Josephine Halvorson considers the work of painter David Schutter, most recently on view at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.
Halvorson writes: "Convention is a subject of Schutter’s work. He interrogates paintings from the past, spending long periods of time in close proximity to them. Later, returning to his Chicago studio, Schutter re-enacts – on a like-sized canvas of his own – the ‘original’ painting he has since internalised... Through his use of colour, rendition, and painting-as-painting’s subject, Schutter finds himself in the lineage of Jasper Johns... Both Johns and Schutter find vital fellowship with painters from the past and, through their artistic practices, offer new ways to commune with them... Schutter gives an abundance of attention to the paintings he studies, observing the speed and placement of their marks and compositions, as a way to commune with an historical artist through the shared language of paint, inhabiting another’s mind and time while occupying his own. His foggy greys do not conceal the original referent any more than they reveal his own interpretation; rather, they represent an account of their own making, a script of Schutter’s elaborated grammar of looking."