Art Limited

Jovi Schnell: “Electric Space Gardeners” at Gregory Lind Gallery
SAN FRANCISCO, February 23, 2017, pg. 38

“Both in terms of scale and subject matter, the paintings in Jovi Schnell’s fourth show at Gregory Lind Gallery exude an optimistic expansiveness. The primary topic considered in these large, exuberantly painted canvases and works on paper is described as a “hybridized botanical world” of imaginary plants, where nature and technology operate hand in glove.” Schnell’s work involves extensive research into subjects that include automatic gardens, parallel plant species, botanical folklore, herbariums, and Goethe’s ideas about the Primordial Plant. ” (Maria Porges)


Visual Art Source

Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, California
(January 2017)

“Jovi Schnell’s colorful abstract paintings and collages have been a fixture on the San Francisco art scene for a decade. For "Electric Space Gardeners," the artist has created two small works on paper, four medium-sized canvases, and three large canvases. They suffer no loss of the trademark intensity and playfulness of her previous work, all of it suggesting a synthesis of folk/tribal art archetypes and psychedelia. It's exuberantly comic mysticism.” (DeWitt Cheng)


San Francisco Bay SF Bay Guardian
Pick of the Week - Selector - April 23, 2013

“Fortuna Paper Moon” at Gregory Lind Gallery
(April 27–June 1, 2013)

“In paintings such as Honeycomb Hideaway, repeated rolling of dice determined the order of colors and the pattern that comprises the piece (which is no pattern at all). Schnell has invented a language in paint, collage, and sculpture that is whimsical, energetic, and overall, fascinating.” (Laura Kerry)


February 10, 2011
"Evolves the Luminous Flora" at Tutubi Plaza

“Local artist Jovi Schnell and the San Francisco Arts Commission recently initiated an unexpected art project at Tutubi Plaza in downtown San Francisco. It sits comfortably between a playground and The South of Market Health Clinic, two locations with artistic exterior elements. Schnell's paintings are rich with color and symbolism, and her artwork for the plaza, Evolves the Luminous Flora, follows suit.” (Kristin Farr)


San Francisco Bay SF Bay Guardian
January 9-15, 2008

Entwined with the Vine (through January 19, Gregory Lind Gallery, 49 Geary, 5th Floor, San Francisco)

“...Jovi Schnell's works are often likened to folk art: mazes of symbols and characters draw from diverse mythologies and knowledge systems and are executed with simple lines and flat colors. The introduction of three-dimensional wood compositions in her newest series pushes the comparison further... Schnell has consistently gathered and collapsed archetypes and iconography from disparate sources, creating new and unexpected interpretations of age-old stories, and her new venture into three-dimensional sculpture offers more surface area and new possibilities. ” (Amber Whiteside)


Mar/Apr 2006

Jovi Schnell’s gouache and stamped collages have a more direct connection to folk art, albeit from a culture imagined by the artist. Part Meso American, part religious, and part pop, her images of totem-like structures, such as from the Tree of Life (Snake)(2005), look like psychedelic versions of Duchamp’s chocolate grinder resituated in the Garden of Eden. (Glen Helfand)


San Francisco Weekly
Nov 24, 2004

“San Franciscan Jovie Schnell’s candy-colored wall drawings are particularly strong invoking the psychedelia of Peter Max or Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animations. The images are bright yet sinister, with such timely allegorical tropes as a bloody handshake, masked figures, and scores of hooded eyes keeping paranoid vigil.” (Adrienne Gagnon)


June 26, 2004

“Schnell’s work is poetic. She created a wall filling wall painting ‘Eyeshot Valley of the Macromicro Mainden’ (2004), a girl with large lips and closed eyes who’s lying in a landscape of flowers and clouds, consisting of tight lines and bright colors. Shapes are repeated, rotated, cut, mirrored and used again: an undulating cloud motif reappears in the countours of the hill against which the young woman is resting. Tiny mirrors in this intense and complex painting add to the work a new dimension: how do you perceive the world? What does the world look like?” (Ilse van Rijn)


The New York Times
Art in Review
April 16, 2004

An Institution Reinvents Itself
[image of Pounce in Babel included in review]


Vol. XXXVII, No. 235
March–April 2004

Jovi Schnell [image of Going Up included in review]

“They say that if you can remember the ’60s you weren’t really there–an accident of birth for Jovi Schnell....The artist paints fantasical giantesses in a style that incorporates the art deco robot design of False Maria from Lang’s Metropolis, as well as Légers’ machine-age cubism. In keeping with Schnell’s previous diagrammatic depictions of whimsical closed-circuit gadgetry (and inspired by a very groovy muse) these divine robots are plugged in and ‘turned on’ to their surroundings, communing, quite literally with their landscape. Cyborg heart valves seems to sprout into leafy tendrils that twist into flowering pinwheels and bend around like a multi-hosed hooka pipe.” (Melissa Pearl Friedling)


The New York Times
Goings on about Town
January 26, 2004

“These drawings and paintings are full of happy robots, chemical sunsets, and machines caught in the process of transmogrifying into plants or houses–a sci-fi landscape of organic-mechanical overload which is too universal to really go out of style....”


