“Why is art still hiding the source of its production/creation? Why is it confined in a dialectic corset? Should it not become emancipated from its aesthetic frameworks and conventions?” To answer these questions, the Swiss artist Angelika Schori (*1981) employs the most “traditional” of all media – painting. She takes a peek behind the flawless facades of art making and questions its production and presentation process. While literally turning the painting around, displaying the back of the stretched canvases, she challenges the viewer’s sense of comfort and artistic anticipation. She literally brings her canvases into unexpected terrains, such as the outdoors, between door frames and wall crevices. Although she employs materials which are used in painting, such as canvas and frames, she disenfranchises and abstracts them. In so doing, she creates an entirely new experience for the viewer; one that would make the viewer keenly aware of the process of painting, its history and tradition. While painting in general physically excludes the viewer and remains a 2D, rather than 3D experience, Schori questions that traditional relationship and involuntarily involves the viewer in her work.
Schori’s work should be seen as a response to the overstimulation of multimedia work, which has flooded the art world for past 20 years. Her focus on painting may be considered nostalgia, a return to traditions, but in reality, it is anything but that: she searches autonomy and clarity for the painted and often also painterly-constructed object/canvas and the space created by it. She aims to ultimately achieving a rigorously democratic presentation without compositional hierarchy.
Without placing on her work in an art-historical –ism, Schori’s work can reluctantly be coined “poetic minimalism.” In creating a dialogue between the environment and the work, she challenges the exhibition space, turning the architectural environment into interactive paintings. She is very involved in the installation process, works mostly site-specific and therefore, is very critical of museum’s installation and maintenance practices.
“Angelika Schori expands our thoughts on painting by liberating it from its historic structure of frames, canvas, and even its surface, into the space itself. By introducing the primary elements of light and color predominantly by way of an immaterial reflection, the works take on a generative presence that extends into, and becomes part of, the environment in which they reside. The “Image” becomes more than the indivisible object, rather an active phenomena of color, shape, and light. By breaking up surfaces and overlaying elements, Schori challenges our expectations, inviting us to pause and let the subtle shimmering effect unfold.” (Quoted from Gallery “Pablo’s Birthday”, New York, 2015)
Angelika Schori received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2010 from the FHNW/HGK (School of Fine Arts) in Basel, where she also completed her MFA in 2014, both with Prof. Renée Levi. She has exhibited extensively in Switzerland, Germany France and the United States in group and solo shows. She lives and works in Basel.