Galerie EIGEN + ART Berlin
February 11 - March 12, 2016
New works by painter Kristina Schuldt (born in 1982 in Moscow and living in Leipzig) will be shown in the exhibition MOST. After having presented Kristina Schuldt during the exhibition series TAKE FIVE in 2014, her new works will be now presented in a solo exhibition at Galerie EIGEN + ART Berlin for the first time.
Kristina Schuldt draws from a repertoire of forms and styles that she encounters everywhere: reading art-historical photo volumes on Dutch genre painting or 20th-century Constructivism and Cubism, leafing through tabloid newspapers, observing people on the street with their smartphones or working in the garden. Her pictures arouse memories of an already seen canon, of body surfaces polished sleek or of the wavy hair of Fernand Léger's machine people, for example, or of Pablo Picasso's strangely deformed and multi-perspectival portraits; they develop a life of their own and an energy that arises not least through the use of intense colors like pink or electric blue. The titles are ambiguous and misleading; they provide a direction without wanting to reveal too much. Kristina Schuldt uses them like an additional color and finds them by walking back through the picture as on a path, in search of the trigger.
Her new works shift from the body to the body part. The slick, melting, and twisted women's bodies of her earlier pictures have become abstract-amorphous shapes whose upper arms and legs can hardly be distinguished from each other. Ears are found, emancipated from the head, in all kinds of places, and she does without eyes and mouths entirely. She calls her portraits ghosts, faceless beings, or "Smombies": smartphone-zombies that only stare, completely absorbed, at the displays on their cell phones. Empty speech bubbles float around their heads and serve only as pure form anymore, rather than to transport content. For Kristina Schuldt, the smartphone, anatomically perfected and simultaneously a constantly glowing source of light, is like a fascinating new body part; it finds immediate entry to her pictures, an additional ear or as a luminous ground structure with rounded corners in Facing.
What remains is her predilection for pipes, tubular forms that appear in her pictures sometimes as legs, sometimes as vegetable tendrils or bulbous tires. The French artist Fernand Léger was anything but happy when, in 1911, a critic called him a "Tubist"; after all, for years he had resisted, by every means available to painting, the prevailing Impressionism and being categorized with the Cubism of his artist colleagues. But the term fits Kristina Schuldt perfectly. She calls the tubular forms energy channels and a means of transportation; they give her painting a very specific impetus of their own, a Flow.
In the painting Große Bäuerin (large farmer woman), part of a new series in which she experiments with earthy flesh tones, she condenses herself to the figure of a female warrior or farmer: a powerfully Amazon-like woman with powerful calves thrust into the contour of a clunky high-heeled shoe and a massive body, a gyrating pile of forms and structured color fields. A diagonal line cleaves the picture from the upper left to the lower right: a spear, perhaps, or a rake. Around her small, flat face are rings that oscillate between a heroic victory wreath and rubber swimming tubes. This is the always-accompanying wit, the refusal to take things seriously, with which she treats her pictures. "Everything doesn't always have to be right," says Kristina Schuldt about her pictures, und yet in the end everything is right. (Leonie Pfennig)