had had a successful career in the Pacific Northwest and found that there was little to do here as an artist—it was simply not an art-oriented town.

"Having grown up on the West Coast, it was the first time I saw images of African American culture. I saw bottle dolls that fit over the top of a bottle and were once used as doorstops. Collecting these items was both horrible and beautiful, and I ended up with mixed feelings."

"Zuckerman's parents had a troubled marriage and occupied separate portions of their home. When her father died, her mother didn't even have a funeral. The body was cremated, and someone was hired to sprinkle the ashes on the ocean.

"Zuckerman was denied the grieving process. This was yet another reason she started creating highly personal altars to family members, and in the process incorporated distinctive Christian images.

"Zuckerman lives with these complex altars in her home with as many as three in a room. It has helped her mourn the death of her parents, but she does not pray or light candles. She says, "They are permanent features, and I will always have altars."

"The antique stand for her father's memorial contains scripts he wrote for stars such as Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson and others. Some hold childhood family photographs. To put them on public display is obviously a brave move by Zuckerman. Priceless mementos, culturally specific antiques collected over a long period of time, items from her childhood that have deep, personal meaning, sit out for anyone to see. It exposes her very soul.

"Called "Memento Mori: Deconstruction of the Nuclear Family," this intense artistic expression is unlike any previous exhibit at the Loveland Museum/Gallery."

1 comment:

cconz said...

I loved reading your story. Your a very cool lady.