Maureen Paley is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of new work by Maaike Schoorel.
Images emerge slowly in Maaike Schoorel’s paintings. What at first appear to be abstract smears and stains on pastel grounds gradually resolve themselves into tangible, figurative motifs. Looking at these works, the viewer experiences the passing of time in an almost sensual manner, as the invisible becomes visible.
The title of Schoorel’s exhibition, ‘Bathing, dining, garden, father, daughters, beach, bed’, is a partial inventory of its imagery, and hints at the artist’s pointed engagement with traditional genres of painting: portraiture, landscape, the bather, the still-life. Based on photographs and domestic in their subject matter, Schoorel’s paintings are suffused with an atmosphere of melancholy and loss. However, it would be a mistake to read the artist’s works as memorials to a disappeared past. While her marks appear minimal, they have a precision, a robust structural relationship to each other, which makes them belong to a permanent now. The slightest gesture, here, speaks of a rich emotional landscape that the viewer does not so much perceive with cool detachment as participate in by assembling it in their own mind. What is surprising about Schoorel’s apparently spare paintings isn’t how little they communicate, but how much. The spaces they provide are not only physical, but also conceptual – the freedom to find pleasure in their beauty, or to find consolation in the way in which they transform memory from an image of yesterday into a fresh, present-day experience.
Maaike Schoorel’s exhibitions include Rheinschau, Cologne in 2004, Prague Biennale 2 and Slow Art, Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf in 2005. She will have a solo show at Marc Foxx: West Gallery, Los Angeles.