Emil Schult: Portrait of a Media Artist Pioneer
Presented by New York State Council on the Arts/Electronic Media & Film and Margaret L. Wendt Foundation
On View Friday, April 10–Sunday, September 27, 2015
Artist Emil Schult is a painter, poet, and musician best known for his work with electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk. While studying with Dieter Rot, Joseph Beuys and Gerhard Richter at Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, he was invited to contribute to the band’s visual and musical ideas. This collaboration with founders Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider led to Schult’s creating lyrics as well as graphic designs for their album covers and creating images of the musical instruments and electronic sounds that were being crafted by the group for performances and recordings.
Schult's designs include the covers of the albums Ralf & Florian, Autobahn, Radioactivity, Trans Europe Express, and Computer World. He also provided projections of his artwork that are still used in Kraftwerk concerts today.
In 2012, Schult was invited to be an artist in residence at the Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred (N.Y.) University. Since then, he has been a frequent visitor and lecturer at Alfred while creating new work at the Institute.
This exhibition explores the depth of Schult’s career in visual and sonic art. It includes hand cut prints of early computer chips; Reverse Glass Portraits of electronic music luminaries Robert Moog, John Cage, Clara Rockmore, Oskar Sala, and others; a sound installation based on Charles Burchfield's work and the concept of synesthesia; and ceramic sound sculptures created in Germany. In the fall of 2014 Schult worked with students at the institute for Electronic Arts to create The Sounds of Charles Burchfield, an examination of the role of synesthesia in the painter's work. Schult instructed participants to analyze the structural and rhythmic elements of the images and re-create them with his "reverse glass painting" technique. Audio files were then created with Photosounder software to allow viewers to literally "hear" the paintings. The end results will be part of the exhibition in the Budin Gallery.