Zaria Forman’s Latest Pastel Drawings Highlight the Fragility of Polar Ice

Fellsfjara, Iceland by Zaria Forman at Winston Watcher New York

Photo: Ben Rosser

For two decades, artist Zaria Forman has committed herself to creating art that speaks to Earth's changing climate. Specifically, her enormous pastel drawings of polar ice and the Arctic landscape highlight the urgency needed to counteract the warming of the planet. In her new exhibition Fellsfjara, Iceland, Forman looks closely at the polar ice that has accumulated on Iceland's black sand beaches.

Her large-scale drawings show this ice under a magnifying lens and render it in magnificent detail. The work is reminiscent of classic still-life art in that it honors an inanimate object and highlights its inherent characteristics. At the same time, it also addresses its fragility.

During her trips to Fellsfjara, which is located on Iceland's southeastern coast, Forman stumbled upon ancient, compressed ice. Enthralled by its complexity and clarity, she set about immortalizing all of the cracks, bubbles, and distortions that tell the story of its history.

“In close-up views of glacial ice set against the velvety richness of churning Arctic waters and black sand, these works add to Forman’s career-long contemplation of light and ice; of humanity and nature; of time spent and time left,” shares gallery Winston Wächter, which is hosting the show in its New York location. “Forman offers a nuanced clarion call, encouraging viewers to notice, appreciate, and protect the earth’s most vulnerable landscapes.”

The work, which was first previewed in Reykjavik last year, is a stunning evolution of Forman's art and a continued demonstration of how artists can work to effect change. Fellsfjara, Iceland, is currently on view in New York City at Winston Wächter Fine Art until May 4, 2024.

Fellsfjara, Iceland is a new set of large-scale pastel drawings by artist Zaria Forman.

Fellsfjara, Iceland by Zaria Forman at Winston Watcher New York

Fellsfjara, Iceland by Zaria Forman at Winston Watcher New York

Polar ice by Zaria Forman

Based on the polar ice she found washed up on Iceland's black sand beaches, the drawings show the ice's fragility.

Pastel Drawing of Polar Ice

Pastel Drawing of Polar Ice

Pastel Drawing of Polar Ice

This is the latest evolution of Forman's art, which has, for two decades, focused on climate change and the Arctic landscape.

Zaria Forman Drawings

Pastel Drawing of Polar Ice

Fellsfjara, Iceland by Zaria Forman at Winston Watcher New York

Zaria Forman: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Winston Wächter Fine Art.

Related Articles:

Majestic Pastel Drawings Explore the Beauty of a Glacier in Patagonia

Pastel Artist Captures America’s Most Beautiful Landscapes en Plein Air

New Hyperrealistic Pastel Drawings by Zaria Forman Capture the Spirit of Antarctica

Hyperrealistic Pastel Drawings Reveal How Climate Change Is Making Arctic Ice Move

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.

Sponsored Content