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Elizabeth McDonald and Seth Orion Schwaiger: Aesthetiac opens at 107 Gallery in San Antonio
Schwaiger’s prints and sculptures offer a quiet yet powerful contrast to the vibrant paintings of McDonald. Photo: Julie Ledet.

By: Erika Mullins

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- Elizabeth McDonald and Seth Orion Schwaiger’s joint exhibition, curated by the Lullwood Group, features paintings by McDonald and prints and sculptures by Schwaiger. The two complement and juxtapose one another as the viewer moves through the gallery. Schwaiger’s prints and sculptures offer a quiet yet powerful contrast to the vibrant paintings of McDonald.

McDonald’s work is loose and energetic. The artist embraces imperfection and allows her medium to run. Her palette is rich, and her figures garner their animation through her loose brushwork. She is rather experimental in media drifting from watercolor to oil fluently and the collection varies in size greatly. The paintings are impressionistic in style and frequently figurative with a hazy and blurred background. They are often kitchen scenes or relating to those of domesticity, including scenes of a table either before or during a meal. Upon further study it is possible to reason that, like with memory, people retain clarity while background events become hazy and muddled. One could also ascertain that this might be the reason that the artist allows vibrancy in some areas but is careful to allow the background to be just that. The paintings of McDonald, much like memories, are seldom precise and often lend themselves to imperfections and vague representations of actual events. In her work you are not seeing an event that has just happened but looking at a representation of an event from long ago through the remembrance of someone else. This interpretation of her work requires the viewer to accept the imperfections and embrace them, not as flaws but as a commentary on the effect of time on our memories.

Schwaiger’s work in both print and sculpture also uses imperfection to his benefit. His sculpture work employs many mediums including cast iron, and many different types of wood. He allows nicks and gouges to show in his workings and his prints are often soft with inconsistencies in the inking. In his work one might say that he is concerned, not with representation of an event, but with the irrefutable evidence that an event has occurred. Schwaiger embraces the mistakes and roughness of his own work. In his sculpture Adiposity, there are noticeable gouges and imperfections, which supply the work with a history and those marks, serve as the reminders of that past. His prints Bramely and Fortune #3, are photographic in style, believable reminders of past events and people which can neither be disputed or romanticized. They are quite and somber, faded and scratched, and above all haunting. Schwaiger’s work does not possess the vibrancy of McDonalds yet holds a place in reality that creates a solid sense of history in each one of his works.

Elizabeth McDonald and Seth Orion Schwaiger are now represented by Ruiz-Healy Art in San Antonio, for more information about their work please contact the gallery at (210) 804-2219

The Lullwood Group:
An artist collective that encourages participation, fosters exploration and promotes art discovery in many forms. The group will be curating shows at 107 Gallery every Second Saturday.

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