There was a Young Lady from Riga,
Who rode with a smile on a tiger.
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside
And the smile on the face of the tiger.
Anna Zorina Gallery is pleased to present Hans Scheib’s New York solo debut exhibition The Young Lady from Riga, featuring sculptures and prints.
Scheib derives his exhibition title from a grim folktale concealed in a positive and playful limerick to suggest that reality is a matter of perception. The titular sculpture of The Young Lady from Riga crystallizes a transitory moment of a dramatic narrative within a static and substantial material. The coy smile of the female figure seems fleeting as her hands cross in a defensive position, casting a sense of danger. The impending attack is foreshadowed in the raw wooden ripples of the young lady’s clothing that look like a claw slash. Scheib captures the instant before the climactic instinctual response, one that is merely an insinuation within the poem. The wide blue-eyed glare shared by both tiger and young lady is charged with an ambiguous tension, thus capturing the sense of absurdity that results from the interaction of humor and peril.
Each of his wooden sculptures and silkscreen prints demonstrates a dynamic suspended moment for figures that embody sensuality with mixtures of fearless and contemplative sensibilities. Produced at the volatile intersection of mood, personality and material, is a rawness of form and execution that achieves a nuance of character without pursuing objective correctness. The distortions instilled in his prints and sculptures not only manifest the spontaneity of Scheib’s process but also heighten the attitude of the figures and remark upon a delicate balance between vulnerability and strength unique to each of the characters. Scheib imbues his works with only enough personality for the viewer to be empathetic while still remaining aloof to be alluringly enigmatic.
Hans Scheib was born in Potsdam, Germany in 1949 and studied sculpture in the Academy of Fine Arts, Dresden. He lives and works in Berlin. His works are included in prestigious public and private collections internationally including the Museum of Modern Art, Berlin; the Albertinum, Dresden; the Grassi Museum, Leipzig; the National Gallery, Berlin; the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Mannheim; and the National Art Museum of China, Beijing. He is the recipient of the Supporting Award for the Arts from the Academy of Arts, Berlin (1995); the Bautzen Award for Fine Arts (2005), and Egmont Schaefer Award for drawing (2014).