Tim Schultz has never cared for the contemporary. His mind as a painter and philosophically is instead voraciously inclined towards particular European artists and ideals aberrant within their own anomalous art historical term. His heroes, unchanged over the thirty years of his career, distinguish themselves in their radical lack of regard for Academic or cultish conformity in single-minded and blinkered pursuit of their own infamy and excess, embarrassments to their peers and decidedly pre-modern, even if inhabitants of the Twentieth Century – like Dali. “The absolute shamelessness of pride.” (Schultz)

His recent paintings are excursions in psychoanalytic structure buried within a labyrinthine visual frame. In these works, Schultz consecrates Dali’s perversity and attenuates it with Guimard’s fantasmal caprice, confessing predilection toward the Art Nouveau (after all a rebirth of the Rococo), an unruly line that connects painting with the architectural, and the breast. He edifies us with “Imperial monuments to the ‘Venus of bad taste’” (Schultz) and demonstrations of mental exhibitionism, sensually and metaphorically entwined and idealized.

In 1987, Tim Schultz (b. 1960, Sydney) had his first solo exhibition at Rex Irwin Gallery in Sydney, soon after graduating from his Bachelor of Arts at City Art Institute (now the College of Fine Art, the University of New South Wales). Since then, he has maintained a remarkable practice shifting constantly stylistically within his own unmistakable and inimitable signature, paying homage to particular outmoded painters of, for example, the French Rococo, the Baroque, Art Nouveau and Surrealism. Two artists feature prominently in this scenario: François Boucher (1703-1770) and Salvador Dali (1904–1989). Boucher and Dali are the cardinal points in Schultz’s practice between the sweet and the sinister, the conscious and the unconscious, an abundant and buoyant  substance and one that sinks and drains away through gates to the dark crypt.

Six of Schultz's large paintings were included in the 2015/2016 exhibition, Lurid Beauty: Australian Surrealism and its Echoes, curated by Max Delany, Simon Maidment and Elena Taylor at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Lurid Beauty unfolded the rich legacy of Surrealism in Australia bringing together canonical works by major figures and tracing a lineage evident in the practice of some of Australia’s most prominant contemporary artists. The exhibition included works by Leigh Bowery, Pat Brassington, Max Dupain, Dale Frank, James Gleeson, Louise Hearman, Sidney Nolan, David Noonan, Joshua Petherick, Stuart Ringholt, Eric Thake and Albert Tucker.

Schultz has presented four solo exhibitions at The Commercial: Blood Red Make-up Under the Armpits (2012) and Ornamental Perversion (2014), Eccentric Melancholy (2017), Cormorants in Sapphic Twilight (2020) and, in late 2014, a two-person exhibition (with Stephen Ralph) of a series of paintings on paper, The fantastic woman dancing before Böcklin, painted in Cadaqués, Spain and Paris in 2014.

Schultz has consistently - if not sparsely - been included in notable group exhibitions since leaving art school until the present. Amongst these is the epochal Shirthead, curated by Hany Armanious at Mori Annexe in Sydney (1993). Other artists in this exhibition were Hany Armanious, Adam Cullen, Mikala Dwyer, Nike Savvas, Tony Schwensen, Troy Skewes and Justene Williams.

Group exhibitions include, The Big Bang at The Gunnery, Sydney, a satellite exhibition to the Biennale of Sydney (1987); Fresh Art, curated by Felicity Fenner and Anne Loxley at SH Ervin Gallery (1989); The Nude 1992, curated by Maudie Palmer and Anna Clabburn at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (1992); Cartoons and Caricature in Contemporary Art, curated by Ann Carew at Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong (1998), Predictive Txxx, curated by Hany Armanious at Hamish McKay Gallery, Wellington (2006); OBLIVION PAVILION, curated by Amanda Rowell at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (2008); Rimbaud Rambo, curated by Geoff Newton at Neon Parc, Melbourne (2008). Schultz has been included in the Archibald Prize (1997) and five times in the Sulman Prize (1986, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1998) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 2005, Schultz had a solo exhibition at Kaliman Gallery, Sydney in the original Cecil Street space.

A feature article on Schultz, written by Anna Clabburn, appeared in the inaugural issue of World Art (published by Ashley Crawford) in November 1993. In it, he is quoted, “I want to make a type of beauty which isn’t like nature, which is obviously where you go to look for what is really beautiful. My work is man-made, to do with human creations, like the macabre – we presume nothing in nature knows it’s going to die, but humans do.”

From the beginning of his career, Schultz’s art practice ran parallel to music. From 1979 until 1983, he was the creative force behind the Sydney post-punk band, The Makers of the Dead Travel Fast. Music is a constant framing element in Schultz’s work, with his deep interest in certain genres, in particular glam rock.

Schultz has a Doctor of Philosophy from Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney.

His work is in the collection of Artbank.


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