Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Jean Tinguely and Niki de Ste. Phalle, Bernd and Hilla Becher, to name only three artistic pairings where both are working together as artists and also sharing their life with each other. There is a wide range of possibilities of artistic collaboration: those going wrong, as Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard subsumed in his polemic statement, describing how one talented partner is bowing down to the other. Thus the artistic collaboration is condemned to failure. But there are those pairings where both partners complete each other, find a new way of expression and enjoy an increasing power within their work. Whereas sometimes two partners create both an individual body of work, several pairings are trying to meld their artistic language to a unique one. The viewer can no longer tell the one hand from the other.
Matthew J. Schaefer and Janet Trierweiler decided to collaborate in 2009. Sharing the same philosophy they faithfully and passionately approached each other step by step. In the beginning of their collaboration they worked on their own, but soon dared to link their canvases together as diptychs. Here the individual ductus is still obvious, the brushstrokes still reveal different tempers and gestures. The recent works are still diptychs, but the painting has become the expression of absolute harmony. The abstract, reduced brushstrokes of diluted oil paint cross the canvases with exceptional verve. Between you and me: It seems, that there is no more space separating the two artists, but what makes possible this unique expression is what happens between them: The communication, the dialogue, the gentle clash of two equal forces.
An artistic pairing sharing philosophical discoveries, technique and process. From this partnership, a ritualistic practice of painting developed, freeing the artists from personal desire, allowing creative communion. The ritual, steps designed to challenge psychic limits, brings the physical and energetic forces to the work. Following the steps sheds defenses and exposes vulnerability, creating a meditation, allowing the spirit to guide the painting's expression. This effort of intense focus opens reception and transmission, the limitless expression of the unknown. (Matthew J. Schaefer, Janet Trierweiler)
MATTHEW J. SCHAEFER studied 1971 at Silvermine College of Art, New Canaan, Ct. Since 1976 he had many solo and group exhibitions in the U.S.
JANET TRIERWEILER studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago, Illinois and the American Academy of Art; Chicago, Illinois. Since 1993 her work was shown in several solo and group exhibitions in Chicago and all over Illinois.