Maurice Schmidt: A Life in Art

Lone Star Regionalism is still alive and kicking … well beyond Dallas. From March 16—April 7, 2018, Reaves | Foltz Fine Art hosts a trio of South Texas Art Exhibitionsfeaturing: Fidencio Duran: An American Family HistoryMaurice Schmidt: A Life in Art; and Emily Rutland: A Regionalist Legacy Rediscovered. This dynamic exhibition features the Mexican American narratives of Austin painter and muralist, Fidencio Duran, as well complimentary displays reinforcing the important legacy of South Texas Regionalism, introducing the overlooked treasures of reigning Kingsville maestro, Maurice Schmidt, coupled with estate works by the legendary painter and printmaker Emily Rutland (1890–1983).

Over the past six decades, artist Maurice Schmidt has created an impressive body of work, much of which focus on his interpretation of the South Texas region he calls home.  In his first solo exhibition at Reaves |Foltz Fine Art, we are honored to present the work of this incredible artist to Houston and our gallery patrons.

With his unique style, Schmidt creates a dynamic sense of motion and color in his works, many of which focus on his interpretation of the unique South Texas region he calls home. The exhibition includes paintings completed during his undergraduate years at the University of Texas, Austin, and pieces completed as recently as 2013. Schmidt pulls from excerpts in his book A Life in Art to give insight into the passion and meaning behind each piece, with wall labels guiding the viewer through the narratives. Family narratives and elements of his faith bleed through the bright colors and expressive strokes, evoking a deep love of the places and people that shaped him. In describing a painting titled Melon Vendor, Schmidt writes:

By the roadsides in the morning or in the heat of the day, the melon vendors’ produce seems to suck in the sunlight and generate enormous amounts of coloristic energy. They are like oases in the desert, small places of shade and coolness, quiet and restful, and offering refreshing fruit… It is the simple, quiet humanity of the scene that attracts me. These tiny places suddenly appear and always with people sitting quietly, waiting in a spot of shade, like the patriarch Abraham sitting in the door of his tent waiting for strangers. When my father (of blessed memory) was a boy, he would load up watermelons on a mule-drawn wagon in Seguin and go the fourteen miles to New Braunfels, a journey at that time of about three to four hours. He would set up by the train station and wait for the passenger trains to bring in his customers. He was not to return home until all were sold. His wage per day was a single penny. This would have been about 1908.

Born in 1936, artist Maurice Schmidt grew up in New Braunfels, Texas. He earned his BFA from the University of Texas at Austin in 1958, followed by his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI in 1958. After graduation, Schmidt lived in central Texas and was a member of the San Antonio art community from 1958 to 1963, during which time he lectured at Our Lady of the Lake University.  In 1965, Schmidt began his teaching career in the Art Department at Texas A&M University, Kingsville, where he taught for over forty years, retiring in 2006 as Professor Emeritus in Art.  Additionally, Schmidt served as an art critic for the Corpus Christi Caller Times from 1974 to 1989.  Today, Schmidt continues to reside in Kingsville, TX.  His works can be found in the permanent collection of: Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX; McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX; Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX; and Texas A&M University Kingsville Art Collection, Kingsville, TX.  Of note, Schmidt has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Conner Museum, Texas A&M University—Kingsville, TX, which will be on view August 30-October 25, 2018.

In his first solo exhibition at Reaves |Foltz Fine Art, we are honored to present the work of this incredible artist to Houston and our gallery patrons.


Exhibition Dates and Special Events at Reaves | Foltz 

On view March 16—April 7, 2018?

Opening Reception: Saturday, March 17th, 6-8:30pm

Artist Talk & Book Signing with Maurice Schmidt: Saturday, March 17th, 4:30-5:30pm


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