08/15/2013 Leave a comment
I’ve been following the work of Racine artist Phil Schultz ever since I saw his “The Wish to Change” in Kate Remington’s wonderful gallery about three years ago. This arc welded steel tabletop sculpture presents a scrawny horseback rider standing dangerously upright, stepping off the back of his mount as he attempts to walk in the opposite direction his horse is going. Like much of Schultz’s sculptures “The Wish to Change” has a primitivist outsider angst-ridden sensibility. Made from small bits of scrap steel joined together, its entire surface is decorated with raised metal droplets that both hold the piece together and demarcate an obsessive linear pattern. Later I encountered a small exhibition of Schultz’s more light-hearted colorful non-representational paintings, each with hand-crafted frame made of cast off materials which prompted me to write a blog post and prompted Schultz to invite me for a tour of his studio.
Schultz’s home and studio are remarkable. For the past thirty years he has lived in a small subsidized one bedroom apartment where he’s produced a vast body of artwork which has remained largely hidden from public view. There are sculptures everywhere–on the mantel, tucked behind chairs, sitting on the floor, pushed under tables. The walls of his living spaces are filled with his paintings, each with its uniquely patterned frame. Over the years Schultz managed to expand into the attic of house where he rents, making it a painting studio and frame building workshop. He’s taken over parts of the dank basement for his welding and silicon mold making.
Schultz is also a writer. He has written several plays, a paper on linear perspective and optics, and nearly 15 thousand sonnets. Aside from his commitment to his art practice, Schultz has been on a quest or the last twenty years to design and advocate for safer more accessible and affordable automobiles. He refers to this as his “Urban Vehicle” work. he has made a series of part engineering/part fantasy designs and has taped a four-part cable access video program devoted to this ongoing project.
The day I first visited Schultz’s home I began to dream of an exhibition that would capture both the rich variety of Schultz’s work and the character of his life, his home and studio. I’m happy to announce that this exhibition “Phillip Schultz: One End of Forever” is on view at UW-Parkside Gallery September 4 – November 8, 2013.
UW-Parkside Foundation Gallery is located in the Rita Tallent Picken Center for Art and Humanities on the UW-Parkside campus in Kenosha Wisconsin.
Artist’s Reception: October 16, 4:30 – 6:30 pm
Curator’s talk: October 16, 1:00pm.