top of page

Naomi Schlinke / 

From the Artist:

My work registers the flux of living forms and the patterns that underpin reality. Guided by simple instructions and concepts, my process is intuitive and physical. The resulting imagery is at once strange and familiar, imaginary and real. Some aspects of an image may be found in the moment, others reveal themselves slowly over time. The resulting imagery is at once strange and familiar, imaginary and real. Aliveness, with its perpetual movement, stillness, and transformation, forms the touchstone for all of my work


These images of “formation in progress” are equally legible from micro to macro levels. The relative passage of time is measured as some elements are abraded and washed down, while others are left whole and untouched. The beautiful liquidity of ink allows me to use the brush like a seismograph and my hand like a palette knife. My work finds some of its antecedents in the work of Chinese “flung ink” artists, as well as in the fluid manipulations of Abstract Expressionism and the ecstatic uncertainties of Surrealism. Evocative, unstable forms take on meaning, association and even narrative possibilities when imagination is given free rein. 


A recent body of work is a hybrid of painterly abstraction and collage. Tearing, folding, and crushing are some of the techniques that are used to dismantle numerous interrelated paper and ink painting episodes. Each type of paper has a unique set of possibilities: how it absorbs the ink, how it tears, its relative transparency, and a particular set of sculptural possibilities. Scores of map pins secure these pieces to a panel and become part of the three dimensional nature of the work. From whole to fragment and back to whole again, the image yields both narrative and physicality.  



My first major painting show was with the San Francisco gallery, Braunstein-Quay, in 1991. Since relocating to Austin, Texas in 1994, I have shown my work at numerous venues including the Robert McClain Gallery in Houston, The Dallas Contemporary and the MAC, Women & Their Work, Texas State University in San Marcos, and D Berman Gallery in Austin.


In the 1970’s and early 80’s I danced with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and the Joe Goode Performance Group, both based in San Francisco. During those years I also ran my own teaching studio and created new work. Before coming to San Francisco, I received a B.A. and M.A. in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


The transition from dance to painting as my primary professional focus began in my mid-thirties, a pivotal age for all athletes. Throughout my years in dance, I savored my off-hours as a visual artist. To this day, they both occupy my creative imagination and practice. Nevertheless, I found myself drawn  to a future of greater independence and flexibility that the painting life offered---to say nothing of the rewards  of creating work that one can live with day by day. The forces at work on the dancing body still adhere in my painting. 



Naomi Schlinke 2015

bottom of page