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© Laurence Esnol Gallery
Travis SchlahtTravis SCHLAHT & Kate LEHMAN
New setting on 7 rue bonaparte

Kate Lehman and Travis Schlaht, a couple both in life and in their creative work, are each on a quest for pictorial excellence. Bolstered by shared aesthetic references and singular identities, their artistic dialog examines the tension between realism and contemporaneity.

Both have favored painting as their primary medium, and portrayal as their field of research. Kate Lehman and Travis Schlaht split their time between NYC and Paris. Their path oscillates between an American predilection for high technical standards - with hints of nostalgia for a distant 19th century - and a quasi-dogmatic supremacy of ideas over form cultivated by French taste. Between these impulses, and supported by an active and eclectic community of artists, they never fail to question the meaning of contemporary figurative painting and its resolute universality.

As for Travis Schlaht, he never considered becoming a painter. For him, painting and drawing are a second skin. Travis Schlaht experiences the world through his art, never freer or safer as when he is painting. His work acts as a filter, boosting our perception and understanding of places and people. Ultimately, it is a vital tool for detaching ourselves from the commotion of the world, and in so doing, revealing its essence. Spending hours with his models, he offers portraits that go well beyond fixed representations of glimpsed faces. Barely grazing his canvases with meticulous brush strokes, he shapes chiseled landscapes and still lifes to reveal bouquets of feeling, effortlessly communing with his surrounding world.

Far from precious, old-fashioned classicism, Kate Lehman and Travis Schlaht’s work is an invitation to slow the pace of our frenetic lives and focus on the range of human qualities in a celebration of simple contemplation. Universal. Topical.

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©2023 Laurence Esnol Gallery