Mishel Valenton and Benedict Scheuer: Personal Nature

June 22 - October 19, 2024

This dual exhibition unites the artists Mishel Valenton and Benedict Scheuer, who are bound by a shared passion for using drawing and painting to capture the ephemeral essence of personal and natural experiences. While their work originates from an ethos of introspective curiosity, and sometimes flirts stylistically, each artist possesses their own solidly established pictorial vocabulary.

Valenton takes the viewer on a profound contemplative journey, into a visual diary of her momentary needs and desires. Her paintings reflect her intimate emotional landscape. She embraces vulnerability, expressing hunger, sadness, scheming, hopefulness, and other facets of the human experience. ”Whatever feeling or desire I am inhabiting in that place where I have a brush in my hand, that’s what I’m painting,” she writes. “This approach feels the most free right now, and unburdened by externalities. There is no need for the work to be anything but a moment in time. The female portrait or figure is of me or not of me, a possibility of self, the memory of someone else’s face or mine or no one’s. I don’t know exactly, but it doesn’t matter, either.” Valenton’s fluid approach to self-expression becomes a form of therapeutic healing, a celebration of the ever-changing nature of life’s experiences.

Scheuer’s drawings are primarily inspired by his garden, nature, belonging, and interconnectedness. His work emerges through an improvisational dance with the artistic process. This begins with stretching the silks that are his painting surface, and mixing resists, which prevent ink absorption and are used to mask areas of silk that Scheuer does not want to be colored. He writes, “I get the studio ready, I meditate, then I work.” Scheuer is not aiming for a particular direction or expression. “I find that what is depicted and the spirit with which it’s conveyed—color, shape, quality of line—shifts from day to day.” Scheuer’s drawings and silk pieces, in particular, embody that fluidity. They echo the delicate dance between the artist’s painterly mark and the air, literally flowing with each subtle breeze and blurring the lines between artistic object and the surrounding environment. 

Both Valenton’s and Scheuer’s work celebrate the freedom found in sensory recognition, the gratification derived from the immediacy of expression, and delight in all sensations visual and tactile.

Maria Stabio, curator


June 22, Saturday, 5:30 p.m. — Opening of Eight New Exhibits
July 11, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. — Art Talk: An Mishel Valenton, Benedict Scheuer, and Maria Stabio


Installation views
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