Karin Schneider: Situational Diagram
Dominique Lévy, New York
September 7 - October 20, 2016
Karin Schneider: Situational Diagram (2016) was an exhibition at Dominique Lévy, New York, by Brazil-born, New York-based artist and filmmaker Karin Schneider. The exhibition evolved from a series of monochrome paintings evoking postwar artists Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, and Mark Rothko. Schneider made these paintings with Mars black pigment mixed with cobalt blue, cadmium yellow, cadmium red, and phthalo emerald. Schneider also blended derivatives of petroleum and coal (two primary energy sources) with the black pigment.
The gallery installed 16 black monochrome paintings in a “trisected square” steel architectural structure, referencing the black-on-black squares that characterize Reinhardt’s paintings. Collectors wishing to acquire these works needed to agree that another artist would alter the canvas by painting over its surface in the future (the gallery did not reveal the other artist’s name to the buyer before acquisition). Additional works featured in the exhibition include Splits, works referencing Newman’s Onement I (1948) and Stations of the Cross (1958–66), and a large Void work referencing a painting at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. Situational Diagram detoured from the politics of aesthetics to create opportunities for multifaceted encounters with artworks. The gallery space functioned as a political device, proposing a diagrammatic relationship between artists, work, and viewer.