The New York Times
Weekend, Fine Arts & Leisure
Friday, March 29, 2002

Galactic Pulses
(Derek Eller, 526-30 West 26th Street)

“If Jim Nutt, Trevor Winkfield and Dr. Seuss decided to collaborate, they might produce paintings something like Ms. Schnell’s. Though not quite as weirdly individualized as anything by those artists, her trippy, crisply outlined agglomerations of cellular, mechanical, architectural, botanical and sexual forms are well designed and have an appealingly bouncy comic spirit.” (Johnson)


Vol. XXXIV, No. 220
October 2001

Building a Better Mousetrap [image of Physical Plant included in review]

“....The exhibition combines fifty-seven of the of the early twentieth-century-cartoonist Ruth Goldberg’s ingeniously zany drawings of impossible-seeming mechanical contraptions with works by contemporary artists, working in the electronic age, who are similarly obsessed by gizmos. Artists include William Bergman, Steven Brower, Tim Hawkinson, Jovi Schnell and Jeanne Silverthorne.”


San Francisco Bay SF Bay Guardian
Museum & Galleries Art Calendar: Critic’s Choice
April 19-25, 2000

Out of Town (through May 13, Luggage Store [image of Coarsed Scoop included in review])

“...The most appealing work here, however, are Schnell’s quasi-diagram abstracts. They’re crisp, graphic compositions that could be engineering drawings by a minor Jetsons character. The seem to channel the markings and notations of science and urban planning - things that look convincingly like machines, models for industrial procedures, or maps of the flow of electricity through a community. Whatever they are, they’re fascinating to look at. This is especially true since most of the shapes are defined with cutouts and sometimes even thread, adding a whole layer of humanism to a seemingly monolithic vernacular. ” (Glen Helfand)


Art in America
Review of Exhibitions, New York
March 2000

Jovi Schnell at Derek Eller
[image of Coarsed Scoop included in review]

“In her New York solo debut, Arkansas-born Jovi Schnell showed six large abstract paintings in which hard-edge, multicolor shapes are set against stark white backgrounds. Schnell’s quirky graphic style recalls 1950s pop culture and space-age design. At first it appeared as if each of the unframed, centralized compositions in the exhibition was painted directly on the wall. A closer inspection reveals, however, that the short black lines connecting many of the shapes are made with black threads sewn onto stretched canvas. Some of the crisp forms are paper cutouts glued to the surfaces.

Schnell has developed a refined, schematic image in which all the abstract elements seem to function as part of a mechanical or syntactical system. The compositions often suggest scientific instruments or domestic appliances. At the top of the painting Aeroaspict, for example, two small red lamps are linked to a green shape that resembles a food mixer. Part of this apparatus is a cone from which a blue line spills in a graceful arch. On the left, the mouth of a megaphone-like shape contains concentric blue lines punctuated by small yellow disks. Three large green rectangles stabilize the composition. One rectangle suggests a television monitor displaying a still-life of two red balls in a white and blue basket. Another supports an accretion of pink boxes punctuated by red squares which has the soft contours of Pueblo-style architecture. The tidy arrangement of forms in this and several other paintings implies a narrative yet thwarts explanatory logic.

Similarly ambiguous objects and spaces abound in Recoranger. Here, horseshoe shapes, ovals and rectangles are organized into four groups. The groups are connected by smaller sets of geometric shapes and a network of yellow lines that resembles a lattice. An effective illusionistic device, the lattice seems to emanate from the center of the canvas, playfully lending the work a sense of depth. Here and elsewhere Schnell performs a rather dexterous balancing act.” (Gerard McCarthy)


November 26, 1999

Three Visions Come Together at MassArt

“With its painted potpouri of gears and gizmos percolating across a 40-foot wall, Jovi Schnell’s Just Add Water could be the schematic for just about anything–from a wacky invention to an extra-planetary environment.” (Joanne Silver)


The Boston Globe
Friday, December 10, 1999

New Yorkers provide Mass Art excitement [image of Just Add Water included in review]

“...Schnell works with a Formica-worthy palette. Her shapes suggest game boards, golf courses, Jell-O molds, the kidney-shaped furniture of the 50s, molecular models, and Marge Simpson’s hairdo. Her savaged materials include yarn, pushpins, and cardboard cutouts. Out of all this she’s created a single giant organism whose parts all join in one way or another; presenting the totality is so crucial that the work turns a corner to finish up on an adjacent wall. Chopping it off prematurely would have been like chopping off someone’s hand.

Schnell’s art has an affinity with contemporary painting by Carroll Dunham and Peter Hallev. But the affinity with the sputtery, pulsing, diagrammatic compositions of Philip Guston, an artist of an earlier generation, is even more pronounced: They share a manic urgency.


The New York Times
Weekend, Movies & Performing Arts
Friday, April 3, 1998

Jovi Schnell and Angela Wyman (Arena, 313 Clinton Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn)

“In these solo debuts, Ms. Schnell exhibits a large group of impeccable collages, in which paint, paper and thread create semi-abstract systems that suggest circuitry, assembly lines or machine-like diagrams. Each interconnected part is also a small autonomous image with its own internal logic, space and scale. ” (Smith)