Slu Ball 012

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The Slu Balls (also spelled “Slue”), or Lacquered Kinetic Paintings, were first exhibited at the University of Kentucky in 1989. Zimmerman believed that “painting is essentially an astonishing art of illusion” and these paintings represent Zimmerman’s explorations in kinetic or moving/shifting perspective. Through combining elements of hard-edged geometric shapes with mechanical savvy, the artist creates an “illusion and a unique aesthetic experience” (Press Release, 1989). The kinetic paintings are fabricated from aluminum sheets that have been lacquered, inlaid and mounted on a lacquered aluminum panel. Behind this, an electrical motor powers the turntable, which creates the motion necessary for the illusion held within the walnut frame. When the motorized turntable begins its revolution, the elliptical discs within the panel appear to “move not in a circle, but in and out and back and forth through space” in a surprising display of optical trickery (Press Release, 1989). Zimmerman fabricated a total of twelve Slu Balls in a demonstration of the variety and potential to be found in the relationship between forms. He averred that, “Seeing, itself, is illusory. Perception is an intricate, complex process of integrating and interpreting visual experience. These paintings astonish via that process” (Wrye Artist Statement, 1989)