Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (copper squares), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 22 x 27 in (paper); 22.5 x 27.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (mirrors and magnets), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 40 x 33 in (paper); 40.5 x 33.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss (b.1952 New York, NY) lives and works in New York City. He received a BFA in Sculpture and Ceramics from Ohio State University. Over the course of his life, Schuss has developed artwork in varied media: photography, painting, bronze, printmaking, and installation. In 1998, he opened his own gallery in Tribeca. After a move to the Lower East Side, the gallery returned to its original location on Leonard Street in 2018. Schuss’ work has been featured in group exhibitions in New York including A Page from My Intimate Journal (Part I)— at Gordon Robichaux (2017); Concept, Performance, Documentation, Language at Mitchell Algus Gallery (2016); and at Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery (2018). In 2020, Gordon Robichaux will include Schuss’s work in A Page from My Intimate Journal (Part II)— at Parker Gallery in Los Angeles. A profile on Schuss’s Electrogram photography, KERRY SCHUSS, Charges, was published in Osmos Magazine (Issue 11; Winter 2017) and an interview between Schuss and Andrew Goldstein was featured on Artspace in collaboration with NADA (2016). 

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (multiple copper squares), 1978-2019, silver gelatin print, 19.5 x 16 in (paper); 20 x 16.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (mirror), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 27 x 22 in (paper); 27.5 x 22.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (twin copper squares), 1978-2019, silver gelatin print, 19 x 16 in (paper); 20 x 16.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss    Electrograms 1978–2020

January 19–February 23, 2020

Gordon Robichaux is pleased to present Electrograms 1978–2020, an exhibition of photographs by Kerry Schuss. Long celebrated for his namesake gallery and singular program exhibiting visionary and contemporary art, this exhibition is Schuss’s first solo show of his own work.

The exhibit includes a series of black-and-white digital photographs printed on traditional silver gelatin fiber paper from negatives Schuss created between 1978 and 1979 in his loft on Park Avenue South above Max’s Kansas City, blocks away from Gordon Robichaux. The original 4x5 and 8x10 negatives were made using a technique called Kirlian Photography, which employs high-voltage current to directly expose film in the darkroom without the use of a camera. With the aid of a Tesla coil to produce high-voltage, low-current electricity, Schuss used his own body, fingertips, and objects—pieces of found metal, mirrors—to complete a circuit between the power source and the film, creating visually complex, reflexive images, both bodily and otherworldly.

From 1976–1981, while living in the loft on Park Avenue South, Schuss made hundreds of prints, negatives, and transparencies, all of which he kept in storage for thirty-five years. He continued to work seriously as an artist creating work in various mediums—painting, color photography, bronze, printmaking, and installation—until 1998 when he opened his gallery. “The gallery became my main creative outlet; without intending it, I took a twenty-year hiatus from making my own work.” Inspired by his friend and peer Mitchell Algus, who organized an exhibition of 1970s conceptual photography in 2016, Schuss returned to his stored pieces and discovered the strength and possibilities of the work he started over forty years ago:

 A distinctive quality of the medium of photography is that prints can be made many years after a negative is created. Using digital scanning and printing processes that weren’t available at the time the negatives were made, I can now produce larger prints with the sharpness of the original negatives, opening up the images and revealing new visual information that was previously hidden.

Over the past three years I’ve been printing these images created by my twenty-five-year-old self and coming to understand them as gifts, which I couldn’t fully comprehend when I made them. The compositions have the freedom and experimentation that someone feels in their twenties. I now realize how fortunate artists are who can look back at their earlier work when they’re older, and see how things evolve and add up. What was once a dead end or failure makes more sense with the perspective of time.

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (square within a square), 1978-2019, silver gelatin print, 19.5 x 16 in (paper); 20 x 16.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

A 1978 Polaroid photograph by Kerry Schuss of the northeast corner of Union Square taken from the window of his loft above Max’s Kansas City on Park Avenue South where he lived from 1976–1981. Across the park, at 41 Union Square West, was a diner where Schuss ate the 99¢ breakfast special—eggs, hash browns, toast, orange juice, and a cup of coffee—on most mornings. Forty years later, Schuss returns to the same building for his first solo exhibition.

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (copper squares hi voltage), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 16 x 19.5 in (paper); 16.5 x 20 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (squares electrified), 1978-2019, silver gelatin print, 19.5 x 16 in (paper); 20 x 16.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (small square in hand), 1978-2019, silver gelatin print, 19.5 x 16 in (paper); 20 x 16.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (finger tips & squares), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 22 x 27 in (paper); 22.5 x 27.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (mirrors, copper square & magnet), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 19.5 x 16 in (paper); 20 x 16.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (copper square & dust), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 44 x 54 in (paper); 44.75 x 54.75 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (large square in hand), 1978-2019, silver gelatin print, 19.5 x 16 in (paper); 20 x 16.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (copper squares mirrored), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 16 x 13 in (paper); 16.5 x 13.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (R.C. & K.S. portrait), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 10 x 12 in (paper); 10.5 x 12.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (copper ring), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 54 x 44 in (paper); 54.5 x 44.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (V.L. & K.S. portrait), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 16 x 19.5 in (paper); 16.5 x 20 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​

Kerry Schuss, Electrogram (copper tube in hand), 1979-2019, silver gelatin print, 16 x 13 in (paper); 16.5 x 13.5 in (artist frame), Ed of 6 + 2 AP​