Davis Arts Center brings two exhibits this July, Ergomodern: A Retrospective of the Furniture and Sculpture of Dr. Julian G. Schiller and the second exhibit titled, Unveiled Visions, featuring the work of Marielle Ednalino. Ergomodern will be on display in the Tsao Gallery and Unveiled Visions will be installed in the West Hall and Atrium of the Davis Arts Center. Both exhibitions will open on Wednesday, July 11, and run through Saturday, July 28. There is a reception during the Second Friday ArtAbout, on Friday, July 13, from 6 – 8pm. The reception is free and as always, the public is encouraged to attend. Members of the Schiller family and Marielle will be present.
All of the artwork in Ergomodern were constructed by Dr. Julian Schiller (1941 – 2017) using hand tools and a drill press in his Davis garage. The aluminum parts were designed by Julian and fabricated by American International Manufactures in Woodland. As a chiropractor, his medical training informed the ergonomic inspired designs – a fact that can be clearly seen in the design of chair backs which conform to the human spine. “Ergomodern”, a term coined by exhibit curator Mike Azevedo, describes the importance of Julian’s ergonomic design combined with his modern design aesthetic (especially elements of Constructivism, De Stijl and the Bauhaus).
Julian’s motivation for creating this work was simple and pure: self-expression and achievement of geometric and mathematical perfection. He had no professional experience as a fabricator, simply a refined aesthetic, and an amazing skill for finished carpentry and machining. When questioned about the symmetry and accurate joinery being on par with the digital processes, Michael Schiller, Julian’s son, responded, “Julian designed everything by hand with pencil sketches, rulers and manual methods; he never used a computer, he never even had an email address.” Julian did not sell his work, but gifted it to friends and family, and did the occasional commission but his focus was always on the quality of the work. Michael comments, “Sometimes, he would spend weeks or months building a piece, only to destroy it with a hammer, because of a slight imperfection, or if he stopped liking the piece. He was fond of the saying, ‘You don’t have to finish, but you do need to do the work’, a message that speaks to the importance of process.” This is the first public exhibit of Julian’s work.
Many of the pieces are available on the Julian G. Schiller Art & Furniture Charity Auction website which benefits Davis Arts Center, The Davis Raptor Center and funding grants for emerging artists.
Dr. Julian Gordon Schiller was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He learned fabrication from his father Saul, a public school industrial arts teacher. Julian earned doctoral degrees in both biochemistry and chiropractic. He worked as a biochemist, patented several biochemical processes and was even presented an award for his contribution to science by NASA. Julian left biochemistry in his mid 30’s to become a chiropractor. He moved to Davis in the 1980’s and opened a chiropractic office where he treated patients for over thirty years. Julian kept office hours three days a week, the rest of the time he made the art and furniture featured in this exhibit. He was never formally trained as an artist.
Unveiled Visions explores how images have been increasingly more susceptible to being vehicles for oppression, segregation and discrimination. Marielle has sought to understand how such imagery could be used to achieve opposite goals. Viewers will be presented with an image – then utilizing a cellphone or tablet will be able to view an augmented reality and see an image that seemly floats on screen “above” the initial image. The augmented images are text or animated images display the positive message or truth about the initial image/message.
Marielle Ednalino is an alumna from the University of California, Davis where she studied Design with an emphasis in Visual Communication and Web Design. Her work is rooted in research, iteration, and open dialogue. She delights in finding imaginative solutions for complex problems.