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January 18, 2010 Sculpture or Painting? Cornelia Schulz at Project 4 by Tara Heuser The current exhibition at Project 4 art gallery exudes a lovely combination of contemporary theory and mid century style. The featured artist is San Francisco based abstract painter Cornelia Schulz. When looking at these fresh, innovative paintings it is hard to imagine that Schulz has been exhibiting work since 1962. While Cornelia Schulz’s technique has recently become more geometrically complex, a person unacquainted with her work might mistakenly assume Schulz was part of a younger Inexplicable," by Cornelia Schulz generation of artists. Each of the eleven paintings presently on display are comprised of multiple canvases assembled by the artist creating a sculptural effect. It is understood that Cornelia Schulz stretched and painted each canvas separately with an idea in mind of what overall shape the finished work of art will assume. The individual paintings are composed of three to five small, rectilinear canvases that have been attached to form one unified shape. However, a few of Schulz’s more recent pieces contain one canvas with a rounded edge that she juxtaposes with the rectilinear canvases. This seemingly small change provides a “Learning Curve” significantly more complex overall shape, which I found to be softer and more visually interesting. When viewed from afar, Schulz’s paintings almost appear to be painted sculptures and it is unclear whether she used canvas or another textile such as wood. Only when viewing her work in person can one tell the surface material is canvas. Cornelia Schulz’s work challenges the traditional idea of what constitutes a sculptural piece versus that of a painting on canvas. This is one way Schulz’s work reflects that of a potentially younger, emerging artist. p a tr i c i a s w e e to w g a l l e ry . c o m p a tr i c i a s w e e to w g a l l e ry . c o m Cornelia Schulz 2 of 2 There are aspects of Cornelia Schulz’s work, however, that are reminiscent of the art that was being produced during the 1960s, the time in which she was educated. At least one canvas in each work is comprised solely of flat, geometric shapes painted on top of a white or cream background, reminiscent of such iconic sixties artists such as Frank Stella and Barnett Newman. Schulz juxtaposes the canvases containing geometrically shaped paintings with those that display a much more abstract, organic design with heavy impasto. “Red Leaves” Again, when viewing from afar the multiple layers of paint go unappreciated. The combination of clearly defined geometric shapes mixed with fluid abstraction painted on multiple canvases of varying shapes and sizes produces a overall contemporary vision that is unique to Cornelia Schulz. The impact of these innovative, intricate pieces cannot be fully realized by online viewing and should be viewed in person.
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