“Slow Dancing”, pencil, gouache, acrylic  24″ x 36″, 1089

Yesterday and Today…

Works by Ivan Schieferdecker

Review by Keith Waits

Entire contents copyright © 2015 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

For me, viewing abstract art often requires patience. I will confess to something of a prejudice against abstract imagery that has fallen to the wayside over time, but which still informs my initial reaction when I walk into a gallery. So I give myself time, allow the forms and textures to infiltrate my comprehension. The more I looked, the more I kept seeing landscapes.

Almost all of the pieces in Ivan Schieferdecker’s new exhibit are abstract: layered constructions of geometric shapes and kinetic visual textures. Yet it didn’t take long to discover suggestions of landscape at their core. A visual foundation is built across the bottom of much of the work, a grounding accumulation of marks and color that weights the viewers understanding of the action within each frame. The most overt examples of this would be “Silk Pod #18” and “Silk Pod #8”, which include subdued tones and marks that are easily interpreted as clouds.

Shift #10

“Shift #10”, ink & gouache
on gessoed paper, 22″ x 22″, 2014

Schieferdecker juxtaposes shapes that are variations of a parallelogram and more organic, tendril-like forms and showers them with marks that accentuate a lively sense of movement. Nothing here is static. The range of color is wide, moving from limited palettes of analogous hues in some pieces, to others that incorporate vibrant, contrasting spectral relationships that are finely judged.  Placed in the background, the bold and explosive color gives great depth and energy to the work, restrained as it is by the geometric elements in the foreground.

My own favorites were three drawings grouped together on one wall, and most especially  “Slow Dancing.” It is one of the more subtle pieces, yet features dynamic graphic elements: a field of diagonal marks showering through curling, snail-like forms and ethereal dragonflies, and, in the base of the composition, a seething, roiling ocean of primal earth tone energy. But the energy is quelled by softer colors and textures as a foundation, all these elements in fine balance with one other.

Ivan Schieferdecker’s work offers meaningful rewards by engaging the viewer in active discovery. Think you don’t warm to abstract art? Give these a try.

Yesterday and Today…
Works by Ivan Schieferdecker

January 18-February 28, 2015

Tuesday-Friday, 11am-5pm
Saturday, 11am-3pm

Galerie Hertz
1253 South Preston Street
Louisville, KY 40204


Keith[box_light]Keith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at the Louisville Visual Art Association during the days, including being one of the hosts of PUBLIC on ARTxFM, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for Arts-Louisville.com.[/box_light]