NEW YORK, NY.- Marvelli Gallery
presents Mira Schor's first exhibition with the gallery.
In this exhibition of recent paintings, Schor explores the concepts of "voice" and "speech" in contemporary politics and art theory, inspired by an idea put forward in Michel de Certeau's The Practice of Everyday Life. De Certeau's theme is that there exists a knowledge that precedes theory and which retains "voice" even when "speech" attempts to subsume it. It is the knowledge that causes the city dweller to inscribe living patterns of usage onto the fixed grid of the planned city; it's the knowledge of the folkloric, of craft. He writes, "In turn, 'the voice' will also insinuate itself into the text as a mark or a trace, an effect of a metonymy of the body...a transitory figure, an indiscreet ghost, a 'pagan' or 'wild' reminiscence in the scriptural economy, a disturbing sound from a different tradition, and a pre-text for interminable interpretive productions." For Schor painting is a primary meeting ground between "voice" and "speech," a visual language with its own knowledge that theory is always attempting to repossess and contain. As a painter of language Schor bridges the gap between two systems of knowledge, returning "speech" to "voice." Her paintings are a meeting ground of politics, conceptualism, and emotion conveyed though the materiality of paint and the immediacy of drawing. In this paintings Schor continues to pursue a fiercely independent, intimate and intellectual studio practice rooted in materiality, experimentation, and intuition.
Schor's paintings in this exhibition are philosophical meditations on the place of painting in contemporary culture, on the visual artist as a thinker, on painting as a uniquely sensual space for the visualization of thought itself. The exhibition presents a few major themes or progressions along an idea: the idea of contemporary art, painting and theory, the idea of time in history and the life of the individual, and the idea of the dream of social change. Many of these paintings have a pastoral setting: in each painting a figure in a summer garden holds an open book and looks at ideas represented among the leaves of a shade tree, the private intellectual moment captured on a small, intensely felt, intensely worked painting surface, within the sensual materiality of paint. A figure wakes up to the words Voice and Speech written in cartouches hanging from the tree above her, another is surrounded by the terms of Conditions of Practice: "silence," "noise," "speech," "voice," "matter," and "visual pleasure." In another series of paintings in which Schor attempts to address the inspirational impact of the Occupy Movement on contemporary culture, she depicts the powerful metaphor of sleep as a transformative social act. She begins with a painting of a sleeping figure dreaming the words The Dreams of All of Us. Further paintings in the series follow that dream into the darkest part of night through to the open possibilities of morning, though that may also be part of the dream.
Schor's long-standing reputation for criticality and independence from art market concerns, including the critique of excess within her call for a painting that would be both "modest" and rigorous, makes her paintings particularly important to view at this time.
Mira Schor is a New York-based artist and writer noted for her advocacy of painting in a post-medium visual culture and for her contributions to feminist art history. Schor received her MFA in painting from CalArts in 1973. She is the recipient of awards in painting from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller, Marie Walsh Sharpe, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundations and of the College Art Association's Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism.
Schor has had solo exhibitions in New York City at Momenta Art, Edward Thorp Gallery, and Horodner Romley Gallery, and her work has been included in exhibitions at the Santa Monica Museum, the Armand Hammer Museum, P.S.1, The Jewish Museum in New York, The Neuberger Museum, and The Aldrich Museum. She also exhibits her work in Los Angeles at CB1 Gallery and in Bushwick at Agape Enterprise.
MIRA SCHOR is the author of A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life and Wet: On Painting, Feminism, and Art Culture, and editor of The Extreme of the Middle: Writings of Jack Tworkov. Schor is the co-editor of M/E/A/N/I/N/G, a highly respected artists' journal, and of M/E/A/N/I/N/G: An Anthology of Artists' Writings, Theory, and Criticism and the recent M/E/A/N/I/N/G Online: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Issue. She is an Associate Teaching Professor in the MFA Fine Arts Program at Parsons The New School For Design. In 2009, Schor was awarded a Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant to develop A Year of Positive Thinking, a blog which includes writings on contemporary art and culture to accompany and provide a positive counterpoint to the publication of her book A Decade of Negative Thinking: Essays on Art, Politics, and Daily Life.