Artist Reception Thursday, April 4th 5-7pm
Douglas Schneider’s paintings are multifaceted, conceptually rich collages of techniques, ideas, and source material. In energetic color, he blends figuration with abstraction, art historical references with contemporary motifs, text with image, and improvisation with structure. His canvases suggest intricate, nonlinear narratives, with characters seemingly in the midst of action or decision, while cars and other objects are often caught in motion. Schneider’s range as an artist encompasses gestural marks as well as meticulous realism; in each painting, he allows various methods to interweave. As he has noted, his use of “push-pull dynamics and the occasional use of illusionistic perspective against raw expressionistic brushwork gives the impression of looking deep into the canvas only to be thrust back to the surface.”
Visually engaging and complex, with interplay of opposites occurring on many levels, Schneider’s paintings spin fascinating conceptual webs. His current work delves into the paradox that creativity is both essential and detrimental to human survival: “We stand spellbound,” he says, “by our own creations. We believe that what we’ve created is bigger, more complex and more real than ourselves.” The paintings embed a multitude of references to climate change, including images of melting ice caps enlarged to the point of abstraction, and small quantities of sea water mixed into the paintings’ grounds.
Integrating abstract expressionism, conceptual art, and Pop art, Schneider’s influences are as wide-ranging as his interests and methods. The juxtaposed imagery in his work and the repetition of iconic objects recalls Pop pioneers like Warhol and James Rosenquist as well as postmodern painters like David Salle, Gerhard Richter, and Lari Pittman - while his fearless way of reaching across styles, time periods, and media reflects a wholly contemporary attitude. Each painting breaks down and repurposes material from disparate sources including film and vintage photographs, combining deconstruction with an impulse to create order out of chaos and weave tapestries from divergent threads.
Educated at the California College of Arts and Crafts and at Art Center in Pasadena, Schneider has exhibited across the country and is in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as numerous private collections across the country. He lives and works in Oakland.