Birds of Prey, 2017 mixed media on linen, 84 x 60 inches
Karen Schwartz: Making Sense
ON VIEW: June 8 – July 11, 2017
OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, June 8, 6 – 9 PM
Karen Schwartz is an Atlanta-based artist working primarily in painting and drawing in a range of media. She has had solo exhibitions in New York and Atlanta, and she has exhibited in many group shows in the US and abroad. Her work is represented by Hathaway Contemporary Gallery in Atlanta and she is an exhibited artist at Yours, Mine & Ours Gallery in NYC. Her 2015 solo exhibition at Life on Mars Gallery was reviewed in Hyperallergic, The New Criterion, Tilted Arc, Painter’s Table and The Huffington Post, and her work has been featured in a number of other publications as well. Schwartz has works in private and corporate collections, and one of her portraits was recently acquired by The New-York Historical Society for the launch of the institution’s new Women in History Center. A practicing clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, Schwartz finds that these pursuits inform her artwork in fascinating, sometimes subconscious ways, and that her creative processes offer curious insights into her work in psychotherapy.
Creating art, for me, is a particular manner of thinking. It is a way of becoming aware of not merely what is on my mind, but also of what is in it—of how it is composed, how it works itself out, how it expresses itself in forms. I explore these presumably—though perhaps, I believe, not ultimately—less-accessible regions of thought in a way that I consider nonverbal, with a mindset that allows me to use the layered processes of painting and drawing to craft visual strata out of unformulated experience. Working in a variety of media and a range of scales, I make marks on or affix variable elements to my surfaces, catalyzing a true physical dialogue—in which my body more than my mind acts as moderator—between a desire to manually express something of my thoughts and experiences, and a compulsion to look, compose and create, driven by chance and the materials at play. Like notions of the mind itself, the results of my creative practice are both abstract and concrete; some forms are recognizable, others left in ambiguous states. This is where I am able to extend the dialogue beyond myself as maker to engage in an active conversation, verbal or not, with my viewers.