Wade Schuman, “Sins and Visions”
March 9 – April 4, 2007
Opening Reception:  Friday, March 9, 7-9pm

8069 Beverly Blvd. (at Crescent Heights Blvd.), Los Angeles, California 90046
Contact: Niccolò Brooker/Marvella Muro
Telephone: (323) 655-1550, Fax: (323) 655-1565
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
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Wade Schuman, “Embrace”, 1998-2001, oil on linen over panel, 19 x 15 inches.

Los Angeles, California – Forum Gallery presents the exhibition Wade Schuman: Sins and Visions from March 10th – April 14th, 2007, with an opening reception on Friday evening, March 9th, from 7-9:00 pm.  This is the artist’s first West Coast exhibition and includes eighteen paintings spanning fifteen years of meticulous and creative work. An intense student of human behavior and keen observer of the mysterious beauty of animals, Wade Schuman incorporates perceptual responses with personal interpretations to create illuminating and revealing metaphors.  
In his new painting titled Bird and Egg (2006) a Blue Jay perches on a gigantic egg, its head lowered as if studying the unmanageable object.  The relationship of size between bird and egg is perplexing in its improbability, if not impossibility.  By withholding anticipated elements and altering an expected sense of scale, in this composition Schuman in fact raises more universal questions about man and nature.  He emphasizes the mystery behind life itself, suggests the fragility of the unborn when contrasted to the predatory nature of the living, and even intimates the absurdity of one’s own intentions, grandiose or otherwise.
This unique sense of scale is at the core of the artist’s studious use of magnification in other small animal paintings such as Insect (2006), Horseshoe Crab, Bird and Fly (2003), and Penguin Head on Pedestal (1992), the latter highlighting man’s fractured relationship with nature.  Comparisons between animals and humans are presented in larger paintings such as Woman with Pig and Man with Swan, both from 2001. Once again intentionally unscientific, the pig in Woman with Pig is actually a peccary, whose characteristically fierce and furry disposition is in sharp contrast to the languid and glabrous woman.  Similarly, the naked, aging man is diametrically opposed to the swan, ageless symbol of fertility.  Hence, the artist’s selection of striking opposites engenders in the viewer a more heightened optical scrutiny of the respective components.  
Schuman’s triptych known as Passages is his autobiographical masterpiece, beginning with the left-hand panel titled Conflict, continuing with the central canvas Rowing Man, and ending with the right-hand Resolutions. In Conflict a young man pummels another with his fist in the middle of a vacant, summer moon-lit, tree-lined street – a reflection of the artist’s youth in universal suburbia where man successfully sculpts nature to his liking but fails to control his own beast within. The artist’s life proceeds to his years in Maine with Rowing Man, in which the journey appears solitary and precarious, the lone oarsman bent forward, his body strained in motion as he thrusts through open water.  The final frame of Resolutions is antithetical to the first: winter daytime in the metropolis of New York City where Schuman currently resides, possibly an ultimate and ironic artistic resolution in which nature, with its heavy snowfall, reclaims its authority over man.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Wade Schuman grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan before studying at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and the Pennsylvannia Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he subsequently taught painting and drawing for six years.    Schuman has been included in numerous museum exhibitions over the last decade including solo exhibitions both at the Huntington Museum of Art, West Virginia, in 1999 and the Sordoni Art Gallery of Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 2004.  His work is in private collections throughout the United States.

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