Jon Schueler – To the North by Gerald Nordland and Richard Ingleby

[To the North - book cover]

Published by Merrell Publishers October 2002
128 pages, 26x24cm, 9.5x11ins., 142 illustrations, 108 in color
$35, £25, Paperback/flaps ISBN 1 85894-177-6


The landscape around the remote fishing villge of Maillaig in western Scotland – and in particular the drama and flux of its skies – formed the touchstone of Schueler's artistic vision, the embodiment of profound feeling and intangible mysteries, and the catalyst for a powerful and poetic body of work. Jon Schueler: To the North brings together these intensely evocative paintings, providing the first comprehensive examination of one of the most original artists associated with the 1950's New York art scene.

Complementary studies of the artist examine the impact of Clyfford Still on Schueler at the California School of Fine Arts, as well as Schueler's first encounter with the work of one of his lifelong heroes, J.M.W. Turner. They also explore Schueler's relationship with contemporary artists Edward Dugmore and Ernest Briggs, his response to the ideas of Mark Rothko, the evolution of his early abstract paintings, and the growing significance of 'the north' in his work.

Illustrated with more than ninety of Schueler's paintings, Jon Schueler: to the North explores the work of an artist whose reputation has grown steadily since his death in 1992. Some thirty photographs of Schueler and his studios in New York and Mallaig, and of the landscapes in which he immersed himself, complement the text. Extracts from Schueler's autobiographical writings, The Sound of Sleat: A Painter's Life (Picador USA, 1999), from contemporary writer B.H. Friedman, and from a 1985 New Yorker profile on the artist by Whitney Balliett, are interleaved with the artist's work, offering fascinating – and often moving – insights into the depth of Schueler's feelings about art and nature, and his exploration of how nature might be transposed into painterly equivalents.

"My work", Schueler once said, "must be a search and a requiem". This beautiful illustrated book pays fitting tribute to a lifetime's quest to paint the infinite.

Gerald Nordland has written extensively on twentieth-century art, including such books as Gaston Lachaise: The Main and his Work (1974) and Richard Diebenkorn (1987, 2001). He works as an independent curator and art historian.

Richard Ingleby is an art critic and owner of the Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the author of Christoper Wood: An English Painter, and is a contributor to C.R.W. Nevinson: The Twentieth Century and Two Painters: Works by Alfred Wallis and James Dixon (both published by Merrell).