HowardScottGallery is pleased to announce the exhibition of Works on Paper (1960-2008) by the Miami based artist Tom Schmitt. The exhibition will open on September 4 and continue through October 4, 2008.
The earliest works by Tom Schmitt in the exhibition date from 1968 and mark my first meeting with the artist. As an arthistorian, I was immediately drawn to these rigorously defined and seductively formalist flat objects floating comfortably on small white squares of paper. They were minimalist but offered more than minimalism. They were static but articulate. They were quiet but overflowed with energy. They were perfect but not precious.
Forty years have passed since I first saw and admired Tom Schmitt's work. Since then, everything around us has changed. On first glance, so had Schmitt's work, now created by computer instead of his steady hand. Technology had been harnessed by the artist to serve the intrinsic nature of his work. But while the squares of paper are much smaller now, these paintings in miniature retain the essential intellectual rigor that formed the basis of the artist's earliest work. Somehow, his art has managed to grow well beyond the boundaries of its material surface, creating a visual power that objects of this small scale rarely achieve.
Clearly, Schmitt understandsthe art history of the twentieth century. He is an artist who has ingested the structure and cerebral elegance of those cataclysmic forces from the Russian avante-garde to the minimalist revolution. In turn, Schmitt rewards the viewer with his meticulously intelligent work that reconnects us to the reductivist formulae of Malevich and Albers to Agnes Martin to Dan Flavin to Peter Halley. In almost no space at all, Tom Schmitt gives us a newly articulated statement of the power of abstraction.
T o mS c h m i t t:W o r k so nP a p e r( 1 9 6 0 – 2 0 0 6 )
(Thursday)4S e p t e m b e r-(Saturday)4O c t o b e r2008