By Blair LeBlanc
X-Rated by Todd Schroeder at Laney Contemporary
February 12 – April 10, 2021
1810 Mills B Lane Blvd
Savannah, Georgia 31405
“I just do. I just make.”
In bright pop color, Todd Schroeder’s solo exhibition, X-Rated at Laney Contemporary (February 12 – April 10, 2021), explores the universal symbol X. This newest exhibition marks Schroeder’s second solo show with Laney, bringing together paintings and drawings produced at his studio in Savannah, Ga. during the 2020 lockdown. Purple, yellow, silver. Schroeder pours every action he’s picked up throughout his career into surveying the depths of one symbol. Perfectly making each X both universal and distinctly his.
Born in Defiance, Ohio, Schroeder studied painting in college before moving to New York City. It was there that he kicked off his career with a solo exhibition at White Columns in 1997. In this early work, Schroeder created thin minimalist sculptures that stood or slanted against the wall. They look like what I imagine it’d be like seeing Iggy Pop propped up against the bar at CBGB, checking out the crowd before preforming. Schroeder pulls this cool attitude into the X-Rated series. Each X painting is like a photograph of two of his sculptures arm-in-arm.
For those who don’t know, White Columns is the gallery that hosted Thurston Moore’s Noise Fest in 1981. The independently organized music festival marked the start of no music and a new period in contemporary art. In the 80’s, artists began to move freely between music and art with a capital A. Basquiat picked up the clarinet in a band called Gray, and Kim Gordon (who has always called herself an artist, and never a musician) started playing bass. Artists were distinguished by their tastes and interests and exploration was rampant. I think Schroeder carries that kind of curiosity of art in all forms; and it has coalesced into this body of work.
In Punk Umbrella, 2021, for example, Schroeder slashes a thick violet X over a sheen silver background. The action could have been performed by Weatherford or Pollock, but to place it on a silver background is so Warhol. That mix of Ab-Ex guitar noise over a four-on-the-floor glittering beat, wholly brings the work into the now. It’s difficult to define trends as they are happening, but – it looks like Schroeder’s onto it.
Follow @toddschroeder0 on Instagram for updates and announcements from his studio. Schroder’s next exhibition, a collaboration with Gonzalo Hernandez, opens in September 2021 at Craig Drennen’s THE END.
Blair LeBlanc (b. Atlanta, GA 1994) is an American artist living between New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. Her first solo painting exhibition (September – October 2020. Athens, GA) marked both her transition from photography and her homecoming from a year living in New York City. Recently, her photography landed in international press including Artforum and ARTnews in January 2020. Her next exhibition opens at Guggenheim fellow Craig Drennen’s The End, in 2022.