Sophia Schama

ruled by no rules

Exhibition opening: Friday, 10th June, 6pm
Duration of the Exhibition: 10th June – 23rd July, 2011

“…Dogmas change and our knowledge is deceptive; but Nature never errs, her procedure is sure, and she never conceals it. Everything is entirely in Nature, and Nature is entire in everything...” Arthur Schopenhauer, Hauptwerke Volume I - The World as Will and Representation, translated by R B Haldane and J. Kemp 

Hamish Morrison Galerie is delighted to present their sixth solo exhibition by the Berlin-based artist Sophia Schama. The exhibition follows Schama’s exhibition boomerang in the Städtsichen Galerie Dresden show-casing works from 2001-2011.

The current exhibition carries the title ruled by no rules. The artist neither assigns an exclamation nor a question mark to this title. Since her last solo exhibition Urban Jungle at Hamish Morrison Galerie, Schama has dedicated herself, amongst other things, to an intensive exploration of her own works’ individual elements. In her most recent montages, some of which have already been exhibited in various group exhibitions, sequences of fascinating questions are reflected, amongst others: what significance does the impermeability of the canvas have? How does the space within the painting change, when individual pictorial layers – so to speak transparent skins – are detached from the picture itself? Does the work only become an entity through the frame? What happens when the paintings’ light is removed and replaced with light from an external source?

With regard to motif Schama remains true to her trusted vocabulary which has continually fed on the area of tension of the alleged segregation between nature and culture.

Following Schopenhauer’s thinking, art belongs to the few possibilities that man has, even if only for a moment, to withdraw the self from the permanent control of the `blind will´. This possibility may also present itself at play, which is perhaps why Sophia Schama has titled the current installation – measuring 3 x 11 meters – `Spielplatz´ (Playground). At play we are often in a position to allow ourselves an additionally intense experience and through this gain a more profound insight into ourselves. Playing is therefore seldom devoid of a certain amount of seriousness. Thus the seemingly playful handling by the artist of the elements of her own work impart on the one hand a deeper insight into her creative cosmos, and on the other simultaneously allows the observer the possibility to withdraw himself momentarily from the control of that `blind will´.

“... The wall-filling, serial sequencing of the paintings transforms the installation into an encyclopaedia, in which Schama can present and play out the various possibilities of her tableau. For the attentive and patient observer the panels all of a sudden come into movement between surface and space, illusion and reality – a kind of modern book of hours.” Dr. Heinz Stahlhut, Malerisches Stundenbuch, Zu Sophia Schamas neuer Installation, 2011 

In addition to the major installation Schama presents numerous new works on canvas. The question about the nature of nature and therefore also about the nature of humankind remains a theme in her work. These paintings are in no way meant to be understood as a reversion or end of the game. Rather they adapt to the most recent experiences of the artist and verify that she is and has been, completely and utterly, a painter.