June 11, 1982/MONTROSE VOICE 21
Unfinished work in progress, acrylic on canvas.
The landscapes and seascapes of Robert Schuhsler
Photostory by Ed Martinez
When the western world exploded into
World War I, an era came to an end. The
world as people in Europe and America
knew it was unalterably changed, never
again to return to its former shape.
Society, politics, morals and basic attitudes toward human behavior itself were
radically reshaped into a new order which
we are still attempting to define some six
Art reflected this metamorphosis, mirroring perhaps most accurately what people only dimly understood at the time. The
abstract expressionists, the French
impressionists, surrealists, cubists and
pointillists all screamed stridently that
the sky was not only falling, it might
never again recover its former height. The
emphasis was on the abstract, and representational art was attacked as out of tune
with times. As radical as it seemed at the
time, the wave of abstract expressionism
has aged and has now assumed the position of respectability and tradition in art
that representational art once occupied.
Realism in art, ironically, is now ridiculed and patronized by the art establishment as abstract expressionism was in the
20s. As the French are fond of saying,
"The more things change, the more they
remain the same." This phenomenon in
the world of art is brilliantly outlined in a
recent issue of Newsweek, entitled "Life
So once again we return to the trend
among artists for portraying things as
they actually appear—not photorealism,
but rather lining things and human forms
in easily recognizable symbols. Not to the
extent that they repress or inhibit the
artists' ability to express their own creativity, but merely enough that the laity
can at least know what it is that they are
looking at when they visit an art exhibit
without having to rely on an "expert" to
explain it to them. Regardless of the contempt this arouses among art history
majors and cultural snobs thiB can only be
an improvement in the world of art.
A Houston artist in the vanguard of this
newly developing trend is Robert
Schuhsler, a native, who has lived and
worked in this city since birth. Educated
at the University of Houston, Schuhsler
has achieved wide acclaim for his work in
spite of, or rather perhaps because of, a
lack of formal art training. This does not
mean that he is not a disciplined and
trained artist; it merely removes him from
the worshipers of the latest styles and
fashions in art emanating from galleries
and art critics in places like New York.
Robert Schusler, like another Housto-
nian, Dick Turner, teaches as well as produces art. He takes students on locations
around the U.S. to train them in the artistic techniques he has mastered. He also
teaches classes in various art associations
here in Houston.
Recently Schuhsler's work has come to
the attention of M. Grumbacher Co., a
New York art supply company, who has
arranged with Schuhsler to make films to
be used in training students in major cities
across the U.S.
Robert Schuhsler paints things, not people. "I'm not a people painter," he admits
with a grin. His studio, a stunning condominium in mid-Montrose that he converted from an old garage, features
soaring greenhouse windows that look out
on decks and fountains filled with lush
greenery. The light that is admitted by
this arrangement makes his home a perfect setting for his work.
Robert Schuhsler paints strong, virile
scenes of the sea, smashing at rocky coastlines; piercing glimpses into forests primaeval where solitary birds wing silently;
and upright landscapes that thrust out
from the canvas. His texture is varied and
inviting. Schuhsler works rapidly, and
can finish as many as one canvas per day.
He usually works in acrylic, although he
teaches both acrylic and oil painting. His
Robert Schuhsler in his studio
canvases seem confident and self-assured.
They obviously impress his clients, forthe
paintings sell promptly and at prices that
exclude those on a budget.
The work of Robert Schuhsler is in tune
with the national temper, helping to
restore representational art to a place it
once occupied proudly in the art world,
expressing perhaps an unvoiced need in
the world for a return to a reality that has
been masked for so long by pretense and
superficiality. Schuhsler's work does it
with style and a distinctively local accent,
reasserting Houston's claim to an important place in the cultural world.
Is that perfectly
If you've ever wondered whether your
local elected representatives are thinking
straight, consider Washington, D.C,
where, according to a report in the
Washington Post, City Council came up
with the following gem:
"It is not the intention of the council to
revive the statute or part thereof which
was previously repealed unless such intention to revive the previously repealed statute is specifically included in the
language of the statute repealing the previous repealer."
That, believe it or not, was intended to
clarify a new law regulating the conduct of
Wine is it
-Untitled," acrylic on canvas
Purista may turn up their noses, but wine
marketing is entering the soda-pop era,
reports the Los Angeles Times.
Not only is it being sold in cans and
plastic bottles, there are now plans for
wine vending machines.
Wayne Downey, head of California's
Geyser Peak Winery, sayB, while there are
legal problems, "Our attorneys are working on it."
The most likely place for wine
machines, he says, is a "controlled environment" like a sports stadium.