Gramercy Post is pleased to open its collaboration with emerging artists with an exhibition of work by Denise Schatz curated by Monica Espinel. Schatz makes collages and works on paper, using magazine cut-outs, graphite and colored pencils. She creates delicate, layered scenes where animals, molecules, body parts and plants collide and coexist, free from the viewer’s prior associations.
Schatz’s visual vocabulary opens itself up to a variety of references ranging from the prints of Albrecht Dürer and 17th Century Dutch still life, to surrealist figures such as Max Ernst. Schatz juxtaposes images that she gathers from her sketches and clippings, deftly constructing miniature incidents, explosions, and force lines that envelop her characters. Through recurring motifs of birds and hares, Schatz invents her own highly personalized language, a relaxed naturalism that seems a bit childlike at moments in its conviction that the world is an enchanted, yet dire place. In her work, Schatz deals with conflicting themes of traditional beauty and raw beauty, its energy and mutability, with a witty edge.
In “Signal if you can’t Breathe,” Schatz presents five drawings in a series naively constructed, almost imperceptible. From beginning to end, there is an assertion of gravity, which swoops the characters powerfully from one drawing to the next. Amongst these curved, organic pieces there is a manifestation of Schatz’s engagement with nature, as surfaces and textures are wonderfully rendered in legible tiny graphite marks and hints of soft pink and red that add a further level of intelligibility to the patterns of time and change.
After receiving her BFA from Hunter College, Denise Schatz is completing her MFA, also at Hunter College.