|NEW YORK, NY Coleman Burke Gallery is pleased to present the first New York solo-exhibition by noted artist Anna Schuleit. On view from October 22 through November 28, 2009, the show also serves as the inaugural exhibition of Coleman Burke Gallery New York formerly RedFlagg. Under the same direction as RedFlagg, Coleman Burke Gallery New York is affiliated with Coleman Burke Gallery Portland and Coleman Burke Gallery Brunswick, both in Maine.
The Schuleit exhibition, titled Two People Ago, features ten large paintings on raw linen and four multi-panel works on paper, all of which revolve around the human figure. Previously known for her acclaimed site-specific installation projects, including Landlines (2007), Bloom (2003), and Habeas Corpus (2000), Schuleit's work as a painter has been an ongoing and essential aspect of her practice-revealing a penetrating and original expression of the human figure. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalog with an introduction by writer Nam Le, an essay by artist Mark Wethli, and an interview with the artist by writer Honor Moore.
In this latest body of work, Schuleit employs few elements from the traditional lexicon of figurative representation, replacing them with her own distinctive vocabulary of shapes, marks, and gestures-some abstract, some representational-rendered through a wide variety of painterly means. While glimpses of arms, legs, and feet are readily discernable-represented by contour lines as faithful as a seismograph to every nuance of the model's form and every movement of the artist's hand-our overall impression is that of an energized field, one in which the paintings' artistic means and representational elements are equally apparent.
Schuleit's use of raw linen underscores this impression by foregrounding each gesture and brushstroke as an independent calligraphic element, but one which is integral to the ensemble. Not unlike the experience of viewing a Japanese dry garden, looking at Schuleit's paintings makes us simultaneously aware of both the literal nature of their materials and the multiple ways in which each canvas might be read and understood. What we also notice, as the eye ranges across their unprimed and largely untouched surfaces, is that these paintings leave little room for erasure or correction. It's a daring approach in which Schuleit runs the risk of losing the entire canvas at any given moment, but one which results in much more than a tour-de-force.
As we examine the sequence of marks and gestures across the canvas, this process-the time it takes us to register their effect and, implicitly, the time it took the artist to produce-supplants the role of spatial illusion: time, rather than the appearance of depth or volume, becomes, in effect, the paintings' third dimension. The longer we look, the more visible-and more revealing-the figures become. The bodies in these paintings might be clothed or they might not be (it's sometimes hard to say), but one thing is certain: the paintings themselves are as naked as can be, exposing both themselves and the viewer to important questions about what a painting is, what it can show us, and how.
By focusing our attention on the purely physical attributes of the work, Schuleit's paintings and drawings are an invitation to delve more deeply into them through the act of seeing alone. Made with no motive beyond Schuleit's deep commitment to painting and her ongoing inquiry into its potential, these works call upon the imaginative powers in each of us, amply rewarding the imperiled art of looking.
Anna Schuleit studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA 1998) and is the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. She also received residency fellowships at the RISD European Honors Program in Rome, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Liguria Study Center, and others.
Schuleit's work has been featured in exhibitions at The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Boston; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine; The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center; The Matzo Files, New York; Kaelin Gallery, Boston; the Mousonturm, Frankfurt, Germany; and the Carpenter Center at Harvard University, among many others.
Articles, reviews, and scholarly essays on Schuleit's work have appeared in the Washington Post, Newsweek, the Boston Globe, and others. She has appeared in radio and television interviews on Public Radio, CBS Boston, and on The Charlie Rose Show on PBS. More complete information about the artist can be found at www.anna-schuleit.com.
Coleman Burke Gallery (formerly RedFlagg) features both emerging and established artists working in a variety of mediums and practices. Coleman Burke Gallery is affiliated with Coleman Burke Gallery Brunswick, a site-specific project space in Brunswick, Maine, as well as Coleman Burke Gallery Portland, a storefront installation space at Port City Music Hall in Portland, Maine.
For more information contact:
COLEMAN BURKE GALLERY
638 West 28th Street, New York, NY 10001