Through photography, painting and drawing, I explore concepts of identity and place. Photography and art fall into the realm of archeology—searching for layers of history and meaning, and reassigning value to them. I spent my childhood surrounded by my father’s archeological work, which instilled in me a desire to organize, map, and attempt to understand systems through artwork. My large scale drawings and paintings can be seen as mind maps made up of juxtaposed pieces of cultural influences.
I use an artistic process that often consists of layering thin, transparent paper upon which I subsequently paint and draw. Paper offers an intuitive medium that allows for overlapping and for organic coming together of spaces.
Geometric forms, such as circles, triangles and squares, play a large role in my work and the use of a multifold of blues goes back to my childhood, growing up on the Greek island of Samos. For my paintings and drawings I have created a personal topography that draws inspiration from travels as far as Egypt and Burma and from observing details close to home: a coffee stain, for instance, can be seen as a stain, a map or a topography.
about the artist
Bastienne Schmidt was born in Munich, Germany, and was raised in Greece and Italy. She studied anthropology at the University Ludwig-Maximilian Universitaet in Munich, Germany and graduated with a degree of Fine Arts from the University Accademia di Belli Arti, Perugia, Italy. She spent 10 years in New York, where she maintains a studio, before moving full time to Bridgehampton.
Schmidt’s work has been shown in over 100 exhibitions worldwide, including the New Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Zimmerli Museum, New Brunswick, NJ; Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany; Musee de la Photographie, Charleroi, Belgium; Musee de Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland; Ricco/Maresca Gallery, NY; Throckmorton Gallery, New York; Parish Road Show, Sag Harbor, NY; Harpers Books, East Hampton, NY; the Houston Center for Photography; Ille Arts, Amagansett,NY; Gallery Hamilton, England and Gallery Argus, Berlin, Germany.
Six monographs of her works have been published, among them Vivir la Muerte, American Dreams, Shadowhome, Home Stills, Topography of Quiet and Typology of Women.
Her work is also included in many collections: the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the International Center of Photography in New York; the Brooklyn Museum;the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX; the Center for Creative Photography in Tuscon, AZ; Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, TX; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, among others.