Frank J. Thomas
The patterns found in the sand, and then reflected in the glass, create a startling visual sensation as the viewer navigates around the installation: seeing both the object and the image of the object.
Kathrine Page, FUSION, (Delaware Contemporary website, 2018)
Movement - through space and time, to the left and right, in for a closeup and back for a panorama is essential to the experience of Connie's work. The shifts in scale that are such a vital component of her sand installations are equally important to her photographs and convincingly embodied by the way they play abstraction and representation off each other.
David Pagel, ATOLL (catalogue, 2007)
Pulled in close (to Zehrs' prints) you discover something unexpected: The tiny grains of sand approximate visible digital pixels, with which the images are made. Suddenly, Zehrs' provocative meditations on the natural world expand to encompass technology in a challenging and unanticipated way.
Christopher Knight, EPISODES, (LATimes, October 4, 2002)
Zehrs' sand pieces are like no other sculpture; they are deeply meditative, evanescent, ephemeral and implicitly performative. Giving form to the constant found in change has been the essence and subject of Connie Zehrs' work.
Roland Reiss, ATOLL (catalogue, 2007)
Our exchange confirmed that the mound embodied the artists persona - the self - and that the expressive content of the work paralleled events in Connies' life and in her observations of others. They were efforts to create physical and formal beauty out of the complexity of contemporary life.
Josine Ianco Starrels, ATOLL (catalogue, 2007)
One of the earliest of Zehrs' sand works consisted of identical diminutive mounds topped with upright eggs arranged in a minimalist grid - a kind of feminine riposte to the rigid steel and plastic structures that were so prevalent in the 60's and late 70's. . . . Part panoramic landscape, part ephemeral earthwork, her most recent installations have been more "painterly" with the addition to the sand of colorful dry pigments. Zehrs' perennial recycling and reconfiguring her materials embody and mimic natural processes in ways that pure painters can only dream about.
Constance Mallinson, ATOLL (Art in America, March 2008)
I get the impression it'd be damned hard to do anything ugly with these materials, so why load it with symmetry, plus the fine matte surfaces, plus the sexy little humps, plus the ambitious scale, etc.?
Peter Plagens, 15 LA Artists, (Art Forum, May 1972)
19 dozen eggs. To me, it represented a sea of infinite possibilities.
Connie Zehr, ORIGINALS: AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS, 1979
You'll never experience again the vulnerable surfaces, the wondrous hush or the exquisite gentle beauty of these temporal artworks. Or so we thought, until the Municipal Art Gallery scheduled a retrospective of Zehr's vanished projects.
Zehr has re-created scaled-down versions of six major sand installations for the exhibition and created a new one, (Criss Cross) on the floor of the gallery . . . an extraordinary assemblage of memory-jogging fragments . . . surveying the range of development of Zehrs' unique sensibility. Her work appears seamless because it consistently distills or translates nature in terms of the artists personal experience and poetic vision. She has also balanced an attitude of classical repose and intellectually ordered perfection with the voluptuousness and emotional pull of romanticism. She says she uses "matter as fact and as metaphor".
Suzanne Muchnic, FLASHBACK: 1967-1985 LATimes Calendar, February 10, 1985
A silence as of the beginning or the end attends the work, and, to echo Wallace Stevens, the viewer feels as if awake, he lay in the quiet of sleep.
Calvin Bedient, FLASHBACK: 1967-1985 (Art in America, June 1985)
Surrealism and Joseph Cornell, the art of Happenings . . . all might have had an influence upon Zehrs' work. . . . In fact if she has an ancestor, it might be the abstract painter Arthur G. Dove, who wrote:
We have not yet made shoes that fit like sand, Nor cloths that fit like water -- Nor thoughts that fit like air.
But Zehr, in a sense has done these things.
Eleanor Munro, ORIGINALS: AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS, 1979
I have yet to study with anyone more sincerely interested than you in the way a person uses the meat of his own life's experiences - along with its' gristle, gray matter, oxygen and blood - to create an artistic expression.
Sheila Lynch, (Off Main, Artweek, August 1997)
A continuous painted landscape establishes a desert mountain range on the walls. Two large rectangles of sand on the floor (one white, one red) divide a center aisle. A vertical (door size) piece of plexiglass is placed in the center of the back wall. The two sides left and right, can be read as different polarities: past and future, solid and ethereal, remembered and projected . . . a rod and a sphere on the left are made of metal. Their counterparts on the right are clear and crystalline. . . . A wedge-like pyramid with struggling figures on the left-hand table . . . are replaced by a found-object rock on the right. . . . By the subtle use of reflection (plexiglass), the viewer is brought to the recognition of his power to make a reality from these elements . . . we become the unifying and transforming force in the piece. The most unusual element in this installation is a triangular patch of grass. It's alive - a vibrating symbol of growth and fertility.
Frank Lloyd, HERE/THERE (The Register, February 18, 1983)
Stepped silhouettes painted on the gallery walls . . . represent the theater at Delphi. . . . A reclining male torso and two standing female figures . . . a wall piece that suggests a gushing source of liquid, represents the Castilian Spring. . . . A dolphin,Apollo as he turned himself into a sea creature. Zehr has made a surprising move from abstract evocations of Zen or Chinese gardens into more specific mythical context of ancient Greece . . . "thresholds of time and reality." The installation conveys a sense of awakening energy as well as a suggestion of supernatural communication. If this sounds a triffle muzzy, the beautifully crafted sculptures are surely more than they appear to be . . . they are not relics of history but live ideas, reverberating with possibilities.
Suzanne Muchnic, THRESHOLD (LATimes, September 27, 1987)
Zehrs' installation is a visual and mental reality flip entitled, "A WOODS IN THE CLEARING." It's a poignant piece with a poetic heart that ably uses scale to bring its' message home.
Suvan Geer, (LATimes, August 3, 1990)
. . . clear light bulbs of various colors . . . a long piece of black silk attached to the length of the wall . . . a small fan keeps the fabric in constant motion and creates waves of colored shadows above it . . . a long white ribbon . . . a long black piece of yarn . . . shadows cast by the curved edges of two small shelves. My attention focuses on the intangible elements: the sensuous movement of the fabric and its' shadows, soft fluttering of the ribbon in its' elegant dance - and the gentle whir of the fan. Regardless of where I center my attention, I am always aware that there is something else happening at the edge of my perception.
Chuck Nicholson, CENTER/EDGE, (Artweek, June 16, 1984)
For many viewers installations are frustratingly rooted in their site. No artifact or documentary picture captures the ephemeral works' insights or experience. Zehr, with her willingness to look at new technology as a high tech kind of simulated sand painting, has made a leap. Her documentation has become a poetry of its own.
Suvan Geer, EPISODES (ArtScene, September, 2002)
Memories of childhood days on her Amish grandfathers' dusty farm mingled with those of a dry dun India and its' little clay lamps, and with present feeling for a monochrome California landscape, provide the ground for creations that have earned Zehr considerable success and been exhibited in major US museums.
Eleanor Munro, ORIGINALS: AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS, 1979