Rubenstein observes: "The depiction of power, though its presence is immaterial, has been a source of fascination for painters since, well, there has been painting. Michalangelo, David, Rembrandt, Benglis, Golub, Kruger, and Longo come to mind. Schor plays with the relationship of the figure, immense and monolithic, against the ground, delicate and ephemeral. ... Like Picasso, in his last self-portrait (Self-Portrait Facing Death, 1972), Schor gives us a schematic depiction of time at work. The Mangaaka figures which were the catalyst for this group may have had talismatic properties for their creators, but for the contemporary artist, Schor seems to ask, does art still have that power? Schor’s drawings are meditations on time and aging, and on the power of art to transform and transcend the temporal."
Roche writes that in Schor's new work "interplay between above and below is key. Chthonic means underground and the concept of lying fallow has deep meaning for the artist. Her paintings—largely ink and oil on gesso on linen—suggest that underground can be a time/place of regeneration, contemplation and renewal. Schor’s fallow isn’t about being dormant, clearly. It’s a time of 'productive anonymity,' which she aligns with 'experimentation' and 'benign neglect,' in opposition to 'celebrity culture' and 'austerity measures'—all words found in Conditions of Contemporary Practice. In the luscious, nocturnal Morning in America, we find the avatar nestled below ground like a seed, protected against so much hovering verbiage, dreaming of benign neglect (as in leave me alone vs. abandonment). But underground is not always fertile or productive. Sometimes the avatar is pitched into the earth or uprooted, like the 100-year-old tree near Schor’s apartment during Hurricane Sandy, another experience of collective precarity entering this body of work."
Sharon Butler posts a conversation between Mira Schor and Stuart Horodner from the 2013 College Art Association Conference. Schor's solo exhibition Chthonic Garden will be on view at CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles, from October 19 - December 8, 2013.
In the CAA interview, Schor discusses her development as a artist and speaks about choosing to paint: "I tried to bring the essence of painting, which was under attack, to feminism and to feminist theory." She also comments on her interest in language as image, noting that she turned to "handwriting as a trace of self and a form of address... whether or not you can read the text, you got the impression of language... I paint in English, that means that it might not be understandable, but I would hope that somebody looking at the work would say: 'This is language, I know language.' "
Schor writes: "I figure that since the show is divided into two parts, installed along two separate sections of the space, with one side featuring the works of women artists who are deceased, and the other side featuring those of us still among the living, I feel that I can safely recommend the dead without incurring controversy among the other living artists in the show or referring to my own work in it or the ramifications of the word 'lady, ' which I know has stirred some controversy. Curator Jason Andrew of Norte Maar has assembled some terrific work in this show, a diverse group of works by notable artists and artists that some may be less familiar with, and in each case has included a very good example of the artist’s work, and in some cases quite a surprising one. Again, I am just talking about the dead. The works are grouped in open bays or booths, creating in effect small mini-exhibitions with some interesting synergies."
Chloe Wyma interviews painter Mira Schor on the occasion of the exhibition Mira Schor: Voice and Speech at Marvelli Gallery, New York, on view through April 28, 2012.
Asked about scale in painting Schor replies: "Modest paintings don't necessarily have to be small, and small paintings are not necessarily modest. I'm advocating for a kind of potent expressive reserve that can exist within intimacy, perhaps, but also for painting that is more committed to criticality, rigor and ambition for painting itself than to overpowering the viewer with the size of the work or the ego of the artist. In an age of the world dominance of the 1 percent of the 1 percent, art venues that demand the spectacular, and the empty calories of 'supersize me,' the stakes are emotional, intellectual, and even moral."
In his essay Ashley notes: "What scale in painting is really about is the relationship of all the painting’s components - what is depicted, material, color, line, stroke, etc., but also the subject and content of the painting - to the surface and the size of the painting: an integrated, holistic entity that, in addition to its own actual size, can suggest grandness or intimacy, or something in between and appropriate to the painting's subject... Schor's paintings may be small in size, but the scale of her work is ambitious and generous."
Minelli writes: "For Schor, the surface of her paintings is a skin. Or to borrow a Lacanian phrase, a 'stadium' upon which subjectivity comes to be written by an ever-shifting series of conscious and unconscious events. And it is upon this public surface/space/body where pre-linguistic meaning in other words, affect meets the signifier head on."
Culture Monster's Christopher Knight reviews Mira Schor paintings at CB1 Gallery. Knight writes "Language is a common image, especially in the earlier work, in which words such as "lack," "trace," "sign" and "silence" meditate on the range of qualities a painted object can and cannot accommodate."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.