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Edward Schmidt Works Biography

Edward Schmidt is an artist firmly rooted in the academic Beaux-Arts tradition. He was born in Ann Arbor Michigan in 1946, and earned his Bachelor of Art’s degree from Pratt institute, where he studied with Lennart Anderson and Martha Mayor Erlebacher. He earned his Master’s degree from Brooklyn College, CUNY, where he studied with Alfred Russell and Phillip Pearlstein, among others. Schmidt also spent the tumultuous year 1968 studying at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, witnessing first hand the large scale vandalism of this venerable institution.

Schmidt’s natural facility and intense training have resulted in great technical virtuosity, particularly in drawing. Schmidt’s thorough study of old master techniques and philosophical timbres, enables him to express a vision of a traditionally classical nature, integrating it with an understanding of the modernist idiom, creating modern works with a unique lyrical presence.

Edward Schmidt’s earliest works were stylized Balthus inspired “accident” street scenes” and industrial cityscapes painted in a solid technique remeniscent of Corot’s plein air sketches. An Albertian architectural fantasy painted in egg tempera style entitled “Ideal City” is an unusual example of Schmidt’s exploration of past techniques. In the early 1970’s Schmidt discovered the south of France and its sun-drenched villages, resulting in a series of small landscapes reminiscent of Ingre’s views from the Villa Medici in Rome, further developing Corot’s technique. In the latter half of the decade, he turned his attention away from landscape to the figure, settling into a style based on the classicism of Poussin and the Italian High Renaissance, a style also explored by several close friends at the time. Schmidt moved to Paris again in 1978, planning to study with Stanley William Hayter, the seminal 20th century force who taught Picasso as well as Alfred Russell, (Schmidt’s professor at Brooklyn College and close friend), printmaking. Alfred Russell’s daughter Elsie introduced Schmidt to Hayter and the Atelier 17, where he spent the ensuing months learning the craft of engraving, perfecting Hayter’s sweeping automatic modernist gestures, and absorbing once again the treasures of the Paris museums. Returning to the States later that year to copy paintings at the National Gallery of Art and teach at Catholic University in Washington D.C., Schmidt applied for the Rome Prize, which another of his professors, Lennart Anderson, had won some years earlier, as had his friend Alan Feltus. He won the prize, and was to spend over a year in Rome completing this formative period of foreign assimilation.

Schmidt returned to New York and began his stellar teaching career at the newly established New York Academy of Art. At this time he also began receiving numerous commissions for murals, including the “Clos Pegasus” murals with architect Michael Graves. Edward Schmidt’s recent paintings have incorporated compositional elements from modern masters like Picasso, Balthus, and Modigliani, into a classical vision firmly based on the Greco-Roman ideology espoused by Nicolas Poussin, and on models like Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, David and Ingres. His technical virtuosity in both drawing and painting enable him to use a personal shorthand of the language of the old masters to define the monumental draped figures that are developed directly on the work surface. In this manner Edward Schmidt re-interprets the classical cosmogony from a modern psychoanalytical viewpoint with nostalgia and resigned pessimism, yet expressing this melancholy vision with poetry of an exceptional lyricism.

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Biography                                              

Born: Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1946

Education

1978 Atelier 17, Paris, France (Studied Printmaking with S.W. Hayter)

1972-74 MFA, Brooklyn College, New York, NY (Studied with Philip Pearlstein, Jimmy Ernst)

1967-68 Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France (Studied with Roger Chapelain-Midy, Andre Tondu)

1967 Skowhegan School of Painting, ME (Studied with Lennart Anderson, Walter Murch)

1966-71 Art Students League, New York, NY (Studied with Robert Beverly Hale)

1964-71 BFA, Pratt Institute, New York, NY (Studies with Gabriel Laderman)

Solo Exhibitions

2013 “Edward Schmidt: Drawings,” The Fine Arts College of Shanghai University, Shanghai, China

2003 “Recent Paintings & Drawings,” Marguerite Oestreicher Fine Arts, New Orleans, LA

