Brent Hallard
Zigs of Paint - the paintings of Richard Schur



Richard Schur's recent paintings twist off a grid. And they twang.

Up close and individual, on the surface of one of these paintings are tiny seeps -- 'zigs' of paint that at one time 'wet' had managed to get under a taped area. There is the 'painting over' of color that produces shifts in the visible light. Some color lay underneath, and, is, almost, perceptually lost.

Schur's abstractions suggest the unbound. They are, practically, and in an objective sense, elastic grids containing color. The color and its shape, bent squares and rectangles, tell a story. And on one level it's rewarding to be cognizant with this western narrative of painting, more, one particular to German history, particularly related to the abstract.

On another level what Schur paints can be enjoyed as a visual experience, which does not penalize the viewer if they can't get the history of it. Layer upon layer, and upon the surface, the paintings weave a space, and spin their own vibrant history. It is here, then, in their most direct presentation, and purest instance, that Schur's art provokes within us the best -- a journey of sight, of witnessing, intimately, to reflect.

...the journey would take a lifetime, of that I was sure. But still, there remains this unquenchable thirst to take things in all at once, to ask, just for a moment -- just for a flash, is there such a thing as the whole thing -- the whole shebang?

Surely, something would be left out.

Like walking along the main stretch of a local community with its turns and islets, offshoots, of and to different color, that gain you access to the warps of time; the past, the present, and future.

These are sometimes 'itsy bitsy' things; sometimes they are colossal events, and sometimes the in-between. Often, though, they can be witnessed -- not far off the main stretch.

In a doorway a women holds and talks to her child, and though standing too far off to make out what is being said 'experience' places 'us' there, within, beside, between, a babbling infant and a mother's hush. There is a swell within.

The truth is we have no idea what the mother is saying to the child. For all we know, mother could be explaining that she is sorry that she has to leave to go to work. The child may appear settled, may be cooing, as it does not yet understand what the mother is saying.
It could be that it will be the mother's first day back at work, and it's the infant's first experience of separation. Each sound would tell a different story, and each story would be followed by a different sound.

Such stories are told all the time. What part is imagined, and what part is real needn't matter. Stories are not meant to quench the thirst for the desire to take everything in at once -- they are like sips. And with each one there is register to a different world.