Bastienne Schmidt

Grids and Threads

Artist statement
The project “Grids and Threads” is a minimalist meditation on the concept of white space and it’s perception. It is inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s “Three Standard Stoppages,” in which three imaginary measuring devices underline the arbitrariness to qualify and quantify something. On one hand, conceptual photography is used in a series of installations where the sense of scale becomes a riddle. Objects and colorful markers are photographed in the snow from a bird’s eye perspective, using the white environment as a blank canvas. The installations were built with recycled fabrics and colored threads. It is a continuation of Schmidt’s artistic search for concepts of space and systems that define them, which she originally showcased in her book Topography of Quiet. 

I will be creating for the Drive-By-Art project an ephemeral outside installation with bamboo, strings and thread, going back to my childhood in Greece, which inspired me to work with old and recycled materials. 

Bastienne Schmidt
Grids and Threads and Time
Sewn Fabric Markers

Bastienne Schmidt
Oy and Help
hand painted and sewn banner
60 Inches x200 Inches

Bastienne Schmidt
Painted and Sewn Fabric installation
50 x 50 x 15 Inches

Bastienne Schmidt
written fabric pieces hung in trees

Bastienne Schmidt is a multi-disciplinary artist working with photography, painting and large-scale drawings. She was born in Germany, raised in Greece and Italy, and has lived in New York for the past 20 years. Her art work is included in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NewYork, International Center of Photography, Brooklyn Museum, Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, among others. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally in over 100 exhibitions among them International Center of Photography in New York, Brooklyn Museum, New Museum, and Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, among many others. She has published seven monographs, among them Vivir la Muerte, American Dreams, Shadowhome, Home Stills, Topography of Quiet,Typology of Women and Grids and Threads. She was the Artist in Residence at Parrish Art Museum in 2017. In 2018, she was awarded a residency at the Watermill Center. In 2019, she was chosen to be part of the Parrish Art Museum exhibition “Artists Choose Artists.” Photography and art fall for Schmidt into the realm of archeology, exploring layers of history and meaning, and reassigning value to them. Schmidt was born in Munich, Germany and moved at the age of 9 with her family to Greece. She spent her childhood surrounded by her father’s archeological work, which instilled in her a desire to organize, map, and attempt to understand systems through her artwork. She is interested in the documentation and creation of artifacts that carry the patina of memory, history, and time. Schmidt’s process relates often to the use of humble materials such as muslin fabric, strings and thin transparent paper, that is subsequently painted and drawn upon. Paper offers an intuitive process, which allows for overlapping and organic coming together of spaces. Geometric forms such as circles, triangles and squares play a role in her work, such as the use of typologies as an artistic tool.