Detailed Views: Brant Schuller & Dawn Clements

(To learn more about the “Viewfinder Project” see the original post.)

While I taught printmaking at Princeton University, both Brant Schuller and Dawn Clements were visitors to the printshop and both agreed to make a “Viewfinder”. Brant came to give a demonstration and made a print and Dawn produced an etching and a lithograph. Brant made his “Viewfinder” during his visit and I observed the drawing as it was being made. The drawing was produced by tracing the outline of a changing shadow. The shadow was cast by a leaf on a work table and was studied throughout a day (see the drawing below). I appreciated how natural and automatic the process appeared and how exact the recording was. The drawing unfolded while Brant was leading other printmaking activities and this allowed me to see him as a juggler and a master at multitasking.

Brant Schuller, Viewfinder, Graphite,  6″ x 4 1/4″, 2006

Dawn Clements work often revolves around drawing as an expanding activity. She has made drawings of interiors that start with one object and continue outward until a more completed view of the space is realized. These panoramas provide an excess and contain more than the eye can take in at once. An extension of this project has been drawings based on interior spaces in classic films. Because the camera does not catch every part of a room, Clements pieces together what is available from the film footage. This leaves patches where litteral interpretations become impossible and in the drawing this becomes white space. With regard to the “Viewfinder” Dawn sent me, it seems I received a careful rendering of part of the puzzle that makes up a film. Faintly written in the hair of the figure is the name “Karin Thimm”. Thimm is a character in the motion picture The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant.

Dawn Clements, Viewfinder, Ink, 6″ x 4 1/4″, 2007

Since I worked with Dawn, she has had important developments in her career. In 2010 Dawn was selected for the Whitney Biennial and more recently she had an exhibit in New York City that was reviewed by the Huffington Post (great images of Dawn’s large scale drawings here).

This winter I also caught a glimpse of new artwork by Brant Schuller that inspired me to double down and work harder. Schuller’s work is diverse and often combines printing techniques with sculpture. Seen below is a recent installation involving the screen-printed image of an ax and a sicle. The multiples are wedged into logs creating a virtual sense of the repetition involved in splitting timber. Irony is also not lost on the fact that redundancy aligns the printmaker with the lumberjack.

Brant Schuller, Screenprint & Sculpture, Winter 2012 Installation

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