058 Artist René Romero Schuler shares her story and talks about keeping a positive attitude

René Romero Schuler is one of the most important and well-collected contemporary artists to emerge out of the Midwest in the last 10 years. Now living in both Chicago and Carmel, CA, this artist is creating powerful images of strength and vulnerability that are capturing the attention of gallerists, collectors, corporations, museums, and the media worldwide. Her work is in the permanent collections of The Union League Club of Chicago, Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) in Chicago and St. Thomas University – Sardiñas Gallery in Miami.

René’s early expressionistic paintings have been compared to those of Jean Dubuffet and Willem de Kooning, while her more recent work is influenced by more contemporary artists like Susan Rothenberg, Joan Brown and Maryann Kolb. The content and execution of René’s work, however, sets her apart from all others. René’s work tackles emotions that speak to the heart of the human condition: love, sorrow, solitude, and heartbreak, yet, through these depictions of difficult subjects, she inspires her viewers with hope, fortitude, and, ultimately, enduring strength. The female figures René captures are equal parts self-portraiture and portraits of the range of human emotions that she has experienced. Her approach is personal yet universal, and ultimately intimate. The work is visually and emotionally affecting, and powerfully reveals her appreciation for the struggle and triumph of the human condition. Of late, René has expanded her intimate human approach to include work that speaks to feminist and societal issues that she feels strongly about.

René’s execution in creating these exquisite paintings has its foundation in her interior design background. A self-taught artist, René applies layers and layers of oil paint using a palette knife. Her technique involves harnessing textural strata of paint, palette scratches, and bold colors, to create the psychic tension and stress between surface and depth. René’s current style can be described as a more edited and controlled abstract expressionism, wedded with a pop culture sensibility that is uniquely her own.

Whether on canvas, paper, or three-dimensional sculpture, René studies the relationship between what is immediately apparent at the surface and what exists beneath. She creates visually powerful images that haunt us with their beauty and truth. They challenge us to examine what lies within us all and to accept ourselves as both tragic and flawed while at the same time inspiring our internal hero who somehow triumphantly endures.

René has shared her artistic talent and passion by teaching at the Illinois Institute of Art and Chicago City Colleges and lecturing at Northwestern University. She currently teaches art to elementary school students through Art From The Heart- a not-for-profit organization bringing arts education to schools and students in need. Her work is on display in public collections inside the Chicago Cultural Center, the Prudential Building, the Chanel boutique at Neiman Marcus, Hyatt Regency Hotels, among many others, and in the permanent archives at the Art Institute of Chicago.

René’s work has been exhibited during Art Basel Miami since 2011, and exhibited internationally in Paris, Rome, Paxos and Beirut. She continues to be permanently represented in the United States and in Paris, France.

A book, René Romero Schuler: Life and Works, showcasing images of the artist’s thick impastos and striking figural canvases in addition to providing readers a look into her artistic process, was released in 2013.

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