A Homecoming: Jon Schueler

A Homecoming: Jon Schueler

violent wind by jon schueler

Jon Schueler

Violent Wind, 1987

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mood cries for sleep by jon schueler

Jon Schueler

Mood Cries for Sleep, 1984

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sky shadow over sleat by jon schueler

Jon Schueler

Sky Shadow Over Sleat, 1973

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blue series i by jon schueler

Jon Schueler

Blue Series I, 1973

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

News

JON SCHUELER: An Homage (Finally) In His Hometown

A celebrated member of the vanguard of post-World War II painting will receive recognition in the city of his birth April 20 when the Dean Jensen Gallery of Milwaukee opens "A Homecoming: Jon Schueler (1916-1992)."

Schueler, who received a master's degree in English literature from the University of Wisconsin--Madison, had early ambitions to be a writer. But after teaching for a few years the San Francisco University late in the 1940s, he enrolled at the California School of Fine Art in San Franscisco where he studied with Clyfford Still, who was to become a lifelong friend, Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Elmer Bischoff, Mark Rothko and other avant-gardists.

Schueler left California for New York early in the 1950s, originally occupying space in Still's studio. His large, freely painted canvases immediately identified him as a member in good standing of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Soon, he was showing solo at such major New York galleries as Stable, Leo Castelli and Hirschl & Adler, and then was given exhibitions at such important museums as the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Schueler might be more widely recognized today had he not so frequently expatriated himself to live and work abroad. Wanderlust always stirred in his soul, though, and he spent much of the 25 years of his life in France, Italy, England and especially Maillag, Scotland, a small fishing village where he established a studio in an old schoolhouse.

Schueler, in fact, seemed absolutely bewitched by Maillag. There were periods when he remained there for stretches as kong as six years at a time. The waters of the Sound of Sleat, the chalky and bruised-colored clouds that entirely blotting out the sky, the mists that sometimes veiled and sometime parted from the distant Isle of Skye presented him with an almost second-by-second changing drama.

Schueler painted abstractly from the time he started studying with Still. But the canvases of the last 25 years of his life, like those of other abstract expressionists like Joan Mitchell and to some extent Jackson Pollock, cannot be read as being purely nonobjective. Almost always his paintings were rooted in nature, specifically light and night, days a-borning, days dying.

The public opening of "A Homecoming: Jon Shueler (1916-1992)" will be held at the gallery at 759 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 20. Magda Salvesen of New York, Schueler's widow, is expected to be present. The exhibition, the first to be presented anywhere in Schueler's home state, continues through June 2.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting the gallery during business hours Tuesday through Saturday. The gallery phone number is 414-278-7100, its email address is deanjensenart@sbcglobal.net.