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These fascinating wild cards...


Claudette Schreuders

In her carefully painted carved-wooden figures and quiet works on paper, this South African artist depicts strangely proportioned and emotionally inscrutable figures, often in moments that are both intimate and oddly prosaic. A naked couple assumes the missionary position in a sculpture titled  “In the Bedroom,” embracing in an un-passionate-looking stack. A standing man and a bent-over woman, both naked only from the waist down, staidly demonstrate an alternate coupling option in “Little Table.” The press release notes that a 1917 lovemaking manual is one source of inspiration here, but sly art-historical references also come into play. Complementing Schreuders’s sexual vignettes are such works as a macabrely comic, wall-mounted crucifix, in which Christ is recast as a schoolboy in knee socks, and a teak bust of the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

These fascinating wild cards illuminate the artist's interest in the public function of sculpture—even when its subject is private life.

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