In this exhibition John Bisbee and Anna Schuleit Haber's creative paths converge at the junction of abstraction and the absurd, which is where the title, The Needle and the Milkmaid, has come from.
Anna Schuleit Haber’s new paintings feature the imagery and motifs that she has developed in dialogue with the darkly comic fiction of the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. Each of her intricate, abstract paintings explores Bernhard’s long-standing obsession with intrigue, political corruption, trauma, and urban mystery. The absurdity of life in the stories is amplified in the bold visual vocabulary of the paintings. The paintings reflect the density and inconclusiveness of the stories without illustrating them. While Bernhard ends each of his stories abruptly, always without warning, Schuleit Haber appears to provide a chance for a more unhurried encounter with the material. This ongoing series of paintings is heading in a mischievous, hypnotic direction.
John Bisbee is Schuleit Haber’s inverse; a metal sculptor whose work, always consisting of nails, has emerged from the common ground between geometric and organic worlds and their tendencies for replication and repetition. In his new works, Bisbee reconfigures this relationship through diminishing scale, collage, line and narrative. There is now an immediacy to the notion of mutation as a dominant element. His work always is rooted in the materiality of nails and common spikes, but in this new body of work the steel is bent to create vivid and elegant abstractions such as “Infinity Pool” and “Common Mirage.”
About Anna Schuleit Haber
Anna Schuleit Haber studied painting at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work lies at the intersection of painting, drawing, installation, architecture, and community. Schuleit Haber’s works range from museum installations made with paint to large-scale projects in forests, on uninhabited islands, and in psychiatric institutions. Her live drawing commission for the stage premiered at New York Live Arts in 2012, and a series of live drawings were recently on view in the courtyard of the Hood Museum in Hanover, NH. Her current work revolves around seriality and memory. She has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard and was named a MacArthur Fellow for work that has “conceptual clarity, compassion, and beauty.”
About John Bisbee
John Bisbee attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and has taught Sculpture for many years at Bowdoin College. He has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. Bisbee had solo exhibition at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City and a mid-career retrospective at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. Bisbee is a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, a Maine State Individual Artist Grant (The Rappaport Prize). He received the Purchase Prize and the William Thon Jurors' Prize through the Portland Museum of Art Biennial Exhibitions.