George Schulman "The Small Works"

M55 Art

poster for George Schulman "The Small Works"

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M55 Art gallery presents the solo exhibition of recent paintings by gallery new member George Schulman

These wildly colorful exuberant abstract paintings by George Schulman, on view at m55Art from April 13-30, 2011, range in sizes from 36”x36” to the more intimate size of 6”x6.” The works also contain content derived from nature, particularly landscape; mountains, trees, water and sky, and sometimes even employ forms which echo the female figure. And, in a sense, these are not unlike the implicit female figures appearing in de Kooning’s artworks, even when they are “landscapes,” which may in essence become landscapes of a thousand thighs.

The palettes are derived from the exaggerations of Picasso’s Synthetic Cubism in what I call “Candy Shop” colors like Juicy Fruit, Gummy Bear, and Chuckles Jelly candies, to those of luscious soda-fountain treats with rainbow sprinkles. And these are seen in some of the more recent cubist variations of Schulman’s teacher and lifelong friend, the 87 year-old artist Knox Martin. And though Knox’s stylistics were transformed through the work of his elders’ the Action Painters, it remains fundamentally planar, existing in flattened space. Now the colors in Schulman’s work are creating his own accelerated joyful carnival-like moods, and after living on rural Long Island for many years, surrounded by the trees, sky, and ocean, he has developed a style with more organic facets, which then combine, twisting and turning, create snake-like penetrations into and out of the picture plane, while none-the-less maintaining an overall tension on the visual surface.
Then there is the influence of Matisse’s Moroccan paintings, the flat ground, his snaking structures, outlandish combinations of hues and the drawing in changing colored lines. This then is followed by sparks caught from the work of other more contemporary artists like John Walker, Bill Jensen, and Gregory Amenoff with their painterly impasto brushwork, quirky forms, and unfamiliar abrasive colors. Then in 2009 George’s travels took him to Sedona, Arizona where its rugged red-clay, high-desert, rock-mountains, cactus and exaggerated plant forms totally ignited his already explosive appetite for natural forms.
Underlying everything is a Golden Section grid-work, which helps align the shapes’ appearance to be in tension with the picture plane, and establishes a foundation for mathematical or proportional, harmonies, much like chords in music. The shapes and patterns are inspired by floral motifs, which sometimes appear to be a spider-like web of strings, or a lathe of dots traveling the grid like snowflakes arriving to start their own patterned loam, and other times there are colorful wefts and warps thrown like patch-work quilts with their colliding areas of fabric patterns moving in cross-current tides fanning out in all directions.

These then, are paintings which fluctuate between using elements of mathematical logic and the harmony of Apollonian planning, and emotionally explosive linear dances on twisting whirlwinds in the unexpected palettes of Dionysius.

Written by George Parrino, Professor and Former Dean, Purchase College School of Art and Design. Former President, Kansas City Art Institute



from April 13, 2011 to April 30, 2011

Opening Reception on 2011-04-16 from 15:00 to 18:00


George Schulman

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