Owen Schuh, mixed material sketchbook

So much paper! What is a clutterer to do?

As a lifelong homebody, I hesitate to walk out my front door. But last Friday night (upon a friend’s urging), I ventured outside, and I’m glad I did. Why? I stumbled across Schema Projects, the first gallery in Bushwick dedicated exclusively to works of art on paper. Conceived by artist Mary Judge, the gallery features drawings, prints, sketchbooks, illustrations, and all things related to paper. Housed in a former barbershop, the project space is modest. The room is spare, enjoys high-ceilings, and it offers lots of natural light. It is a delightful venue to see art.

Schema Projects, installation shot

Schema Projects “installation shot” (Courtesy of Hrag Vartanian)

Drafted, Schema Projects’ inaugural show, features more than sixty artists, some of whom call Europe home. Though cosmopolitan, Judge includes local artists from the neighborhood as well. She cultivates a wonderful sense of inclusivity by positioning the works of emerging and under-recognized artists alongside more established names. The work on view spans a range of styles, genres, and mediums. Architectural renderings, digital collages, sculpted paper objects rub shoulders against ink drawings, sketchbooks,and watercolors. As a viewer, I cherished these pairings, which seemed to reward the act of looking.

Schema Projects

Schema Projects “installation shot” (Courtesy of Hrag Vartanian)

Schema Projects installation

Schema Projects “installation shot” (Courtesy of Hrag Vartanian)

To organize a visually compelling exhibition from this eclectic mix of works on paper is no small feat. Judge deserves special commendation for her curatorial know-how. She does not rely on a one-size-fits-all approach to hanging art. Each work is installed according to its unique qualities. For some works, small ledges are in order; for others, magnets (painted white to match the walls), round-head tacks, or pushpins affixed to metal clips. The attention to detail speaks volumes about Judge’s sensitivity to the medium.

Katharina_Denzinger_ ink_on_paper

Katharina Denzinger, ” Toy, toi toi” ink on paper

As an artist, I am drawn to all things paper. Since childhood, I have carried some form of notebook to jot down doodles, sketches, or drawings. One of the great pleasures of this show is to see how different artists approach this medium. I, too, often rely on a particular convention of mark making. This show offered myriad examples of how artists make marks on paper, or how artists use works on paper as part of their creative process.


Joan Kahn, “African Mahogany and Diamonds” digital archive print

Of the sixty some odd artists in the show, I had my favorites. They included Katharina Densinger’s phantasmagoric ink drawing, Joan Kahn’s modest digital print of translucent triangular shapes, Anne Seidman’s quirky abstract collage, Rob de Oude’s minimalist colored pencil drawing, Traute Mathes’s harlequin-inspired fashion illustrations, and Owen Schuh’s sketchbook of colorful mathematical notations à la John Nash.

taut mathes Pencil goauche Watercolor on paper

Traute Mathes, pencil, goauche, watercolor on paper


Rob de Oude, “Slanted Reverberations” colored pencil drawing

Go to this show. Soon. The exhibition closes this weekend. (Make sure to check out Sonel Breslav’s Blonde Art Books in the front corner of the gallery. It’s a nice pairing. Blonde Art Books presents artist books, magazines, and other printed material.)


Anne Seidman, colored pencil and collage

Drafted continues until February 24 at Schema Projects (92 Saint Nicholas Avenue, Bushwick, Brooklyn).