52 Paintings 2011-201. George Schulman, Blurb.com

Small Collages 1-6 Series 2017

Marguette for Large Works Series 11"x 7"

The Small Works, George Schulman. blurb.com


These wildly colorful exuberant abstract paintings by George Schulman, on view at range in sizes from 36”x 36” to the more intimate size of 6”x 6.” The works also contain content derived from nature, particularly landscape; mountains, trees, water and sky, and sometimes even employ forms which echo the female figure. And, in a sense, these are not unlike the implicit female figures appearing in De Kooning’s artworks, even when they are “landscapes,” which may in essence become landscapes of a thousand thighs.

The palettes are derived from the exaggerations of Picasso’s Synthetic Cubism in what I call “Candy Shop” colors like Juicy Fruit, Gummy Bear, and Chuckles Jelly candies, to those of luscious soda-fountain treats with rainbow sprinkles. And these are seen in some of the more recent cubist variations of Schulman’s teacher and lifelong friend, the 87 year-old artist Knox Martin. And though Knox’s stylistics were transformed through the work of his elders’ the Action Painters, it remains fundamentally planar, existing in flattened space. 

Now the colors in Schulman’s work are creating his own accelerated joyful carnival-like moods, and after living on rural Long Island for many years, surrounded by the trees, sky, and ocean, he has developed a style with more organic facets, which then combine, twisting and turning, create snake-like penetrations into and out of the picture plane, while none-the-less maintaining an overall tension on the visual surface.Then there is the influence of Matisse’s Moroccan paintings, the flat ground, his snaking structures, outlandish combinations of hues and the drawing in changing colored lines. This then is followed by sparks caught from the work of other more contemporary artists like John Walker, Bill Jensen, and Gregory Amenoff with their painterly impasto brushwork, quirky forms, and unfamiliar abrasive colors. 

Written by George Parrino, Professor and Former Dean, Purchase College School of Art and Design. Former President, Kansas City Art Institute.

Small Paintings Series  on Paper 2017

Acrylic on Paper 11" x 7"