Anna Schachte & Ryan Steadman
18 November to 17 December 2017
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Anna Schachte’s painterly gestures run free across her installation of new images. This body of work is hung in a uniform delineated mode that wraps around the gallery walls in a rapid fire manner. Within this organization, each individual piece has an autonomous framework dictated by a letter of the alphabet. Over the past few years Schachte has been developing her own lexicon of symbols. These icons appear and reappear on her canvases, interlaced among alpha numeric characters. Repetition of fluttering eyes, moving limbs, and celestial bodies are reoccurring components of the individual works. As a result, landscape, figure, and abstraction unite under one form. The adjacent letters resist the creation of words, instead addressing the speed of language itself. This celebration of rhythm and dance is reinforced throughout each painting via the sheer movement and bravado of pigment and brush stroke. Each work aims to be an exclamation and offering of exuberance.

By contrast, the paintings of Ryan Steadman present a glimpse into a world of stillness. Steadman paints each intimately sized work as an object, specifically rendering trompe l'oeil books. Upon close inspection, the weathered marks and illusion of pages are all fabricated by the artist. The perception of the paintings oscillates between abstraction and reality; the surfaces are rendered to describe real objects in space while simultaneously serving as an exploration of composition and color theory. Viewed en masse, the work becomes a meditation on that which can be viewed from the outside versus what remains to be ingested internally. The symbol of a book serves as a vessel in which floating rectangles, color fields, and bold shapes reside. The expansive spaces made within these miniature realms can be taken in slowly and cumulatively over time as if taking in pages of text. A few of the works are a compilation of paintings gathered and toppled together in balance but on the verge of collapse. These precarious piles of paintings further push the historical boundaries of writing and painting. Steadman’s work links the relic qualities of both painting and books, leaving one to ponder the transmission of language in our present-day culture.