Former Culver Resident Rosita Gottlieb Zucker Passes Away
April 28, 2016
Artist Rosita Gottlieb Zucker, a one-time resident of Culver City, has died at age 85. She was best known for images inspired by rainforest conservation in her native Costa Rica.
Rosita painted professionally for more than 50 years and mastered the art of painting with the spatula, the artist's knife. Her first exhibition was at the National Art Institute in Panama City in 1963. Over the years she exhibited in galleries worldwide, including Mexico City, Tel Aviv, London, San Francisco, Taipei, the Los Angeles area, and San Jose, Costa Rica.
Her rainforest images were featured in an exhibition at the Culver City EcoStation in 2001. Her last exhibit was in 2015 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
Rosita lived in a duplex at the end of Baldwin Ave. in Culver City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She painted in a workshop which she converted into an art studio. The studio was adjacent to a driveway and fence overlooking Ballona Creek. She used to say that after a big rain the sound of a full-forced Ballona Creek channel reminded her of the sound of roaring rivers after a tropical rainstorm in her native Costa Rica.
During her career Rosita gained a reputation as a bold colorist. Her primary medium was oil, to which she added marble sand, beeswax, wire mesh, and other materials, to create thickly textured canvases.
"Her jammy colors bubble and eddy across extraordinary canvases," wrote James Heard, of the London Arts Review, during a London exhibition in 1973.
"Her expressionistic paintings are a visual diary of her relentless spiritual search. She uses the knife to create a rich, hypnotic, multidimensional effect," wrote Aubrey Simpson for a 1994 cover article in United Airline’s inflight magazine Hemispheres.
Rosita studied at the Art Students League in New York and later in Mexico at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. In Mexico, she also worked and studied under David Alfredo Siquieros, one of the greatest muralists of the past century.
Throughout her career, Rosita’s artwork and exhibitions were the subject of many articles and reviews, including the Mexico City News, Mexico City Excelsior, Israel’s Yediot Aharonot, the Nairobi Daily Nation, Art Scene Magazine (Los Angeles), the Los Angeles Times, the American Club Magazine of Hong Kong, Taiwan’s foremost art magazine, and in LACSA’s World, the inflight publication of Costa Rica’s national airline. Los Angeles’ Spanish-language television stations also featured her artistic homage to rainforest conservation.
Rosita’s rainforest artwork, which was the focus of her painting for more than 25 years, can be seen at her website: http://www.rainforest-art.com “Vision of Hope” she called the series, to bring attention to conservation and the protection of threatened wildlife and plant life throughout the world.
Rosita loved and lived the arts. For years, into her fifties, she participated in regular dance classes – from ballet to modern. For the last 40 years of her life she was a devoted practitioner of Transcendental Meditation.
Rosita lived in numerous places during her life: her birthplace Costa Rica, New York City, Miami, Panama City, Mexico City, Tel Aviv, and in the Los Angeles area, including Culver City. Her last residence was Canoga Park where she lived with her husband, writer Martin Zucker.
Rosita is survived by two sons, Louis Gottlieb and Mark Gottlieb of Los Angeles; brother Irving Fields of Miami; two step-daughters, Carole Sauve Briggs and Chantale Sauve Pereira, of Ottawa, Canada; and beloved grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.