Couple to Present Art Exhibit in Harcum Gallery

Ivan Schieferdecker and Laurin Notheisen to Show Nature-Inspired Artwork

February 27, 2014

A piece by Lauren Notheisen.

A piece by Lauren Notheisen.

Ivan Schieferdecker and Laurin Notheisen will present an exhibit of their artwork at Harcum Art Gallery March 13 through April 26.

An opening reception honoring the artists is slated for March 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. Normal gallery hours are weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by special appointment arranged by curator Hal Shunk, professor of art.

Schieferdecker and Notheisen are a married couple.

Notheisen explained that her work often originates with photographs she takes with the intention of using them in drawing, painting or printmaking.

“My landscape work involves creating the illusion of a place, a beautiful but somewhat disquieting place,” she said, noting they are usually natural, interior spaces framed by sky, land and foliage.

“I find the rhythm of shapes and lines made by leaves, grass and branches fascinating,” Notheisen added. “Light and the effects of light help to establish the illusion of reality, but the believability of that reality is often challenged through composition.”

Indeed, the geometrics of sidewalks, buildings and landscaped gardens are interwoven structures that contrast with the irregular movements of branches and leaves.

“Viewed very closely, my works become marks and value patterns,” she said.

Schieferdecker grew up in a small, Mississippi River town surrounded by agriculture.

(LEFT) A piece by Ivan Schieferdecker.

“The cultivated fields were parcels of land creating vast spaces,” he said, adding that, whether corn or wheat, each plant was the same as the next and thousands were needed to make a crop. “The river was at its widest and it, too, impressed me with its massive character.”

In contrast to this large scale, there were the small vegetable or flower gardens, “patches.” His mother frequently chose to plant flowers that grew tall and had shallow root systems. They were fragile and often needed stakes and twine to support the plants. When the plants died, the stakes and twine remained.

“Because of the size of the fields and my point of view, I had a feeling of isolation,” Schieferdecker said. “Inside the cornfield, confronted by plants larger than me, I would lose the horizon and all sense of direction.

“I watched the flowers as they experienced weather and seasonal changes.”

He noted that the “Patch” series of paintings is an abstract expression of these memories and the “Land Parcels” series references the fields, creeks and river from various distant viewpoints.