In 1930, influenced by the free consciousness represented by the abstract revolution and surrealism of Wassily Kandinsky, the neo-impressionist style of Gérard Schneider gradually embraced a more lyrical abstract focus, primarily governed by the artist’s inner emotional world. In 1938, Schneider stopped naming his works after real world themes and the main compositional elements of the paintings themselves shifted from distorted human shapes to large blocks of color, all the while abstractly expressing his inner feelings.
In about 1944, Schneider entered his full abstract period and became a pioneer in the field of abstract lyrical painting. It was also at this time that he started to name his works with the word “Opus” followed by a number, the purpose being to avoid as much as possible any association with reality. The word “Opus” comes from music and symbolizes an independent and structured work, while also representing a musical movement combining rich musicality and creativity. The fluid brushwork of the artist and his use of bright contrasting colors overlapped to create a symphonic-like rhythm with thick black calligraphy strokes boldly deconstructing depicted scenes. In addition, Schneider’s color scheme showcases a roughness that is rich in self-confidence.
In the 1950s, Gérard Schneider started to make a name for himself in the international art world. He held a solo exhibition in New York and was invited on multiple occasions to participate in the Kassel Documenta, Venice Biennial and Sao Paulo Art Biennial, with his works collected by international art museums. In addition, Schneider’s unique style also made him popular in academic circles. At this time, his calligraphy lines became even more unbridled and free, the balance of black and white colors drawing out the spatial sense of his painting, while the broad brushstrokes self confidently and jumped from the canvas in works that overflowed with passion.
In the 1960s, Schneider’s style became livelier, as the calligraphic lines soared through long and wide brushstrokes. After eliminating strong emotions and colors and removing complex hues, the artist’s style became more vivid, imbued with a flow that expressed freshness and freedom.
From the 1970s to the 1980s, Schneider reached his creative peak, showcasing brighter colors and simpler compositions on his canvases. During this time he also started to paint on paper again and his studio was filled with large acrylic, metallic foil collage on paper works. Schneider’s exuberant creativity was such that it infused his paper works with an abundance of energy released by the speed of the artist’s brushwork on paper.