In this interview, I spoke to artist Rene Romero Schuler, whose figurative work spans the gamut of mediums from sculpture to paint to ink. I am fascinated by the layers of meaning in Schuler's work. At first, it seems playful, yet the longer I look at it, the more hauntingly vulnerable it feels; I find it hard not to recall Giocommetti’s anguished solitary forms when looking at it. Going deeper still, Schuler's figures challenge the viewer, defiant in their strength.
Schuler is a prolific artist who has created a very successful career. I'm grateful that she took the time to share so many insights through this interview.
René Romero Schuler is creating powerful images of strength and vulnerability that speak to the heart of the human condition: love, sorrow, solitude, and heartbreak; yet, through these depictions of difficult subjects, she inspires her viewers with hope, fortitude, and ultimately, enduring strength.
The figures Schuler captures are equal parts self-portraiture and portraits of the range of human emotions that she has experienced.
Her approach is personal yet universal, and essentially intimate. The work is visually and emotionally affecting; it powerfully reveals her appreciation for the struggle and triumph of the human condition and speaks to global and societal issues that continue to impact daily lives.
Schuler’s work is in the permanent collections of The Union League Club of Chicago, Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) in Chicago, Grand Valley State University in Michigan, Coral Springs Museum of Art, and St. Thomas University Museum of Art – Sardiñas Gallery in Miami. Her work is in public and private collections around the world and has exhibited internationally in Paris, Rome, Paxos, Singapore, and Beirut.
A musical production, Jolere, was wholly inspired by Schuler’s works, with five original scores composed by Lee Kesselman and accompanying contemporary dance choreographed by Joanna Lees.
Jolere performed to sold-out audiences in Minneapolis, 2013, and Chicago, 2015. Books: René Romero Schuler: Life and Works, showcasing images of the artist’s thick impastos and striking figural canvases in addition to providing readers a look into her artistic process, was released in 2013;
René Romero Schuler | Paintings was released in August 2016; a hardcover coffee table book, titled René Romero Schuler containing personal essays and poetry alongside her most recent works, was released in 2019.
Schuler’s fourth book is currently in production, and being published by Glitterati Editions in New York, with a projected release in Spring 2022.
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