John Schiff: Unencumbered/Improvising

February 13 - March 29, 2014

Denise Bibro Fine Art, 529 W. 20th St. 4W is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of John Schiff, Prints: Unencumbered/Improvising.

Schiff has been an artist and a renowned, award-winning architect for decades. His knowledge and love for formation and materials fundamentally inform his work, in which he explores the tension between structure and spontaneity. He begins with an invented “alphabet” of an inherent mathematical structure, comprised of “letters,” which he develops by creating shapes according to the ratios found in the Golden Section and Fibonacci Series. Schiff cuts these letters out of mylar and places them on a plate, which he then inks and runs through an etching press to transfer the information directly from plate to paper. Other times, he creates rubber stamps out of these same letters. While certain works are entirely pressed, others are hand-stamped and some are even produced by a mix of both processes. Schiff’s alphabet has limitless possibilities. By using mirrored images and incorporating negative shapes, he creates a deliberate and refined order in his work, which is subjective, intuitive, and ultimately, free. Within this controlled method, there is often an element of surprise or “accident” that affords the artist an opportunity to incorporate his ideas both immediately and in the future, further individualizing each work. Schiff primarily creates monoprints instead of multiple prints, which makes each piece even more precious.

John Schiff was a founding partner of Mayers and Schiff Architects and a professor of architecture at Cooper Union. His architecture (along with his partner Robert Mayers) includes the original TKTS Booth in Times Square, the Miller Theater at Columbia University, and the tower at 2 Times Square described by critic Herbert Muschamp as “the most advanced piece of architecture to go up in Time Square since the TKTS booth was created.” Schiff has received numerous awards, including the American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Architectural Record Magazine, Art Directors Club of New York, City of New York/Bard Award, New York Society of Architects, New York State Association of Architects and Urban Design Magazine. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York, the Queens Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Municipal Art Society, and placed in the Rutgers Archives of Prints, IBM, Ernst & Young and many other private collections.