Our first show as part of the Albuquerque ARTScrawl opens this Friday!
Artists Denise Weaver Ross and Eliza Schmid are showing their scary creative sides in a two-person art show, Legends and Monsters, which opens Aug. 5 and runs through Sept. 2. The exhibit is featuring “monsters and legendary creatures from known and not so well known traditions and stories.” It is part of the First Friday events hosted by the City of Albuquerque.
The following is the press release for this show:
The show, Legends and Monsters, is a body of work that highlights the varied styles and distinct beauty that each artist offers. Their individual stories as artists are quite different, though their work presents nicely together.
Schmid, 80, is a retired surgeon and psychiatrist who became an artist in mid-life. She paints mostly in oil but also does mixed media abstracts and monoprints. One of her favorite mediums is egg tempera, a now rare method that she continues to preserve.
Born and raised in post-World War II Vienna, Austria, Schmid attended medical school in Vienna.
“I like to say that medical school was the second best art school I ever attended,” said Schmid. “Our professors made us copy human anatomy from huge blackboards throughout medical school. They drew out every aspect of the human anatomy. It was incredible.”
After graduation, she specialized in pathology and came to America on a fellowship to Stanford University. After a second residency training in psychiatry she worked as clinical professor of
psychiatry at UCLA. When she hit her late 50s, she started painting again while working in her profession in Los Angeles.
She has produced a large body of work and exhibited in numerous galleries in California; the Amsterdam Whitney and Jadite Galleries in New York City; in Germany; and throughout large cities in the U.S.
She said she moved to New Mexico in the 1990s so that she could ski in Santa Fe and enjoy wonderful weather most of the year. She continued to create, having her work exhibited and displayed in Las Cruces, Los Alamos, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
“The themes of my paintings come out of my experience as a psychoanalytically trained psychiatrist and from my social and political worldviews,” Schmid said. “They also come from my Baroque Catholic childhood in Austria with its mystery and fairytales, and the cultural experience of being a European in America.
“I like to tell stories with my paintings, which are whimsical, tragic-comical, grotesque, and about abnormal, surrealist mental conditions. They celebrate metamorphoses and transcendence both in figurative and abstract form.”
That is a perfect match for Weaver Ross, an Albuquerque resident who has also received local and national acclaim as an artist.
Their show offers patrons a chance to look deep into the whimsical and darker paintings for interpretation, said Ross, who is coming off her recent solo show House of Cards: The Whole Deck exhibition reimagining a deck of playing cards using mythical and contemporary iconography to depict personal, yet universal, themes.
“I think Eliza and I have some similarities, though we are very different in our approach to our work,” she said. “Her prolific style is a tribute to artists of any age or gender.”
Weaver Ross, 57, is an artist, poet and graphic designer in Albuquerque. She said her personal life also has played a part in the inspiration for her art. Many of her images encompass her life with her husband, Colin, and their two sons. Colin died from Sickle Cell Disease in 2002.
She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a Master of Fine Arts degree. She has exhibited in galleries and museums along the East Coast, Chicago, Santa Fe and Albuquerque. A published poet, she has produced four books of art and poetry. Three of them are connected to suits in the House of Cards, and she is currently working on the last in that series, on the Bones Suit.