Within the array of possibilities using inks, graphite liquid, and acrylics, Zimmerman defined several different formal strategies.
For certain drawings, she begins with broad strokes of diluted ink, creating a series of horizontal lines that establish a basic pulse of light and dark in the background of the picture. Atop this first layer, she adds darker, curved strokes, creating a series of dramatic accents in the foreground. The harder, drier ink of those strokes contrasts visibly with the softer, more liquid wash of the gray strokes beneath them. Sometimes curving strokes of a damp rag create a third series of pale, translucent arcs atop the lower layers.
In another group of drawings, Zimmerman transforms her work by abandoning the pictorial drama of intersecting lines and curves, limiting herself to rows of almost purely horizontal strokes. The remarkably expressive power of these works comes from the unpredictable way the gaps open and close between the dark horizontal strokes. Light seems to shine from behind the ink, emerging sometimes as a luminous gray glow, and sometimes as a brilliant burst of white.
In a third group of works, Zimmerman creates larger drawings by using sets of small drawings composed in a grid as one piece. Riverrun, was inspired by a waterfall, with its varied currents flowing in the same direction. In each of the separate sheets, the strokes of ink move rapidly from upper left to lower right, separating and merging as they descend, but the repetition creates an effect of relentless downward motion more intense than is found in any of the individual sheets. (The same relentlessness is found in the prose of Finnegan’s Wake, which begins with the cryptic string of words: “riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay…”). Zimmerman’s other drawings in this series also use repetition to intensify the sense of motion: vertical in Flume, horizontal in Sluice.
-Pepe Karmel, 2014