Iris Schomaker

DOING REAL THINGS
February 4 − March 10, 2012

On Friday, 3rd of February 2012, Galerie Thomas Schulte will open its third solo exhibition showing works by Iris Schomaker, entitled DOING REAL THINGS.

For some time now, Berlin artist Iris Schomaker has exclusively engaged in painting on paper. Her subjects are reduced to the essential: individual figures in empty space, faces wrapped in caps and scarves, landscapes, snow-covered mountains, and still, almost black bodies of water. Her work does not foreground figurative representation itself, but the iconic concept of the motif, which Schomaker compares to an afterimage from a dream or an image from memory: “The mountain in itself is a strong image that triggers many associations, and takes on a symbolic character. I am not interested in whether the mountain might be the Zugspitze or not. For me at issue is the idea of the mountain, a kind of primal image.” What is actually represented in the paintings is secondary in Schomaker’s oeuvre: the work is rather about the process of representation, about exploring painterly possibilities and the reproduction of atmospheric content. The artist finds her own original visual language in the tension between figurative representation and painterly abstraction.

In almost all Iris Schomaker’s works, the character of the drawing is almost entirely retained, for the layers of paint – watercolors, acrylics, or oils – are only thinly applied. The searching movements of the lines that document the process of composition appear through the glazed application of paint and fuse with them. The artist thus reveals the process of painting to the beholder. Her palette of colors is almost exclusively limited to pastels, black, white, or gray. By way of the streaks of water and paint that run down the image, the incomplete quality of the works is consciously emphasized. Her paintings are just as much about the process of capturing something in a drawing and the discovery of a painterly composition as they are about the motif itself and its atmospheric and physical qualities.

Schomaker’s large-format works are always hung directly on the wall without a frame. In addition, the motifs are all cut off and seem to want to transgress the format of the image. Through their composition and the way the figures are cut off, an aesthetic limit is touched; the pictorial space and the beholder form a compound.