Zoe Pettijohn Schade, A’95
Zoe Pettijohn Schade, A’95, has been awarded a 2012-2013 Fulbright Scholars Grant to research a rare collection of paintings by anonymous painters at the Bibliothèque Forney titled Dessins originaux pour impressions d’étoffes et broderies, Recueil de dessins, gouaches et empreintes. XVIIIè – XIXè siècle.
She considers these works are direct aesthetic ancestors to her own paintings, and absolute stars in an unjustly obscure tradition of pattern painting from France. The project involves drawing the original paintings from observation, thus creating an atlas of drawings that will serve as a foundation for her original paintings. She will also obtain a studio in Paris to make paintings in response to her work with the collection.
Her paintings are composed of many layers of repeating imagery, and each repeats in its own way. The underlying order in each layer allows for greater density of information. The aim is to achieve maximal density of layers in the paintings, both as a reflection of our experience in an image saturated world, and as a model of the structure of the unconscious. Each individual layer is designed separately, and is in direct relationship to this tradition of gouache pattern painting, being the same in material and scale, with direct references to the motifs and structures of the historical works. The Fulbright will provide a great opportunity to incorporate the aesthetic language of this vibrant painting history into her paintings with the goal that her work may become a contemporary contribution to this tradition.
Pettijohn Schade is also co-founder of an artist lecture series in Greenpoint Brooklyn, and a co-curator of a group exhibition composed of the 34 artists that have given presentations since the series began in the beginning of 2011. The show is entitled “Speakers” and runs through November at the 211 Front Street Galleries #216 in Dumbo, Brooklyn. She has co-curated two other recent group exhibitions including “From Life” at Radiator Gallery in Long Island City in March, and “Taking Shape” at Standpipe Gallery in New York last October. In the past year she has participated in exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York, Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Mark Wolfe Contemporary Art in San Francisco. She has also shown at Kenny Schachter Contemporary in New York, the Arts Club of Washington, DC, and the Jones Center for Contemporary Art in Austin, Texas. International exhibits include group shows in Mexico City, Berlin, and London.