Eric and Heather ChanSchatz
JANUARY 29–MAY 23, 2010
Eric and Heather ChanSchatz present paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and books which, in their words, "inhabit the architecture and psychology of the social condition.? Resulting from their engagements with individuals, communities and institutions, ChanSchatz create artworks that explore communal relationships, structures of individuality, and the mapping of socio-political networks. Such interactions typically span several years to reach completion and have taken place internationally from New York to Iraq. The works included at MCA Denver presented projects at different stages of progress providing our audiences with a unique view into, and an opportunity to participate with, the many layers of ChanSchatz?s conceptual and provocative practice.
The work of New York-based Eric and Heather ChanSchatz (both born 1968) has been included in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions in the United States and Europe. In 2011, they created a site-specific installation at the architectural landmark Lever House in New York City.
ChanSchatz's exhibition was one of six exhibitions focused on the metaphysics of the human figure grouped under the title Looking for the Face I Had Before the World Was Made. The artists included: Michaël Borremans, Samuel Beckett, Eric & Heather ChanSchatz, Lorraine O'Grady, A. G. Rizzoli and William Stockman. Each of the artists explored how depicting the human figure can offer something more consequential than a simple catalogue of physical features. Each work in the exhibition told a human story while de-emphasizing the likeness of any particular person. Using a wide variety of styles, the artists were joined by an interest in creating a sense of a phenomenon deeper than the surface image, capturing a presence prior to the appearance of the fully formed individual. The line "Looking for the face I had before the world was made," is a quote from the late poet and dramatist, William Butler Yeats, from his poem "A Woman Young and Old." It can be understood as either a statement of faith or a philosophical riddle related to the formation of the self.
Looking for the Face I Had Before the World Was Made opened January 29, 2009 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The exhibition was sponsored in part by Amber & Michael Fries, Emily Sinclair & Jay Kenney, and MCA Denver's Director's Vision Society.
image: Eric and Heather ChanSchatz. Monochromes (SCU.020) (detail), 2009. Eric and Heather ChanSchatz.