defining - Seyburn Zorthian

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defining - Seyburn Zorthian
PHOTOGRAPH: ROBERT KNOWLES
DEFINING
GESTURES
Zorthian’s Free Jazz,
acrylic on canvas, 30x20 in.
S A N TA B A R B A R A
ARTS SCENE
Melodic Minor, acrylic
on canvas, 58x95 in.
demanding brushwork that remains a distinguishing element of her work.
Widely collected and frequently exhibited in galleries and
museum shows—including Solvang’s Elverhøj Museum and MCA
Santa Barbara—Zorthian’s paintings also grace Buttonwood Winery’s
distinctive labels. –L.D. PORTER
SEYBURN ZORTHIAN seyburnzorthian.com.
EYE CANDY
IT’S THE MUST-HAVE BOOK OF THE YEAR: Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires
& Riots: California & Graphic Design 1936-1986 (Metropolis, $55,
chaucersbooks.com) written by Ojai resident/CalArts professor/designer
Louise Sanhaus, lsd-studio.net. Ten years in the making, the 415-page
tome is an eclectic romp through 50 years of California graphic design,
including Saul Bass’s groundbreaking movie titles for Otto Preminger’s
Man with the Golden Arm, psychedelic
rock concert posters, the Whole Earth
Catalog, and John Van Hamersveld’s iconic
poster for the ’60s surf documentary
The Endless Summer—an enduring image
of the California dream. –L.D.P.
The Endless
Summer movie poster; Victor
Moscoso’s Neon Rose #12;
signage of The Sea Ranch.
LEFT TO RIGHT:
86
S A N TA B A R B A R A
SPRING 2015
PHOTOGRAPH: ROBERT KNOWLES
S
eyburn Zorthian’s
recent painting
series entitled
Rhythm and
Movement combines
the artist’s mastery of
Japanese sumi ink calligraphy
with exuberant large-scale
abstract color compositions.
A seemingly effortless balance
of sophisticated techniques,
these works signal a groundbreaking epoch for the
artist’s oeuvre. “My task,” says
Zorthian, “is to create an
expression of the soul conveyed through the body
visually, a lasting record of
something ephemeral.”
Raised in a salonlike atmosphere on a ranch in Altadena, Zorthian was exposed early on to art, architecture, and
music—especially jazz. Her father, artist Jirayr Zorthian, was
a bohemian lifestyle denizen; her mother, Betty Williams, founded
Buttonwood Winery in Santa Ynez (where Zorthian maintains
her studio). The artist’s passion for Japanese calligraphy dates back
to the 1970s during a journey to Kyoto, where she studied the

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