Allison Schulnik choreographs her subjects in compositions that embody a spirit of the macabre, a Shakespearian comedy/tragedy of love, death and farce. The subjects often stare back at the audience and study them as they are in turn studied, aware of their ancestors from the Grand Theme works of the past, the genre paintings that inform them. Although a haunting sense of foreboding, discomfort and unease is palpable, a sense of understanding, compassion and hopefulness for her cast of characters is still evident in the heavy impasto paintings. Her sculptural use of oil paint references her clay-animation background, as a motion-like sensibility affords her paintings unparalleled depth and energy.
Born in 1978 (San Diego, CA), Schulnik earned her BFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (CA). She has had solo exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (CT), Laguna Art Museum (CA), Oklahoma City Museum of Art (OK), Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (KS), ZieherSmith Gallery (NY), Rokeby Gallery (London), Unosunove Arte Contemporanea (Rome), and Division Gallery (Montreal). In addition to her inclusion in prestigious film festivals around the world, her films have garnered multiple awards, including Best Experimental Animation at Ottawa International Animation Festival in 2014. Her work has also been shown at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Architecture (Scotland), Garage Center for Contemporary Culture (Moscow), Hammer Museum (CA), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), Santa Barbara Museum of Art (CA), San Diego Museum of Art (CA), Contemporary Arts Museum (LA), German Institute for Animated Film (Germany), Canada (NY), Lehman Maupin (NY), The Hole (NY), Acme (CA), and Hangar-7 (Salzburg), among many others. Allison Schulnik’s work is in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (CA), Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (KS), Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (CA), Santa Barbara Art Museum (CA), Museé de Beaux Arts (Montreal), Farnsworth Art Museum (ME), Laguna Art Museum (CA), Montreal Contemporary Art Museum (Canada), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (CT), and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Canada). The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.