Essay by Lulan Yu for Reflections Exhibition Catalog, Page Bond Gallery, March 2010 ( excerpt)
The still lifes and studio interiors that Peri Schwartz created for “Reflections” are not simple, static arrangements of inanimate objects. Rather, they are thoughtful works in which all compositional elements have been actively analyzed for their formal relationships; this includes color and natural and reflected light. These deliberations are part of a process in which the artist confronts the challenges involved in creating and exploiting pictorial space. To understand these problems, she also engages in a discourse with the great artists of the western tradition of art, examining and replicating works by such artists as Rembrandt, Velazquez and Degas. Often she even employs a grid technique, not only to copy their paintings, but also to obtain correct proportions and balanced compositions of her own. In this way, she brings into play many of the traditional techniques used by artists to describe objects and locate them in the illusionistic space of the picture plane. Yet, the results of her process of breaking down, analyzing, and altering space, form, and light creates a tension between realistic image and abstract form that is completely modern.