|SUSANNA SCHULTEN: LOOKING FOR WONDER
|"Gibson Monopoly" by Susanna Schulten|
To "look for wonder" would be to look for looking, wouldn't it. Wonderment, after all, is a state of beholding, of discovering, of being in the moment of apprehension and revelation--the point at which distance from the phenomenon gives way to a kind of fusion with it. But, to judge by the title she has given her exhibition of recent works, Susanna Schulten claims not to be looking for the phenomenon itself but for that moment at which it is revealed.
There seems to be a process of revelation in the paintings themselves, and certainly a process of discovery. Gestural and yet considered, furious and yet delicate, Schulten's images seemed dredged from a subconscious mind at once feral and childlike. She has revealed awesome creatures, but the wonderment they inspire is on not of fear but of tenderness and deep recognition: these surging monsters are the companions, even the guardians, of our dreams. Schulten's apparitions are universal, but her description of them is decidedly of its time and place. Even as she works in the American desert, she practices a syncretic European modernism - neo-modernism, if you will -- that conflates Picasso with beckmann, Appell with Masson, Matta with Giacometti, Kandinksy with Jorn. The persuasiveness of 20th century European painting is grounded in great part in its humanist sentiment, invested with all the anguish and frustration, confusion and hesitant hope a civilization that has tried repeatedly to drestroy itself can engender.
Susanna Schulten has removed herself to a seemingly more peaceful place (although, of course, the desert offers its own menace, human and otherwise); but in her studio she has unpacked baggage filled with cultural memories and scars. Back in the Old Country, such baggage gets repacked and stashed away; in the American Outback, it gets aired out and admired, a perhaps grim but only too human source of innocence, oddment, and wonder.
Peter Frank, Los Angeles, October 2014
Susanna Schulten is an accomplished painter. She received her MFA from the Art college for film/media and fine arts in Cologne. She has recently exhibited in Bangkok, in Cologne, in Los Angeles at the Leslie Sacks Gallery, The Goethe institute, Pharmaka , Optical Illusion gallery ( LA weekly pick of the week) and in Palm Springs Gallery 446.
Having grown up in a home filled with books, Schulten has never lost her taste for them. “I don’t want to spend too much time on my computer.” This day she is carrying around a paperback in German by the philosopher Hannah Arendt to pull out between appointments. One of her new paintings is named “Metamorphosis,” after another esteemed author, Franz Kafka. Her media include oil, acrylic, oil sticks, house paint, pastels, “anything you can paint with. I mix everything, sometimes on the same painting. ”Her work is in international collections in Los Angeles, Berlin, Cologne and Munich. She is also an accomplished actress and featured as a teenager in several German films with Film Director, Theodor Kotulla and Cinematographer, Igor Luther. Ms. Schulten received a scholarship from the Berlin film festival. In Los Angeles she worked on several theater and film projects with John Steppling and Padua Playwrights. Susanna Schulten studied film with the legendary Monte Hellman. There will be a short film playing doing the exhibit by Jeffery Frentzen and Susanna Schulten.
Artist Statement My Main subject in Art is Power and the abuse of it. I try to communicate this with an audience through my work in a universal human language.I believe if we don't stop abusing power in a destructive way we will destroy everything around us. Good art should reflect the state of the contemporary world and since we are watching daily the innumerous crimes against humanity.
Collect Susanna Schulten's work at Gallery 446 here.