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Karen Schiff
updated: 07/09/2014
website: www.karen-schiff.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Untitled (Scrawled Figures)
Untitled (Word Totems)
Untitled (Words on Fire)
Untitled (Flame Letters)
Untitled (Crossed Words)
Untitled (The i's Have It)
Untitled (Stalactites)
Untitled (Thicket)
Untitled (Thicket) -- detail
Untitled (Light/Dark Map)
Untitled (Scratching)
Untitled
Untitled, detail
Untitled (Manuscript)
Untitled (Manuscript), detail
 
Portfolio Keywords:  books, abstract, mapping, meditative, process, site-specific, text, documentary, repetition, pattern
 
 
Untitled (Scrawled Figures) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Scrawled Figures)
flashe paint and colored pencil on paper
2012
17" x  14" 
Untitled (Word Totems) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Word Totems)
flashe paint and colored pencil on paper
2012
17" x  14" 
Untitled (Words on Fire) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Words on Fire)
flashe paint and grease pencil on paper
2012
17" x  14" 
Untitled (Flame Letters) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Flame Letters)
colored pencil and gouache on paper
2012
17" x  14" 
Untitled (Crossed Words) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Crossed Words)
flashe paint and colored pencil on paper
2012
17" x  14" 
Untitled (The i's Have It) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (The i's Have It)
gouache and ink on wood panel
2013
10" x  7"  x 1" 
Untitled (Stalactites) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Stalactites)
flashe paint and acrylic on canvas
2013
16" x  20" 
Untitled (Thicket) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Thicket)
flashe paint and acrylic on wood panel
2013
30" x  24"  x 2" 
Untitled (Thicket) -- detail by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Thicket) -- detail
flashe paint and acrylic on wood panel
2013
30" x  24"  x 2" 
Untitled (Light/Dark Map) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Light/Dark Map)
inks on laid paper
2009
9.5" x  12.5" 
Untitled (Scratching) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Scratching)
chalk and pastel on laid paper
2007
28" x  38" 
Untitled  by Karen Schiff
Untitled
ink on laid paper
2007
28" x  38" 
Untitled, detail by Karen Schiff
Untitled, detail
ink on laid paper
2007
28" x  38" 
Untitled (Manuscript) by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Manuscript)
sumi ink and colored pencils on laid paper (diptych)
2007
25" x  38" 
Untitled (Manuscript), detail by Karen Schiff
Untitled (Manuscript), detail
sumi ink and colored pencils on laid paper (diptych)
2007
25" x  38" 

Artist Statement

My artwork involves the visual forms and materials used in handwriting -- both the writing and the paper.  The textual production methods involved in handwriting (which is perhaps the original digital text, in the sense that it is made with the "digits" of our fingers) accesses layers of consciousness that are not included when we communicate through keyboards and screens.  So my work tries to access a language that lies beneath words.

Manuscript Drawings explore the funky visuality of handwriting.  I write about writing, then trace the contours of the written lines and fill in the resulting shapes.  The paint obscures my words so that even I do not remember what I have written:  the shapes are like the shadows of my thoughts.  Their lumpy irregularity feels like a manifestation of the subconscious mind, and it reminds me of other proto-linguistic codes that are difficult to decipher (such as standing stones or totem poles).  

Laid Line Drawings articulate the material qualities of paper, and give them visual presence.  I trace over the lines pressed into the paper by the wire papermaking mold.  My marks make visible the material conditions that underlie any drawing or text.  As I work on this project, I feel like I am not drawing on the paper, but perhaps drawing out of it, collapsing the distance between the page and the mark.  The resulting image is, curiously, extremely “representational” (because it reveals the paper itself), while it is also totally abstract. 

 

Artist Bio / CV

 

Karen L. Schiff

 

DEGREES

MFA in Studio Art, 2006, School of the Museum of Fine Arts / Tufts University

PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, 1998, University of Pennsylvania

AB/AM in Comparative Literature/English, 1989, Brown University

 

SOLO AND TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2014

Counter to Type, artist’s project (drawings; video <http://artjournal.collegeart.org/?p=4572>; essay, “Connecting the Dots / Hijacking Typography”), Art Journal, College Art Association, Spring issue

2011

Days of Hope and Bandages, Flanagan Gallery, CCRI, Lincoln, RI

2010

Belles Heures, Danese Gallery, NYC 

2007

Arlan Huang and Karen Schiff:  Recent Work, Jason Rulnick Gallery, NYC

2006

Residual Markings:  Tracing a Map, Mapping a Trace, with Armando Miguelez, Waypoint Gallery, Marfa, TX

from here, M.F.A. thesis exhibition, Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA

water marks film, Kingston Gallery project room, Boston

2005

Traces:  The Agnes Martin Obituary Project, 511 Gallery project room, NYC

Opening Lines, bf ANNEX, Boston

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014

Summer Show, Hverfisgallerí, Reykjavik

Art=Text=Art, SUNY/Buffalo, Buffalo, NY (invited symposium speaker)

2013

Art=Text=Art, Hafnarborg Museum, Iceland

Winter Reading: Lines of Poetry, diane birdsall gallery, Old Lyme, CT (also curator)

2012

Notations, Kemper Museum, Washington U., St. Louis

Cool Calm Collected, Danese Gallery, New York, NY

New York, Singular Drawings invitational (curator: Charlotta Kotik), Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock

2011

Drawn, Taped, Burned: Abstraction on Paper, Katonah Art Museum, Katonah, NY 

2009

New York, New Drawing: 1946-2007, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, Segovia, Spain

2008

Winter Drawing Salon, Björn Ressle Gallery, NYC

22nd International Juried Show, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (Juror: Carter Foster, Whitney Museum)

 

 

SELECTED RESIDENCIES

Yaddo, 2012, 2014

Wurlitzer Foundation, 2012, 2014

Anderson Ranch, 2011 

Edward Albee Foundation, 2007

Harwood Museum of Art, 2007

Vermont Studio Center, Artist’s Fellowship, 2004