About Me

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MICHAEL SCHREIER Michael Schreier is a professional artist and photographer who has dedicated his considerable professional career to the celebration of both the public and private hero. Recent work includes Storyteller, Waiting for Words at the Ottawa Art Gallery, curator Emily Falvey, 2009, and the curating of the exhibition Dave Heath, A Heritage of Meaning, 2013 at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Selected works are represented in both public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Archives Photography Collection, the Agnes-Etherington Art Centre, the Canadian Portrait Gallery, Visual Studies Workshop, (Rochester, New York), Light Works Workshop, Syracuse New York, Carleton University Art Gallery, and the University of Ottawa Library Special Collections.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Camera Obscura is dedicated to Dave Heath and Jim Borcoman

Post #4  

(cursor on photograph, for detailed viewing)

From Margin to Proscenium:

Considering the layout,    privileged landscape    with Storytelling

Vienna Window
(tabula rasa)


Collection of the Artist, Michael Schreier

...the unstable state and instant of language wherein something which must be able to be put into phrases, cannot yet be...

The Differend: Phrases in Dispute
Jean-François Lyotard

Turtle Theater
Tears for an Empty Desert

Artist book, 2006

Michael Schreier


Stations, 1-28

Collection of the artist, Michael Schreier


 Traditionally, those characters of epic proportion, represented in a History Painting, are associated with mythology and its historical reference. In contrast, from Margin to Proscenium suggests to me a passage from silence to voice, as a theater's stage provides the window to storytelling and experience. History is yet to be discovered. Rosemarie Waldrop's remarkable work, Lavish Absence: Recalling and Rereading Edmond Jabès describes La Parole sans Langue, an utterance without code, as the door to voice, with introspection its key.  

Storyteller/Waiting for Words

Artist book, 2006

Michael Schreier

How to balance an artist's intuitive insight with the rational: as T.S. Eliot implies in his master work, The Family Reunion, storytelling, while revealing history, might propose ethical boundaries. Editing has always required a significant consideration of intuitive thought with truth. In order to offer continuity one must accept the responsibility surrounding disclosure. Personally, I believe this to be the source for abstraction. The artist always gauges objective truth, evidence with the associated myth and intent. 

The Reader


Disturbances in Reading, Palimpsest
Collection of the Artist,  Michael Schreier 

note: Disturbances in Reading, Palimpsest is available at
Blurb.ca, Michael Schreier

(In this intuitive layout, the linkage from one set of images to the next), I have just noticed that in arranging this installment, I have vertically sequenced, beginning with the table as an introduction   Tabula rasa < Clear-blue panel in turtle < stations #28 ( theater) rectangular frame on right < square window light accent in page layout < book on the edge in The Reader, each panel placed at the margin, directed to the anonymous reader,    I might suggest that the book on the edge offers a subtle introduction to the Apron Stage. This layout is placed at a critical point in the book, Disturbances in Reading, Palimpsest suggesting the role of the reader shifts from audience member to that of director, from observer to participant.  

From series, 
Palimpsest,the Museum Works.
Michael Schreier


It is a privilege to include this recent reflection by James Borcoman:

Eugène Atget

Although Eugène Atget may be seen as a continuation of the concerns of the nineteenth century photographer, he is, in fact, an artist for our own time. He did more than any other photographer to prepare the way for our acceptance of the complexity of layered meaning in the photograph. No other photographer has ever surpassed the subtlety with which Atget combined the image as descriptive information with the image as expression. He did so through photographs that are provocative, evocative and sumptuously beautiful. Even to this day, however, he is thought of primarily as a street photographer with a social agenda and with facts exclusively.
The occasional glimpse of expressive imagery may be seen as early as 1907 in some of his St. Cloud Park photographs. But not until after the First World War does he appear to be more concerned with personal imagery than with the needs of clients whose concerns were factual documentation. One of the earliest of the late images that are both poetic and elegiac, is Saint-Cloud (NGC 21237), made around 1920. Trees as subjects for his botanical series appear as early as the end of the nineteenth century. Some he photographed over and over again across the years and through the seasons. We cannot avoid the feeling that he saw them as a life force. However, the mood of foreboding that we see in Saint-Cloud is new and typical of this late period. The natural disarray of the overarching branches create a dark arabesque against a lighter sky. In the gloom of the woods, a lone tree blazes with light. Did Atget, like Dante, see himself as lost in a dark wood? It is easy to see his tree photographs as metaphors for his life. The late pictures show a complicated, troubled artist, whose concerns ran deeper than the literal.
James Borcoman


Post #5

February 21, 2016

Thoughts concerning Authorship:

Page layout from Artists Book,
Vienna City of Thoughts

(available at blurb.ca, Michael Schreier)

Justin Labelle

Hi Michael,

I noticed in your blog posts that you are providing a rather intimate reading into your family and family dynamics... In reference to art as a whole, do you think that the strongest art is always personal to the creator? I think that we tend to love artists that delve into their psyche and try to grasp the psychological underpinnings of the creative process...That might be why so many people do not "understand" or immediately dismiss certain types of modern art... Opinions?
 Looking back on your career as an artist, do you think the work that you are most proud of generally touched on personal matters? I know your master's project heavily involved your family and your recent books also create a dialogue with your mother's paintings... Do you feel this is the most rewarding way of making art?

 Likewise, have you ever created something purely for money and how did you feel with the finished product?
I anxiously await your reply,