Contributed by Michael Brennan / It has sometimes been assumed that abstraction is unlimited in its possibilities. While that’s still broadly true, abstraction also has been exhaustively explored over the course of a century or more. All painting is organized around some kind of form. Abstraction is burdened with establishing form in the absence of figuration, the readiest and most natural source. There are only a few ways to define form without a figure – for instance, through geometry or gesture. It’s a limited playbook. Much of the success of Nola Zirin’s new paintings, on view at Mosaic Artspace in Long Island City, comes down to her bold expansion of the index of abstraction. Many are striking in their recombination of form and unusual mix of materials.