Inner experiences. ♄.
We live in a world with a positive feminine sign ♁. This thought crossed my mind when looking for the first time at a few of Anita Schmid’s paintings, hanging inside a small room. My first impression was that the paintings offered the viewer silence and demanded concentration. Each of them acting as a window opening into a vision. Altogether, the curves and intersections, the fragments figuratively assembled, created pleasant cosmos of warm and cool colors, arranged in a sensual choreography.
Which is the body these fragments belong to? I sense it’s not one entity but a feminine matrix. The forms revolve around visions. Indeed, they are constellations, systems, and energies that are part of Nature. It´s pleasant to enter the vitality and the transformation that occurs in these biospheres, surrounded by warm lights, soft tissues, wet surfaces, wrapping structures. We belong there and wish to go back into those spaces. The artist is opening entries for us to look into.
When I look at the worlds created by other women artists in the last two centuries, I can see a clear line of ideas running amongst them. Schmid’s matrilinear heritage begins with the paintings of Emma Kunz, whose renditions of natural phenomena are related to religious experience of light, the knowledge of theosophy or the involvement in a sacred momentum. Other associations in her works lead me to aboriginal cultures such as the Wixarikas and Pueblo, in the northwest dessert of Mexico and New Mexico, where women weave fibers using subtle natural patterns and spiritual mantras.
Anita’s inheritance is layered and patterned. She comes from experiencing the woods, mountains and trees, looking for essential structures. Concentrating on how human shapes resemble natural items. Her works depart where others have arrived and she takes the vision further into a poetic realm of associations of the visible and the perceived.
Lips moving, mouths open, eyes shut.
Fingers grasping angel’s feathers, as two doves keep the balance on a wire while cooing each other. The painting (Transportal IV, 2021) highlights the sacred realm of the feminine. The warm alabaster shapes in the foreground suggest living forms holding together, while the silver leave-shaped motifs in the background insinuate seashells surrounding living organisms. The two semi-circular black bulbs in the middle of the composition remind me of the heads of gray pigeons I see from my window. A feathered wing across the composition enhances the feeling of their wings and legs moving on a cable. The wavy shapes in Transportal IV bring all kinds of overtones of flesh and skin. The more I look at the painting, the visual renditions inspire the presence of indivisible unity, as if everything living form is associated to others.
These associations suggest that there’s something more than meets the eye in the artists’ paintings. She plays an act of orgasmic outburst, where shapes emerge and blend organically into liquid beings.
Bend your arm towards you and look closely as you inspect the pores on your skin. Doing this, you already began to play the sensuous texture of dunes on the surface of your mortal coil. That is how the visual poetry of Anita Schmid gets under your skin.
I visited Anita on a cold autumn night at her studio in Vienna. It was located in a beautiful townhouse surrounded by breech and maple trees. A soft smell of clove and the scent of cinnamon warmed the room’s atmosphere that evening. Anita offered me a cup of tea. The hot beverage produced white steam over the mahogany surface on the boiling water. I began looking at the paintings in the studio and for a moment, they lost their sharp contours and their concentrated energy of flowing lines. Though the painting were far from me, I could still distinguish a Bordeaux onion, the lips of a vulva, or a redhead seen from the back, looking into a deep blue tunnel. Objectively, one can only perceive swatches of color and sharp lines that cross the painting’s surface from every corner, their colors dissolving into dark and light transitions. The whole is grander than the amount of the parts.
Smell, and let a waft enter your nose. Slowly and oneirically, connect the odour to a perfume coming from the womb. A soft almond shape with a light caramel flesh tone emerges in the center of the composition looking like a source of the world Transportal IV (2021).
The transcendence that Anita Schmid has infused in her painting is equivalent to the influence thermodynamics have on physical events: like the moving waves in the ocean or the evolving patterns of clouds in the atmosphere, the description of an event is closely related to how we perceive phenomena as a whole, or as a pattern of shapes. Anita has experimented with Kaleidoscope-mirror effects, introducing dynamic contours that expand like waves’ patterns. However, only a few of her works explore symmetry and pattern repetition, such as the three-part series Equilibrium (2021). In contrast, Portal (2021) is one of the best examples where the composition is able to establish a parallel between geometric shapes and the female hip-bone area. The composition’s overall form, depicted in a cool greenish palette, is driven by function: the triangles symbolize a gate or portal to another dimension.
Other free-associations between Schmid’s oeuvre and painting genres, such as landscape or the Nude, arise from her previous production as photographer. Her close-up framings of leaves and flowers’ buds, reveal the focus in her oil-pastels on linear vortices and streamlined organic figures. The elegant combination of unemotional color offers a counterpoint to the discrete presence of a red dot in the periphery, a reference to human scale. Layered structures, combined with circles and spheres, as in Cosmicorder (2021), create the sensual interactions between form and shape in space that become the hallmark of the artist’s panache.
Nature principles have an influence on Anita’s coordinate system. She is looking at the transient lines associated to the female body (Perspective, 2021), while also suggesting the interplay between the bolder, more architectural, verticals and rhythmic stripes, that she shares with some predecessors, such as the Swedish painter Hilma af Klint (1862-1944). The crossover between Nature and the mathematical Fibonacci principle, for instance, is clue that explains why the renderings of Schmid’s visual world produce a calm contemplation, the product of compassed flows of forms visible in Transit IV (2021), the firm outlines and organic movements inside Sacred Feminine (2021) and the topographical transitions that inhabit most of her recent artworks.
At the bottom of these superb renditions of splendour in its most abstract way, lies the way the presence of the basic dynamic design of our bodies and the way energy flows into them. Paired with the lively blues and reds, the green and alabaster present in her paintings, that We can see our physical presence, as a sacred realm in continuous cyclical transformation. This view can be a personal decision, drawn by our belief that Nature’s suitability is a realm that we have the ability to explore by consciously living our own selves.
Whatever path leads us to and from of Anita Schmid’s oeuvre, the experience of it enables one to witness life’s principles and their appearance. The unique propositions in her painting offers a door to realize something we feel strongly on certain occasions: we live in a planet with a positive feminine energy.
This morning, I saw the poplar tree from my window shaken by the wind, the bright yellow light reflected on the old chestnut wooden counter in the kitchen. A sun ray entered the room through the window blinds and touched the fair lemon’s skin. The yellow light tinged my hands and came into my eyes. A tree began to grow inside of me.