Stephen Schultz has traveled the path of a painter for many years, resorting directly to painting on a canvas, creating in his confrontation with reality a relation to the figure without ever sliding into immediate realism. “Paintings”, says Stephen Schultz, “are not meant to be windows to the real world, but go describe a step from this world to another, where time and action are suspended, in the same way that a play does not reflect reality, but rather amplifies it.” Today, Stephen Schultz takes yet another step towards the pursuit of the absolute. From the painter’s colour palette, to the restraint of black and white painting, to drawing, he shows us the way in search of the origins of art, for this quest for the essential, a more than ever contemporary mystery.
In Stephen Schultz’s work, drawing is not a preparatory step preceding painting. The artist has decided to free himself of the slowness imposed on him by the painter’s progress on the canvas, in order to savour the liberty which the lively and rapid lightness of drawing procures. His drawing seems to ignore erasure, marks the imprint of its passage without apologising for the gesture’s remanence, the graphic proof of a movement which comes from both the creator’s hand and the characters born from this gesture. This culmination of drawing appears, to me, as the ultimate step in this search in which the overflow of available media should be disposed of, and chromatic diversity and even diatonic simplification should be abandoned in order to access the line, a seemingly simple gesture which is in reality so complex.
Stephen Schultz was born in 1946 in Chicago, Illinois. He completed an MFA degree at Stanford in 1974 after completing undergraduate work at the Rhode Island School of Design and the San Francisco Art Institute. He currently lives and works in North Idaho.
Schultz has been the recipient of numerous awards including: a Tiffany Foundation Fellowship, Fulbright Foundation Fellowship, and a WESTAF/NEA grant. He has had solo exhibitions in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Boise, Scottsdale/Tucson, the Paris Gibson Museum in Great Falls, the Spokane Civic Center, the Salt Lake Art Center, the Museum of Art and Culture in Spokane, WA, North Idaho College, and the Verena Foundation in Hydra, Greece. Schultz has taught painting and drawing at Stanford, the University of Iowa, the University of Washington, the American Academy in Rome, and the University of Fine Arts in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.