January 2014



Robert A. Schaefer, Jr.




Artist’s Statement

My imagery has been predominately influenced by my studies and involvement with architecture, and additionally by painting, sculpture and films. The submitted body of work uses architecture and architectural elements such as form, light and shadow to build a multi-layered image. This is even true of the portraits which are formed with fluted glass or plastic creating an element of distortion. Gelatin silver or cyanotype (19th century printing process) was selected to print the work in order to enhance the abstraction of the image.






Robert A. Schaefer, Jr. began learning about the medium while he was studying Architecture at Auburn University in Alabama, his home state, and continued to do so at the Technische Universitaet of Munich, Germany. He exhibited at the Amerika Hauses in Munich, Hamburg, Hannover and Frankfurt as well as Kulturhaus in Graz, Austria and the City Museum of Munich among others before moving to New York City in 1981 (where he still lives and works). In 1999 – 2000 he had a 25-year retrospective at the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama. Curator Peter Baldaia described the city images in the exhibition catalogue as “formal abstractions of the urban landscape.” Lyle Rexer, in his book Photography’s Antiquarian Avant-garde (published by Abrams in 2002), says, “The work of former architect Robert Schaefer marries the process to a Machine Age aesthetic of urban geometrics and industrial technologies.” In November 2010, Schaefer had exhibitions at the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan in Delhi and the Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh of images he took in India in 2009 and printed with the cyanotype process. Elizabeth Rogers, who also initially conceived the “Architectural Blue” exhibitions, also curated them and edited the catalogue produced for both exhibitions. Schaefer spent the entire month of June 2013 in Can Serrat, a residency outside Barcelona, Spain, producing cyanotypes of photographs taken in Barcelona and the surrounding area. He teaches photography at New York University and the Center for Alternative Photography in Manhattan, and his work is represented by the Domeischel Gallery in New York City and the DeFrog Gallery in Houston, Texas..