ARTISTS for 2016

René Romero Schuler

René Romero Schuler is one of the most important and well-collected contemporary artists to emerge out of the Midwest in the last decade. The Chicago-based artist creates powerful paintings and sculptures that convey strength, vulnerability and a holistic view of beauty. Romero Schuler’s oeuvre has garnered attention from gallerists, notable collectors, museums and the media alike, both on a local and international scale.

Recently, her painting graced the cover of NS magazine, and her solo exhibition in Chicago was met with high praise and attracted many new collectors. In 2013, Romero Schuler’s work was showcased in Europe, with her exhibition in Paris serving as the highlight of their show season. Her work has been exhibited during Art Basel since 2011, and this spring will mark her first university show at St. Thomas University in Miami.

Romero Schuler’s early expressionistic paintings have been compared to Jean Dubuffet and Willem de Kooning, while her recent work is influenced by Susan Rothenberg, Michel Nedjar and Maryann Kolb. The content and execution of her abstract female figures, however, sets her apart from all others. Romero Schuler captures the complexity of modern femininity and explores the many dynamic facets of the human spirit including power, vulnerability, resilience, spirituality, beauty and imperfection; yet her art also projects a deliberate optimism with the aim of inspiring her viewers with hope, fortitude and, ultimately, strength. Her approach is personal yet universal, and profoundly intimate. The female figures she captures are equal parts self-portraiture and portraits of a range of human emotions. Her work is visually and emotionally affecting and powerfully reveals her appreciation for the struggle and triumph of the human condition. Of late, Romero Schuler has focused more introspectively to reveal work that speaks to feminist and societal issues that resonate with her.

Whether on canvas, paper or three-dimensional sculpture, Romero Schuler studies the relationship between what is immediately apparent at the surface and what exists beneath. A self-taught artist, she applies layers of oil paint using a palette knife. Her technique involves harnessing textural strata of paint, palette scratches and bold colors to stress the inherent tension between surface and depth. Romero Schuler’s current style can be described as a controlled abstract expressionism wedded with a pop culture sensibility that is uniquely her own.

Romero Schuler shares her artistic talent and passion by teaching at the Illinois Institute of Art and Chicago City Colleges and lecturing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Her art is on display in public collections in Chicago, including inside the Prudential Building, the Chanel boutique at Neiman Marcus, Hyatt Hotels and in the permanent archives at the Art Institute of Chicago. Romero Schuler’s work has exhibited internationally, most recently in Rome and Paris, and continues to be permanently represented in the United States and in Paris.

A book, René Romero Schuler: Life and Works, showcasing images of the artist’s thick impastos, striking figural canvases and sculptures, was released in 2013 and provides readers with a look into her artistic process.

Notable patrons, Silicon Valley CEOs and television personalities are among Romero Schuler’s collectors here and abroad. She extends her passion for art as a board member of the Loyola University Museum of Art by curating exhibits and avidly procuring a personal collection of fine art.