Christian Schutz


Born in 1941 in Berlin and driven throughout the course of his life from East to West and back again, Christian Schutz is a dyed-in-the-wool anti-ideologue.
His faith lies in a belief that art and the hard sciences present a kind of enjeu of possibilities.
The ties between painting and music have fascinated Schutz since his earliest years, and his experiences with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach as well as with contemporary music (such as electronic and minimal) have had a particular influence over the forging of his relationship with music.
Among the key processes which underlie the artist's work are: music as an embodiment of a certain period in a picture, the picture as musical score, the development of themes in never-ending symbolic figures, and the application of compositional techniques which overlap in visual cycles.
In the Strings cycle for example, the psychodynamics of sound sit at the very centre of the work, and it becomes possible to experience in a visual way complex rhythmic structures, layers of tempo, vibrations, colours, tones and textures.
The techniques and methods which Schutz uses to apply his material as a painter are inspired not just by music but also by languages and mathematics (which are closely linked). These are methods which are both specific to all formalistic languages and which also reveal the underlying mechanisms of human consciousness and agency.
In the Runes, Chaconne and Wanderer - Epic cycles, form and the perception and formation of signs stand at the centre of the work - signs are presented as universal human modes of self-expression, infused with communicative and meditative power.
In the Wanderer - Epic and Runes cycles in particular, it is not merely the purely aesthetic character of signs which interests Schutz, but rather their ability to be understood in relation to complex social and natural phenomena and occurrences. So references to contemporary moments in time also play a crucial role in Schutz's work.
In 1996 after a period of collaboration with the American composer Ye Sook Lee, who composed electronic music inspired by his graphic cycles, Schutz, who previously specialised in graphics, painting and experimentai film, introduced the computer into his creative work. Since then this has become the artist's.