Norman Zammitt was among the artists who pioneered Southern California’s Light and Space/Finish Fetish movement, known for his transcendent resin sculptures and expansive canvases of immersive color. A family man who was settled in life when the movement was taking off, he flew below the radar, while others — including Robert Irwin, James Turrell, Larry Bell, Craig Kauffman, Douglas Wheeler and Peter Alexander — became its biggest names.
Zammitt earned his MFA in 1961 from Otis College of Art and Design, where John Baldessari was also a student. In an interview with Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Knight, Baldessari said of Zammitt: “He could do anything. He was great. You know there’s always the best student at school. He was the best student.”
Because of their scale, Zammitt’s paintings went largely to institutions. Among these are MoMA, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Hirschhorn Art Museum on the East Coast, and LACMA, the Norton Simon Museum, the Palm Springs Art Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on the West Coast.
Zammitt died in 2007 after suffering a heart attack and stroke at his Pasadena home.