Kristina Schuldt is Sans Souci (Care Free) @ Galerie Eigen + Art in Berlin
Wander through a collection of Kristina Schuldt’s paintings, and you are guaranteed to be drawn to their immediacy. Rather than confront, they invite, intrigue and present delicious food for thought. Galerie Eigen + Art's Berlin presents San Souci (Care Free), Kristina Schuldt’s fifth solo exhibition at the space, opening November 5 through December 12, 2020. The presentation will introduce the recent developments of her own pictorial language which regularly employs elements of Classic Modernism to create abstract figurative imagery.
While the title of the show suggests a lighthearted getaway, Schuldt uses that guise to paint large works in her signature Classic Modernist meets Abstract Figurative style that illustrates the contradictions and complications of life, even as we attempt to breeze through it. Intricate brushwork and smooth gradients wrangle with roughly drawn outlines, as subjects take a stance. "The motifs have a lot to do with me. What they are about is usually happening at the same time," the artist discloses to cultural historian Annekathrin Kohout. "For example, with the picture Muse, it’s also about not getting around to painting, that something always interrupts, that you’re always hindered. But I try to translate my experience into a picture that also stands for philosophical or societal problems that exist in wider contexts. And not just in everyday life in my studio."
In portraying female subjects equally adept at playing and fighting, submission and domination, both firm and flexible, cool and courtly, Schuldt champions her gender, then dismantles. "That’s how life is, after all: within boundaries, again and again, you try to rebel. Bodies decay and run off the rails, but at the same time strive toward each other, thereby resulting in a new form. That’s how one sometimes feels. Ripped to shreds—and then you have to find yourself again and put yourself back together," the artist explains. Her figures form from a tangle of tube-like limbs to illustrate her narrative. Almost bursting out of their format, they radiate an earthy, aspirational attitude.
Referencing art history, the Leipzig based artist has developed her visual language with modern references, especially works by Fernand Léger in paintings imbued with nods to Modernism, Surrealism, Cubism, and subtle nods to Flemish painting. Vintage-flavored clothing, platform heels and the blue glow of screen light create a time travelling aesthetic. "Around 2014, I began creating something like a collection of props on paper. I store it quite chaotically on the floor of my studio. It includes not only various shoes, heads, hands, and books, but also smartphones. I like it when there is a collision between these objects from differing realms." We like it, too. —Sasha Bogojev