One of Brazil's most established artists, Zerbini uses a rich and luminous palette on a range of different subject matter from landscapes, cityscapes, and domestic scenes to those with a more obscure or even abstract intention. By juxtaposing styles and techniques, organic and geometric patterns, fields of light and shadow, he creates optical effects that beckon for contemplation. He is an artist that constantly multiplies the formal possibilities related to his painting and rejects any potential stagnation of established formula, making it difficult to define any linearity in his production.
In 1982 he graduated in Fine Arts from Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado in São Paulo. At an early age he studied painting with José Van Acker and later studied photography with Carlos Moreira and watercolour with Dudi Maia Rosa.
A member of the so-called Generation 80, which promoted painting again as the main medium, many of his early works are paintings. He has since worked with sculpture, video, drawing and photography. In 1984 participated in the famous exhibition ‘Como vai você, geração 80?' at Parque Lage in Rio de Janeiro. In 1995, he received the Grand Prize of criticism in the visual arts category of Art Critics of São Paulo Association (APCA).
In July 2019, Zerbini has a solo presentation in the group exhibition ‘Trees' at Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris. Zerbini had his first solo exhibition in a UK public institution in 2018, ‘Luiz Zerbini: Intuitive Ratio', at South London Gallery, London, UK. Zerbini has been the subject of major mid-career surveys at Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro (2014); Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil (2013); and Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (2012). Zerbini was included in the group exhibition ‘Southern Geometries, from Mexico to Patagonia' at Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France (2018–2019).
He has exhibited in galleries and museums across Brazil and the world and has represented Brazil at notable Biennales including the São Paulo Biennial (2010 and 1987); Bienal do Mercosul, Brazil (2001); Bienal de La Habana, Cuba (2000); and the Bienal Internacional de Cuenca (1996). He is also part of the renowned Chelpa Ferro group, participants of the São Paulo's 20th Biennial.