David Schutter

Haarlem, from the Northwestern Dunes

  • after GSMB vRu1, 2006, oil on canvas, 20.5 x 25.5 inches

  • after GSMB vRu9, 2006, graphite on mylar, 10.5 x 13.5 inches

  • after GSMB vRu13, 2006, graphite on mylar, 10.5 x 13.5 inches

  • after GSMB vRu1, 2006, graphite on mylar, 10.5 x 13.5 inches

  • after GSMB vRu10, 2006, graphite on mylar, 10.5 x 13.5 inches

  • after GSMB vRu6, 2006, graphite on mylar, 10.5 x 13.5 inches

The subject of this exhibition is the painting Haarlem, from the Northwestern Dunes by 17th Century Dutch Master, Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/29-1682). In a series of muted tonal paintings, the same scale and material as the original work, Schutter formulates not a replication, but a re-creation of the master’s work. Like his graphite on mylar drawings, Schutter’s enigmatic compositions elicit thoughts about the phenomenology of “historical being.”

In 2005-06, as a resident in the Internationale Atelier Programm des Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, David Schutter drew daily in the Dutch painting galleries at the Gem√ɬ§ldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Haarlem, from the Northwestern Dunes permanently resides there. After intensively recording the physical and aesthetic nature of the art works, Schutter “re-painted” the group solely from the memories of the experience.

The series of paintings and drawings at paulkotulaprojects begins with that van Ruisdael painting. Each work shares a similar muted palette developed out of spare replies to questions that occur during the painting/drawing process. Liminal traces of the artist’s struggle – an ever changing balance of faith and doubt and an eye that is burdened, yet engendered by the history of painting – emerge from the surface.

When the original group of paintings was exhibited alongside portions of the permanent collection of the Gemadegalerie, Lorraine Daston wrote:

The fabled mimesis of the Dutch masters did not call forth mimesis in their twenty-first-century student. In the place of the deceptive surfaces that so seductively counterfeit three-dimensional appearances, the shimmering pearls of delicate lace that are only gobs of white paint, Schutter offers gray surfaces, opaque and inscrutable. Yet these secretive surfaces command attention in their turn, yielding details of shade and texture only upon long and close inspection. It is the viewer who pays the tribute of mimesis, by imitating, however feebly, the artist’s own feats of concentration in plumbing the painting for every nuance.

David Schutter studied at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts receiving his Certificate in 1996 and at The University of Chicago earning his MFA in 2003. His work is in such collections as Gemaldegalerie, Berlin; Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Cologne; Silkeborg Kunstmuseum, Silkeborg and The Danish American Fulbright Foundation, Cologne. This winter, David Schutter will have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.