Enormous, colorful, abstract paintings on canvas (and some normal-sized too) fill the walls of Decker A and Decker B galleries during Tom Schultz’ exhibition, which continues through Sept. 7.
Schultz, a Mid-Westerner by birth and education, moved to New York in 1959 at the height of the Abstract Expressionist movement and connected with artists in the New York School.
Schultz exhibited widely, but made his living in construction. He met many of the New York painters at the Cedar Bar, including Franz Kline; went to the Artists’ Club, where artists discussed the important issues in art; and exhibited paintings in the Brata and Phoenix co-op galleries on 10th Street.
By 1980 Schultz had resettled in San Francisco’s East Bay art community, and his paintings continued to evolve with a stronger use of colors, gesture, and structure, influenced by the California landscape.
“Color has opened up for me” according to Schultz. “I work in oils and acrylics on canvas and gesso panels in sizes from 24x24 to 72x96. I take elements from the landscape and urban environment and I combine the hard edge at times with the more gestural.
“What excites me about painting is the unexpected or unknown. I don't know what will come out or what I'll end up with. I hit the canvas straight on without a preconceived idea. The revelation comes in the process itself. Once the basic idea is expressed, I can (and often do) add or subtract elements.
“I believe the final impact of a work of art should be a felt experience, that is to say, an emotional one, without which it is nothing more than an intellectual exercise.”
Tom Schultz’ paintings have been exhibited in Colorado, New York, California, and Germany, and his works are in private collections in the United States and Germany.
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