Daily Art Moment: Peri Schwartz

[Image description: Bottle and Jars, Peri Schwartz, sheet: 22 x 30 1/8 inches, color spit bite etching on paper. A landscape-oriented work depicting a grouping of over a dozen bottles and jars seen lined up on a shelf or ledge against a cream background. Jars of various heights are filled with different colored contents ranging from rust, terracotta, pale green, slate blue, burgundy and clear. There are at least three bottles interspersed among the jars. Two are at the left end of the row and contain rust and burgundy contents. A slate blue filled bottle features at the right of the display. The lids and caps on the vessels are depicted as flat black lines or black squares. The bottles and jars sit on a shelf or ledge that reflects their shapes and colors making them appear taller and elongated. The fore edge of the shelf is highlighted with the rectangular front facing part depicted as a long horizontal rectangle in deep gray. Just below this starting at far left is the handwritten series number “19/30”, at center is the work’s title “Bottles and Jars III” and at far right the artist’s signature and year, “Peri Schwartz 2015”.]

I was saddened to learn of the death of artist Peri Schwartz on May 7. I first met Ms. Schwartz in 2016, and was captivated by her paintings and prints that focused on the studio life. She took the humble material around her—stretched canvases, paint brushes, and jars of paint and ink—as the starting point for a meditation on color and form. When she offered to give the Portland Art Museum a work from her recent edition, I selected “Bottles and Jars III.” Ms. Schwarz explained that she worked tirelessly to prepare pigments that she would depict, varying the color, density, and opacity until she had the perfect balance. Not only the bottles but also their reflections shimmer in the limpid light of Schwartz’s prints. The balanced composition, luminous color, and brilliant printing in color spitbite never fail to mesmerize me. This talented artist will be missed.

Mary Weaver Chapin, Curator of Prints and Drawings

Peri Schwartz (American, 1951–2021), Bottles and Jars III, 2015. Color spit bite etching on paper. Gift of the Artist, 2016.92.1

Related Content