Reeve Schley, By the River
In the endless litany of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), we often miss out on one of the most important things, hearing, or seeing a novel interpretation of the world through a foreign set of eyes. Ninety-nine percent of instagram photos don’t add up to a landscape painted by Albert Bierstadt, Rosa Bonheur, Claude Monet, or in this case, Reeve Schley. View of the St. Lawrence River and Church Rocks (1995) looms over the gallery as the largest work of Schley’s latest exhibition, a mini-survey of his paintings and works on paper. As a case in point, it doesn’t depict a particularly instagram-able day—overhead clouds cast their shadows on the middle-ground and the colors are muted greens, ochres, and fuschias. In the distance past the rocks and the river shallows we can see the blue sunny land in the distance, out from under the clouds. It isn’t the view so much as the perspective standing on the bright green bluffs and almost feeling the light breeze of an overcast day at the shore that the painter has captured. Similarly, in Steg on the Isar (1970), the jetty we are about to step on to doesn’t cross a dramatic river, but a muddy levee. Schley instead invites us to compare the darker beige of the wooden planks of the walkway to the yellowy gray of the water; to notice the dark pylon supports and the white foam, and the dark green of the distant forest against the stirred up water.