Lyles & King opens an exhibition of works by Mira Schor

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Lyles & King opens an exhibition of works by Mira Schor
Mira Schor with The Painter's Studio, 2020. Photo: Charles Benton.

NEW YORK, NY.- Lyles & King is presenting Tipping Point, Mira Schor’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.

In a 2018 painting Mira Schor asks, What kind of art will we make under fascism? In a selection of paintings from January 2017 to December 2020, Tipping Point presents responses to this challenge by an artist whose work has always been steeped in the political, the historical, the personal, and the material.

Tipping Point includes some of the many works Schor created while driven by political fury during the past four years, as well as more reflective, philosophical paintings done in 2020 before and during the pandemic. This includes her largest, most monumental works, all offering a trajectory through the multiple meanings of this inflection point in history.

In a moment that seems transitional and sometimes apocalyptic, as ancient Cathedrals and even more ancient trees burn, the population of the world struggles against a global pandemic, and superstition and fear overcome science, Schor shifts between “hot” and “cool.” Her hot works are created in response to specific political and humanitarian outrages and her “cool” works examine what it means to be an artist at the possible end of history, at a tipping point between environmental self-extinction and the irrepressible tendency of human beings towards optimism and renewal.

The centerpieces of the exhibition are the monumental paintings, The Painter’s Studio and After the Party’s Over. Measuring over eighteen feet wide, they are the largest individual works of Schor’s fifty-year career, each symbolically representing the painter’s studio and the life of an artist. The first is a feminist reprise of Gustave Courbet’s The Painter’s Studio, addressing Courbet’s opus mundi. But here the Painter is a woman and the viewer of her work is patriarchy represented by a flying orange phallus with an all-seeing monocular eye, a more intrusive and potentially dangerous observer than the lovely nude looking at Courbet as he paints. The passage of time is indicated in the different ages of the artist, starting as a child drawing in the corner, a skull, and in a clock set at 11PM. In After the Party's Over the artist is no longer present, leaving behind a painting of the word “painting” and the words “a life.” The studio is empty and the last page of the thick book of history bleeds out in a calm and light space.

Despite the shock of last spring’s lockdown, where one’s four walls were at once sanctuary, prison, and liminal space where infection met safety, her most recent work includes Pandemic Marigolds, offering a final shift in mood or temperature, as life goes on despite everything and flowers grow through cracks in the cement of the dwellings where we have been quarantined, providing the gift of effulgent joy.

Mira Schor (b. 1950, New York, US) is a New York-based artist and writer. Her work has been included in exhibitions at The Jewish Museum, New York, US; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US; MoMA P.S.1, New York, US; The Neuberger Museum, Purchase, US; and the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, US; and Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, AT. Schor is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Guggenheim Fellowship in Painting, the Pollock-Krasner Grant, the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism, the Creative Capital / Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, and the 2019 Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award for her work as a feminist painter, art historian, and critic. Schor’s work is in the permanent collections of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, US; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, US; The Marieluise Hessel Collection of Contemporary Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, US; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, US; Portland Art Museum, Portland, US; and the University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, US. She is an Associate Teaching Professor in Fine Arts at Parsons School of Design-The New School and is currently an artist in residence at the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in Brooklyn. Schor is represented by Lyles & King, New York.

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