Maureen Paley is pleased to present Nudes, Maaike Schoorel’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
Schoorel’s work inhabits a position on the edge of legibility. Her figurative paintings appear faded or bleached with brush strokes that suggest outlines and restrained marks that imply areas of colour or shadow. The viewer must participate in the paintings, employing a particular way of looking that allows the images to unravel slowly over time.
Using her own photographs as reference material, Schoorel paints portraits of friends and family such as Johanna Sunbathing, 2007, as well as depicting the familiar scenes, activities and reference points of collective memories as in Holiday, 2004, and Dining Table, 2006. She also alludes to the history of her chosen medium through the subject matter of paintings like The Picnic, 2004, and Still Life with Carafe, 2006.
After selecting and cropping her photos Schoorel involves the picture in a series of reductions. Through an unevenly applied process of subtle and minimal painted layers with occasional highlights, she wears away the original image to reveal something new. This complex reworking or even withholding of her source material slows down the process of looking, and reminds us of the powerful effect that a visual whisper or absence may have in our visually saturated culture.
For this exhibition Schoorel has made a new body of work investigating another central motif from the history of art, the nude. Symbolic, erotic, political and anatomical, the nude figure has been employed as subject matter by artists to many different ends. Here Schoorel has removed the figures from the setting of the studio and the role of artist’s model and situated them within the intimate environments of their own homes.
Maaike Schoorel’s work is currently on show at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam as part of Eyes Wide Shut, an exhibition of recent acquisitions from the museum’s permanent collection. In 2006 her work was included in Le Nouveau ciècle at the Museum van Loon in Amsterdam, and last year she had a solo project with Marc Foxx in Los Angeles. In 2007 she was also included in the first Athens Biennial and was nominated for the Prix de Rome with an exhibition at de Appel in Amsterdam. In 2008 Schoorel will have a solo show at the Museum de Hallen Haarlem, and her work will be included in a group exhibition at Hirommi Yoshii in Tokyo.