Bastienne Schmidt reveals her latest book and the art that inspired it at an Artist Talk and Book Signing at Bookhampton in East Hampton on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 6 p.m. Bookhampton is located at 41 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937. For details on the event and to RSVP, click here.
Typology of Women, published by Jovis and distributed by D.A.P., features the essay ‘The Subversive Silhouette’ by Mimi Thompson, an excerpt of the second chapter of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own as well as selected art works from Bastienne Schmidt's latest series of the same name as the centerpiece to the book. The series was recently the subject of a solo show at Ricco Maresca Gallery in Chelsea in New York City.
"Typology of Women" features a series of hand painted cutouts of silhouettes of adapted female archetypes pulled from history and literature. By using “typology” (the study or the systematic classification of types that share certain characteristics), Schmidt visually articulates how female identities have been assigned and shortcut into singular visual soundbites.
The series of silhouetted paintings are rendered in hues of orange to reflect an ironic and feminist twist to Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own, according to the artist.
Inspired by Greek ancient ceramics and their thin lined figure drawings, as well as Japanese woodcuts, fairy tales and American pop culture, "Typology of Women" plays with archetypal forms and adds unexpected twists of visual and conceptual elements to infuse the work with enigmatic qualities. In doing so, the art beckons the viewer to come closer to examine the work and engage with both the art and the personal attitudes it may conjure on gender issues and the ways females have been portrayed in international cultures, both current and historic, in pop culture and literature.
Schmidt makes use of the silhouette and topography in order to emphasize the nuances of female identity, as both a gender and as individuals, rather than to reconfirm historic portrayal patterns or quick assumptions about female identities.
As foreward in the book, Mimi Thompson essay, The Subversive Silhouette, describes Bastienne Schmidt’s process this way:
“Schmidt uses both cultural and collective memory to investigate the history of women’s roles. By presenting varied outlines of female shapes that recall Cycladic sculpture, Matisse cutouts and paper dolls, she creates a collection of uncertain identities that span centuries from ancient goddesses to contemporary athletes....By replacing the flat black of the silhouette with a gestural orange, which often includes other figures and marks inside the outline, the viewer has a look into the inner life of the subject, perhaps at the private thoughts or history of this anonymous figure; the painting in the silhouettes, washes of glowing yellow and orange, flicker like small fires."
Typology of Women is the sixth book by Bastienne Schmidt. Previous monographs include Vivir la Muerte, American Dreams, Shadowhome, Home Stills and Topography of Quiet.
Bastienne Schmidt’s art work is held in collections by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the International Center of Photography, the Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris among others.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally including the International Center of Photography, the Brooklyn Museum and the New Museum in New York; Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg; and the Southeast Museum in Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida.
She is represented by Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York. In The Hamptons, Schmidt recently created a site specific installation for The Parrish Road Show at the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum. Click here to read a review by Eric Ernst. A profile on her art will publish shortly at Hamptons Art Hub.
BASIC FACTS: On Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 6 p.m., Bastienne Schmidt presents an Artist Talk and Book Signing on Typology of Women at Bookhampton, 41 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937. For details on the event and to RSVP, click here. For more art and information on Bastienne Schmidt, visit her website at www.bastienneschmidt.com.
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