Pettijohn Schade’s “Crowds” will be on view until May 9th at Kai Matsumiya Gallery, New York kaimatsumiya.com.
The artist in her Brooklyn studio.
“My work explores the ramifications of repetition and patterning. Every image I make is in repeat and the way that the images repeat are as meaningful and important as the images themselves. Often there is an understructure I am playing with—with this work the understructure is a scalloped tombstone pattern.”
“I first came to gouache as an aesthetic choice because I was interested in finding a medium for pattern making. When I learned gouache painting was how textile design was traditionally done, I began to dig deeper only to discover this wild and wonderful tradition out of France from the 17th century. The abstractions in their work seemed to predate a lot of what was to come later.”
“During my research, I found this amazing collection of 2,000 anonymous gouache paintings in the Bibliotheque Forney. I spent six months sketching in Paris. There was everything from wild patterns with snakes and double helixes to funiculars made of lighting bolts—even some of the first cellular imagery. Doesn’t this look like 1980s fantasy? ”
“I’m not a chaos lover.”
“If I wasn’t sharing a studio with my husband, I would probably prefer to work alone. We share a deep understanding of what each other is doing—the same impulses and empathies—but yet our work is so different. It’s close but not too close. We share a file drawer and he likes to DJ—it’s perfect.”
“I love the mathematic structure of this lace. Each line has a physical body. Each stitch has its own wild permutation.”
“These are drawings I did at the Cluny museum in Paris. They were the heads of the King sculptures that adorned the original façade of Notre Dame. During the French revolution, they were knocked down. I became fascinated by the way they embodied the life cycle of a crowd—from the raising of the structure to its destruction.”
“There are a lot of hats that artists are suppose to wear, the studio hat is, of course, the most pleasurable. I find it heavenly. When I was younger, I used to feel like I had to try and push myself to adopt other people’s rhythms, but over the years I’ve grown to know my own. For me, six hours of work comes like a dream.”
“I had a very elderly cat who has since past. She had a sensitive belly for years, so I fed her baby food. The jars were perfect for keeping gouache. I’m so sad that I’m almost out.”
"This show comes from a heartfelt desire to see these paintings come more to light. They are so gorgeous and have a lot to say art historically—at least in my opinion.”