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Zack Wirsum

Zack Wirsum’s latest body of work attempts to refine the visual noise that has accumulated in his past painting practice. The seemingly obsessive linear layering and intense attention to detail along with vivid coloring remains, but restful passages of negative space are being incorporated to establish a compositional hierarchy and moments of ease. These latest paintings still emphasize a high variety of texture and breadth of spectrum with the continued playful push and pull of abstraction and figure, but as the practice advances the need for stillness pushes the process into new directions of exploration. As the son of Karl Wirsum and Lorri Gunn, Zack continues the tradition of important Chicago artists with his unique paintings style.

Zack Wirsum was born in Chicago in 1979 and currently lives and works in Chicago, IL. He received his BFA in painting at The School of the Art Institute in 2002 and also attended Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.





2002 School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BFA
1997-1998 Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
1994-1998 Gallery 37, Apprentice Artist, Chicago


Jean Albano Gallery, “A Stranger Still…”, Chicago, IL

Union League Club Chicago, “Awkward Silences”, Chicago, IL

2014 Jean Albano Gallery, “White Lies and Silver Spoons”, Chicago, IL, solo

H.F Johnson Gallery of Art, Carthage College, “Chance Aesthetics”, Kenosha, WI, group

Sidecar Gallery, “Ghosts Don’t Burn”, Hammond, IN, group

2013 Winter Blues, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
Wild, Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL
2012 Afterimage, DePaul University Art Museum, Chicago, IL
2012 Objets Extraordinaire, Highland Park Art Center, Highland Park, IL
2011 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL “Groupings”, group
2011 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL “Weakened Warriors: Outlines With Outlines”, solo
2010 TAC, Highland Park, IL, “Beyond the Surface”, group
2010 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, IL, “New Wave”, group
2009 Irvine Contemporary, Washington, DC, “Aspect Ratio II”, group
2009 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, “From Soup to Nuts”, group
2008 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, “The Baseball Show”, group
2008 The Riverwalk, Chicago, “Chicago Looks”, group
2008 The Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, “Art Futura”, group
2007 Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL “Problematic Problem Solving, the Puzzling Solutions of a Problem Addict”, one-person show
2006 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, “Relationships”, group
2006 Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago, “Wirsum-Gunn Family Show”, four-person show
2006 Lollapolooza, Chicago, “Who Arted?”, group
2006 Rotofugi, Chicago, “Teddy Troop Invasion”, group
2006 Aron Packer Gallery, Chicago, group
2005 Christoffer Egelund Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark, “Playing All Day”, group
2005 Nova Young Art Show, Chicago, VIP Lounge, two-person show
2005 Up the Stairs Gallery, Chicago, Around the Coyote: Curator’s Choice, group
2005 High Risk Gallery, Chicago, “Abstraction”, group
2003 A.R.C. Gallery, Chicago, “Surface Tension: The Graf Movement”, group
2003 A.R.C. Gallery, Chicago, “mommaCOMMAboy”, four-person show
2003 Betty Rymer Gallery, Chicago, “The Big Picture Show: Size Does Matter”, group
Chicago Tribune, 2010
Jettison Quarterly, Issue 3, 9/2009
New American Paintings, No. 77, 8/2008
Chicago Sun Times, 9/28/2006
New American Paintings, No. 59, 8/2005