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New Accession Highlight: Across the Floor

Madison artist Robert Schultz creates meticulously detailed portrait drawings, many of which explore the expressiveness of the nude human body. Through body position and gesture augmented by objects and physical spaces, Schultz produces open-ended narratives about the people he depicts. In this drawing, a nude person of uncertain gender lies on their side on a hardwood floor with their back to the viewer.

Across the Floor by Robert Schultz

Robert Schultz, American, b. 1953, Across the Floor, 2003, graphite on woven paper, 21 1/8 x 7 5/8 in., gift of Gary Klotz, 2020.17

With bent legs and arms wrapped around the head, the isolated body may be in a state of comfort or distress—an ambiguity complicated by the cracked and chipping wall behind the figure. One interpretation of the composition might be as a memento mori—a reminder of death—attracting viewers with beauty while also reminding us of the passage of time and our own vulnerability and transience.

Make an appointment to visit the Chazen and see this and other new accessions in the Rowland Gallery.