2000 “Edward Schmidt: Mythologies,” Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA

2000 “Drawings & Works on Paper,” Marguerite Oestreicher Fine Arts, New Orleans, LA

1988 “Figures & Landscapes,” Lizan Tops Gallery, East Hampton, NY

1997 “Drawings & Paintings,” The More Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1995 “Edward Schmidt,” Contemporary Realist Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1993 “Recent Paintings & Drawings,” Contemporary Realist Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1992 “Works on Paper,” Stiebel Modern, New York, NY

1991 “Edward Schmidt,” New York Academy of Art Gallery, NY

1990 “Muses of Music – Paintings for Riverbend,” Suffolk County Community College, Brentwood, NY

1988 “Drawings & Paintings,” Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY

1983 “Drawings,”Temple University, Tyler School of Art, Rome, Italy

1982 “Edward Schmidt,” Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York, NY

1980 “Images & Ideas,” Bayly Museum of Art, University of Virginia, VA

1980 “Edward Schmidt, Drawings & Paintings,” Salve Regina Gallery, Catholic University, Wash. DC

Selected Collections

Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, TX

The American Academy, Rome, Italy

The National Academy of Design, NY

The Elizabeth Greenshields Memorial Foundation, Montreal, Canada

Crown America Corporation, Johnstown, PA

MGM Mansion, Las Vegas, NV

Bill Brockschmidt, Brockschmidt & Coleman, NY, NY

David Yurman Designs, NY

Academy of Art University (Permanent Collection), San Francisco, CA

Zuckerman Museum of Art, SGC International Print Collection, Kennesaw, GA

Collections of: Michael Graves, Mark Strand, William Bailey, Jed Perl, Mark Helprin, William O’Reilly, Jane Schoelkopf, Lennart Anderson, Dennis Smith, Dr. David Long, Randy Lerner, Russell Wilkinson & Eileen Guggenheim, Frederick Bancroft, Stanley Grand, Allison & Donald Innes, Richard Spurzem, Sybil Shainwald

Selected Awards

1998 Arthur Ross Award in Painting, ICAA, New York, NY

1994 Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Grant, New York, NY

1990 American Institute of Architecture Award for Michael Graves & Edward Schmidt Collaboration: Clos Pegase Winery, Wash. D.C.

1985 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Competition Winner (with Michael Graves) Architect/Artist Design Collaboration, San Francisco, CA

1985 National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Fellowship Grant

1984 Ingram Merrill Foundation Grant

1983-84 Rome Prize in Painting, The American Academy in Rome, Italy

1976 Change, Inc. Artist Trust Grant, New York, NY

1974 Graduate Fellowship, Brooklyn College, NY

1972 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, Montreal, Canada

Selected Bibliography:

2014 Kuspit/Sandler/McCann, The Figure: Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture, Skira Rizzoli, NY   (reproductions & text)

2014 Watwood, Patricia, “Big Beauty and Form Sense in Contemporary Figurative Practice,” American Arts Quarterly, Spring, Volume 31, Number 2, NY (reproduction)

2005 Prescott, Theodore L. (Editor), A Broken Beauty, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Cambridge, U.K. (reproduction)

2005 “Four Painters Talk About Figurative Art,” Between Perception & Invention, Sharon Art Center,  Peterborough, NH (catalogue with reproduction)

2005 Reed, Henry Hope, The United States Capitol; Its Architecture and Decoration, W. W. Norton, New York, N Y.

2004 Hennebohl, Rudolf, Antike und Gegenwart, Daphne – Narcissus – Pygmalion, C. C. Buchners Verlag, Bamberg (reproduction)

2004 Brown, Clint & McClean, Cheryl, Drawing from Life, 3rd Edition, Wadsworth/Thompson, Belmont,  CA (reproduction)

2003 MacCash, Doug, “Back to the Classics in First-Rate Style,” The Times Picayune, New Orleans, LA (reproduction)

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