December 29, 2004

Studio Visit: Frances Scholz

My friend Mark von Schelgel was in K?ln to spend the holidays with Frances Scholz, and I was happy to be able to see them again and toast the holidays. Frances is a painter and she was generous to invite my visit her studio.

I met her briefly at ChinaTownLA's Hop Louie a while ago, and I remember then repressing my impulse to pepper her with questions about her painting (I didn't want to appear too geeky... plus, there is only so much that can be said absent the work). When she suggested the visit, I leapt to it.

Her paintings -as you might see here- are painted in thin transparent layers that rely on images projected and abstracted as a result of the process. I guess I can relate to them as my early work (1992-96) traded in alkyd glazes and a concern for a drawing that lingers over the materiality of it all. Different stuff but similar coordinates.

Located just past the Turkish part of town, her studio is nestled between a funiture maker, a tailor and a restorer. She said she placed an ad as an artist seeking a studio that didn't garner results, so she replaced it as an art instructor seeking a studio that resulted in this place, the perfect place. She teaches at Braunschweig a 5 hour train ride away, one of the top 3 art academies in the country, its a big deal, a federally appointed position etc.

I was happy to see that I was not the only one who needed a nap now and then. ;-) Two skylights, big windows, large walls and separate storage... just what we all need. Note the single strip of flourescents above, a very European gallery lighting standard.

(I will intersperse images of her tools here in the meantime.)

In Frances' work, what came to my mind was the possibility that the painting also existed in the light cone of the projector, that abstraction came from angular distortion of the projection, the degradation of the image that is fetched up by the process and the peculiar manifestation of the changed imagery on the "emulsion" (the worked site of wet paint) where the brain/eye/hand is the catalyzing agent.

Another aspect of the use of projectors in painting is how one must choose which aspect of light to delineate from the projected image. Imagine, if you have not experienced this already, tracing an image form a pool of light on a surface. This not only introduces a profound level of abstraction but it also recalls the perceptual intricacies of figure drawing (or drawing from life in general) in which one must choose a limited set from an unlimited set. This is a choice that evokes the unlimited from the combination of chosen limits. (uh, does this make more sense to me than to you?) The evocation of the many from the few could be a foundational definition of art.


And below, a silkscreened work that for me evokes sculpture, maybe Brancusi. My first thought was that I'd like to see them 4 meters tall... and whatdoyaknow, she did make them bigger, bigger than that of human figure and I imagine with the contrapposto that it might imply. It would be wonderful to walk among them.

Once I got Frances' name (spellling) corrected, I was able to find links online. Here's one:

Frances Scholz - ROLLEN
Since the beginning of the 90s Frances Scholz more and more includes the space into the presentation of her works. She creates autonomous paintings, which she combines to ?space paintings?. Overlaps in time and space are characteristic of her works. The surface evolves to be space and space becomes surface, time flows into paintings, the paintings become film, the film becomes painting. These exchanges and their effects, also those between the different media shape the work of Frances Scholz.

Posted by Dennis at December 29, 2004 12:55 PM

Leave a comment