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 Randall Schmit  (1955 - )

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Lived/Active: New York/New Jersey      Known for: abstract and figurative expression painting

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Ad Code: 3
Randall Schmit
Marlowe and Advisor, 2011
66" x 66"

Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Res Nova Gallery:

Randall Schmit, collage artist and abstract painter, began his education in 1973 at Texas A&M with the study of architecture. The curriculum there included numerous art-related classes and he quickly gravitated in that direction. He received both his BFA and MFA degrees there.  During his second graduate year he spent six months in New York studying under George McClancy at Empire State College.  He also apprenticed with Ray Parker and under his tutelage, received an immense amount of information including his knowledge of color and of leading first and second generation Abstract Expressionists through Parker's association with many leading figures of those movements. After graduation he remained in New York to work with Parker.   At  this time he began a body of his own work, and shortly after had gallery representation.

As a student he was inspired by Gorky, Giacometti, Bacon and Tintoretto.   In 1981 he made a number of large paintings that were 'all over', with hidden mythical imagery and high-key color use. 

In 1999 the artist relocated from Manhattan to Hudson, New York, where his friend, the poet John Ashbery, has had a home since the 70's. In 2000 a selection of the artist's collages were shown at a gallery in Istanbul, where he also traveled to lecture at the U.S. Embassy.  The Byzantine art and architecture there affected the imagery of his subsequent work: the compositions influenced the internal scale-relations of the figures, while the Oriental architecture enhanced the fantastic nature of the paintings.

He is the recipient of the 2011 Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Foundation Individual Artist Grant.

Schmit has been a guest critic at numerous universities including Bennington College, Skidmore College, the University of New Orleans and the Maryland Institute Graduate School of Fine Arts.

Schmit's paintings are included in several public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Frederick R. Weisman Collection, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Birmingham Museum of Art. 

Breidenbach, Tom, "Randall Schmit", The Country and Abroad, December 2000, pp 29-30.
Connally, Siobhan, "Randall Schmit", The Artful Mind, November 2000, pp32-33.
 "Randall Schmit at Apel Galeri", NYV [television coverage], Istanbul, TURKEY,
September 15, 2000.
üstün Behçet", Artificial Corridor", Istanbul City Guide, September 2000.
"Randall Schmit", ART + DECOR, Vol.90, September 2000, p.228.
"Randall Schmit", VIZYON, Vol.122 , September 2000, p.551.
"Randall Schmit at Apel Galeri", HOME/ART, Vol. 59, September 2000, p.20.
"Artificial Corridor", SKYLIFE, Vol. 206, September 2000, p.212.
Brill, Joseph A., "Hudson Artists Bring American Culture to the Middle of the World", Register-Star, Sunday, September 3, 2000, Front Page & Living Today, pp 1-2.
Goldson, Elizabeth, Seeing Jazz: Artists and Writers on Jazz, Smithsonian Institution, Chronicle
Books, San Francisco, CA,1999, p. 79, 143 (illus., color)
Breidenbach, Tom, "Randall Schmit", Frederick R. Weisman Collection, Los Angeles, CA,1998.
Myles, Eileen, "Randall Schmit at E.M.Donahue", Art in America, Vol. 82, No 12, December,
1994, pp 104-105.
Yablonsky, Linda, "Randall Schmit", ARTFORUM, Vol XXXIII, No 3, November 1994, p.88.
Heartney, Eleanor, "Randall Schmit at E.M.Donahue", Art in America, December 1991,
pp 117-118.
Gillette, Frank, Randall Schmit: Warping the Eye's Mind, (catalogue) E.M.Donahue Gallery,
 New York, NY, 1991.
Zimmer, William, Collage: New Applications, (catalogue), Lehman College Art Gallery, New
York, NY, 1991, p 3.
"Randall Schmit", The New Yorker, June 10, 1991, p.17.
Simms, Lower Stokes, Randall Schmit, (catalogue), E.M.Donahue Gallery, New York, NY 1990.
"Randall Schmit: Absent Hymn Before the Flood", Mudfish 5: Contemporary Art and Poetry, Box Turtle Press, New York, NY 1990, p.44.
Nash, Jesse W., "Randall Schmit", The New Orleans Art Review, Vol III (89-
90), November/December 1989, pp.28-29.
Bogart, Derek, "Gallery Scene: Magazine Street", OFF BEAT, Vol2, No 2, December, 1989.
Green, Roger, "Randall Schmit", The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Arts & Entertainment Section, p.2.Sunday, November 12, 1989, p.F-17.
Rive, David, "Randall Schmit: New Abstractions", The New Orleans Art Review, Vol VI, No4, May/June 1988, p.4.
Green, Roger, "Randall Schmit", The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Arts & Entertainment Section, Sunday, May 1, 1988, p.2.
Brenson, Michael, "Critic's Choices", The New York Times, Sunday, July 26, 1987.
Wallace, Kent, "Four Shows; Four Hits", Artspeak, Vol VIII, No21, July 1, 1987.
Vetrocq, Marcia E., "Randall Schmit", Art in America, No 1, January,
1987, p.145.
Behl, Catherine, "Schmit: A Sense of Change", The New Orleans Art Review, Vol. 86-87, No 2, November/December 1986, pp 30-31.
Green, Roger, "Randall Schmit: Recent Paintings", The Times-Picayune, New
Orleans, Arts & Entertainment Section, Sunday, November 2, 1986.
Glade, Luba, "Randall Schmit", Gambit, New Orleans, LA, October 8, 1984.
Green, Roger, "Randall Schmit", The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, Arts & Entertainmen Section, Sunday, April 8, 1984, Section 3, p.8.
Glade, Luba, "Randall Schmit", Gambit, New Orleans, LA, April 14, 1984, p.27.
Harlan, Calvin, "Peach Blossoms, Mexicans, et al", The New Orleans Art Review, Vol III, No.23, March/April/May 1984.
"Schmit Exhibition", Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, March 28, 1984.
"Randall Schmit",  Baton Rouge Sunday Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA, February 14,
The following paragraph was written for use by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation in the publication of its first comprehensive catalogue of the art collection.


An early painting by Randall Schmit is like a clear snapshot of a colorful blizzard of energy and forms.  The works are muscular and abstract and create the impression of mysterious occurrences at multiple depths, of spaces being revealed within space.  There's a suggestion that the process is endless and random, that each new level is as flush with interesting possibilities as another?an infinite universe bounded only by the choices we make among these levels.  Tempering the work is a sense of the fun of having articulated precisely these figures during his exploration.  Vibrant and purposeful, these shapes can suggest architecture, classical sculpture or parts of bodies, none of which fully emerge as we might expect from the action they are enmeshed in.  It is as though the passages are occupied with each other at some more essential and secretive level than we are usually privy to, in an intricate relationship which feels at once material and spiritual.  More recent works show the evolution of the abstract passages of earlier canvasses into more realistic (if dreamlike) scenes: haunted arenas, crumbling ruins amid which crouch a monkey, human figures in caves, eerie stretches of meadow, clouded skies and grassy plains and, most prominently, stills from old movies.  While encroached upon by intricate squiggles and menacing squibs, these frames seem more stark for Schmit's faithful depictions than they possibly could have been in the context of the films from which they are derived.  They are American, violent and archetypal, their characters' gestures and poses simultaneously urgent, comic, violent and sincere?and restrained, if at all, only in the final instance.  While we remain unaware of  the particulars of the drama, the stakes seem certain, and high.  Schmit continues to work brilliantly at this keen edge.

 - Thomas Breidenbach, August, 1997

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