Walter Gropius Master Artist Series Presents: Koo Schadler

January 24 - April 5, 2015

Koo Schadler will speak about her work at 7 p.m. March 26, 2015, at HMA. Admission to this public presentation is free. Schadler will present a workshop at HMA titled “The Still Life in Egg Tempera” from March 27-29, 2015. The workshop is full and we cannot accept any additional registrations for the workshop. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Schadler earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University, Boston, MA, in 1984. After graduating, she traveled extensively throughout Europe, settling in Florence, Italy, to pursue her studies in art history and painting. Schadler returned to the states in 1986 and moved to California. There she was introduced to egg tempera, one of the oldest painting techniques, by Chester Arnold at the College of Marin. She moved east in the 1990s, to a small town in southern New Hampshire. With a deepening commitment to the techniques of the Old Masters, Schadler studied oil painting with husband and wife duo, Numael and Shirley Pulido – renowned for their understanding of classical painting principles – while mastering egg tempera on her own. She established a studio and now pursues full-time the study and creation of egg tempera paintings and silverpoint drawings.

Schadler is a Master Painter of The Copley Society of Boston, a contributing editor at The Artist’s Magazine and a board member of the International Society of Tempera Painters. Schadler writes and lectures on egg tempera and teaches tempera and gesso-making workshops around the US and abroad. Schadler’s paintings and drawings are in more than 400 private and corporate collections and many museums nationwide. Her work is represented by the Arden Gallery in Boston, MA, and Tree’s Place in Orleans, MA.

Schadler favors the pre-Renaissance medium of egg yolks, powdered pigment and water to create astoundingly detailed, intensely colored egg tempera paintings of the natural world. Employed by artists from Botticelli to Wyeth, egg tempera paint is generally applied in scores of diluted, thin, often transparent layers of color. As the image builds, the interaction of these layers of color creates the rich, luminous look and brilliant surface unique to tempera paintings. Schadler’s masterfully executed works draw inspiration from the compositions and traditional settings of Northern and Italian Renaissance paintings. However, the common cast of biblical characters is replaced by birds, bugs, frogs, terrapins, rabbits and other creatures. Like a medieval manuscript illuminator, Schadler often incorporates lettering into her work, juxtaposed with the minutiae of nature.

In her artist statement, Schadler writes: “I became a painter because of my love for craftsmanship and my love for Old Master painting. My love for the natural world gives me my subject matter. These inspirations are fundamental, and sufficient to explain all the artwork I produce. My artwork gives me the opportunity to quietly observe nature. Animals, particularly the quiet and inconspicuous varieties, are among my favorite subjects. They are visually interesting and beautifully patterned; mysterious and unknowable; of infinite value to humans and the world at large. I enjoy placing them at center stage. To me there is nothing as well-designed as the alphabet, as geometrically pure as a seashell, as visually graceful as a flower, or as decorative as a spotted bunny.”

The Walter Gropius Master Artist Series is funded through the generosity of the Estate of Roxanna Y. Booth, who wished to assist in the development of an art education program in accordance with the proposals of Walter Gropius, who designed the Museum’s Gropius Addition, as well as the Gropius Studios. The Museum is indebted to Roxanna Y. Booth’s son, Alex Booth, for his participation in the concept development of the Gropius Master Artists Workshops.

Walter Gropius Master Artist Series Presents: Koo Schadler

Koo Schadler, All that is Harmony, n.d. Egg Temera, on true gesso panel, 11 1/2” x 10 3/4” (17” x 16 1/2” framed). Image courtesy of the artist.