No Fish is an exhibition and artist’s book (Galerie 5b, 2019) by Berlin-based American artist Sarah Schneider, whose work draws from her experiences traveling between Switzerland, Italy, and Greece in the summer of 2016. Using an amalgam of found images to structure her painting, Schneider layers these references in a composite of history and personal memory, creating new narratives built entirely from methods of free associative image-making. At once prosaic and surreal, the paintings evoke fleeting moments and quiet nostalgia, questioning how temporality and experience shape our interpretation of place. Schneider’s works eschew the rational—they are at once uncannily familiar and confusedly alienating—combining remarkable stillness with a palpable tension in reverent contemplation of the psyche.
As a compilation, No Fish pieces together a narrative of familiar places that can never be returned to. Like memories, her paintings are suspended in time; lonely and longing, they gather the detritus of other thoughts such that they become distant from reality. Through her work Schneider acknowledges the eventual decay of things, both material and immaterial, ultimately asking, “Does anything last forever? Ancient sculptures, mountains, memories, love?”, presenting these questions as melancholic dreamscapes and wistful fantasies, each marked with a poignant absence of human activity.
Sarah Schneider received her MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore MD. Previous exhibitions include: ‘Autre Je’, Galerie Treize-Dix, Paris FR; ‘Unlisted’, Ice Box Project Space, Philadelphia PA; ‘Laugh in the Dark’, Current Space, Baltimore MD. Schneider is the author of Things, Which I Now See Darkly (Endless Editions, 2016) and Waning (Blotter Books, 2014).