The artists that Schoultz engages with in the exhibition are united by fluency in a variety of techniques; therefore, rather than mastery in one specific medium, they work across media to develop an original voice and ideas through any means possible. In many of the works in the show, political, cultural, and personal identities become hybridized, interrelated, and wrapped up in the works themselves.
The works included appear disparate, spanning materials, subjects and styles, from Terry Powers’s painting of a painting studio, to Cody Hudson’s black mask-like steel forms, to intricate geometric graphite drawings by Louis Schmidt. Libby Black creates paper constructions of her favorite personal items. Taking a Trip, Not Taking a Trip (2015) includes designer swag branded with Louis Vuitton and Chanel logos and an archaic Walkman with a Whitney Houston tape—items that reflect her personal growth and developing taste, while debasing the idea of luxury. Patrick Martinez’s You Are Trippin (2015) similarly remakes familiar forms (in this case fruit and flowers), offering a modern conceptual context by looping them in neon borders. Each artist in the show has developed a distinct voice, yet is united by a similar tone: unserious yet practiced, and hyper-aware of the context for their work.
The studio visits that inspired this show took place across the country, from Los Angeles, Berkeley, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. As artists bounce ideas and techniques off of one another, styles and commonalities form, eventually becoming movements. This exhibition shows how works developing across the country become part of the contemporary cultural context. For an artist that lives and works in an urban environment, the studio visit becomes an important, yet rarely officially discussed activity that results in a dialogue with other artists, and often demonstrates how the work is connected to the personality of the artist themselves; as Schoultz comments, “Their art is a portrait of themselves in some way or another.”
May 4–8, 2018, Park Avenue Armory