Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to announce two-person exhibition of new paintings by Marc Handelman & David Schutter.
Marc Handelman’s new body of work explores the possibility of painting to engage ongoing questions of visual and ideological correspondence within an aesthetic lineage of the sublime. Working in the nuanced political modeling of 19th century American landscape painting and fascism, Handelman’s project makes visible (rather than re-envisioning) the spectacular technological facades of corporate and military power. Handelman’s current paintings are an attempt to contend with the visual and rhetorical construction of affects of seduction, persuasion, and power, and to explore a critical space of self-implication.
Selecting romantic tropes from current defense corporation public relations and ad campaigns, images are displaced, ruptured, veiled, and stained as they are imported from outside the pictorial field through a transferring process that distends the image into a series of veneers in a kind of virtual ‘pliage’, or folding. These successive pictures integrate and disrupt pictorial and material events; the effect is to obfuscate or void the very grounds which are themselves the cut-out fragments of an out-scaled corporate logo. The landscape image, as a ready-made, ciphers tension between a staging ground whose aesthetic language is ever-full but whose capacity to represent is correspondingly mute. Omission, cloaking, abstraction and mastery vs. the loss of control and self, become metonymic operations in both source and process. Corporate, individual, and representational identity are leveled in a visually unstable form, rendering the privilege of aesthetic contemplation literally unthinkable.
Handelman is a graduate of the MFA program at Columbia University. His work has recently been exhibited at such institutions as The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; The Saatchi Gallery, London; Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando; and Royal Academy of Arts, London.
David Schutter is interested in the practice of painting as a form of repetition that relocates the strata of our historical field. For each project, Schutter studies an historical artwork through drawings, notes, and archival research in an attempt to build up an actual and mnemonic bank of information on this work. These accumulated source materials are put aside before beginning the process of re-making new versions of the source paintings.
Featured in this exhibition are six works based on Jean-Antoine Watteau’s Fête Champêtre (1718-21), from the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago, as well as a group of ten works based on cloud studies by John Constable, from the collection of the Yale Center for British Art, installed in the salon-style configuration designed by the YCBA. Schutter has “re-made” each of the paintings in a one-to-one scale with like materials. More a phenomenological study than a test of memory, the paintings speak of reproduction as a form of engagement with the historicity of our contemporary situation.
David Schutter has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include Sight Threads, Sense Threads at Aurel Scheibler, Berlin; Afterpaintings at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Later this year, Schutter will execute a solo installation project at the National Gallery, Scotland.