Morgan Lehman is pleased to present, “In Chaos We Become The Ocean”, the second New York solo exhibition for California based artist Andrew Schoultz, featuring recent drawings, paintings, sculpture and installation.
In the past decade Schoultz’s work has ranged from large scale murals created in the public realm, to works of a similar aesthetic applied to paper, canvas, and sculpture-installation. Schoultz’s art in any context is an unyielding visual political discourse on the ailments of our contemporary society; the often tumultuous relationship between humans and nature, and the figurative and sometimes literal battles we encounter in trying to coexist. The shows title maybe a foreshadowing of where Shoultz believes we are heading, a return to the “ocean” planet caused by environmental degradation and global warming.
Schoultz continues to utilize the bright palette and fine pen and ink lines that have become a significant part of his visual language. The newest works maintain Schoultz’s tradition of eco-political minded symbolism, with the addition of a new element of layered foreground imagery. One could liken it to op- art, as thousands of drop-like marks lattice the picture plane and can be read as a mixture of tears, rain, blood, smoke and pollution. It is through this painstaking web of complex patterning which we can glimpse the artist’s messengers of truth. Often populating his narratives are tethered and angry battle clad horses, defoliating and severed old-growth trees, pyramidal all seeing (Masonic) eyes, ark-like ships atop stormy white-capped ocean waves and the praying “holy” man overseeing the apocalyptic landscape. His use of iconography and repetition create epic, non-definitive narratives that invoke a sense of immediacy combined with diligence. The critique is often of the ills of capitalization, globalization, neo-colonization and war. Schoultz’s work references a myriad of artistic forms including graffiti, medieval cartography, Indian miniature painting, and ancient woodcuts.
After traveling throughout the United States, Schoultz settled in San Francisco where the depth of urban art culture can be found, and is rooted in his work. The artist comments that, as a means of communication, the street is one of the last free spaces for “uncontrolled news and media to get out to the public…graffiti is the voice of the streets, if you want to truly know what’s going on in a city, read the walls.” Schoultz has had numerous international Museum and gallery exhibitions and has recently been nominated for the prestigious SFMOMA-SECA Award (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art).